8711.0 - Household Investors in Rental Dwellings, Australia, Jun 1997  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/06/1998   
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June 16 1998
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Household investors in residential rental properties

In June 1997 there were 584,200 private household investors with rental investment property and most investors owned or partly owned one rental property only, according to results of a survey of Australian households released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The private rental market provides housing for 20 per cent of Australia's households. Private household investors own over 50 per cent of residential rental properties.

Although there was no typical investor, survey results showed that couple families represented a significant proportion (75 per cent) of total household investors in residential rental property. Many (70 per cent) of these couple families had two income earners, and 62 per cent were within the prime working age group (one partner aged 35 to 54).

The reasons for investing varied, although two thirds of household investors were looking for a secure, long-term investment. Other important motives were negative gearing, rental income or to use the property as a possible future home. While most investors specifically purchased the property to rent out, a quarter were renting out their former homes.

The average value of the rental properties, as estimated by their owners, was $146,000 although this was considerably higher in NSW ($190,000), reflecting the high real estate prices in Sydney. Just over 60 per cent of rental properties were separate houses and 26 per cent were flats or apartments. The average weekly rent was $172, although again this was considerably higher in NSW ($205).

Further details are in Household Investors in Rental Dwellings, Australia June 1997 (cat. no. 8711.0) available from ABS bookshops. A summary of its findings is available from this site.