4130.0 - Housing Occupancy and Costs, 2011-12  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/08/2013   
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28 August 2013
Embargoed: 11.30 am Canberra Time
Proportion of income spent on housing costs remains steady for private renters

Housing costs for private renter households increased by $25 (8 per cent) from $322 in 2009-10 to $347 in 2011-12, though the proportion of income spent on housing costs remained at 20 per cent, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Director of the Living Conditions section, Ms Emily Cunningham said today's report shows households that owned their home with a mortgage had the highest housing costs, averaging $432 per week. This represented 18 per cent of their gross household income. Those without a mortgage had the lowest costs paying $40 per week or three per cent of their income on housing costs.

The report shows that average housing costs for owners with a mortgage have been stable since 2007-08.

"In 2011-12, both owners with a mortgage and private renter households spent the same proportion of their income on housing costs as they did in 1994-95,” said Ms Cunningham.

The report found lower income households had lower housing costs per week on average but these costs represented a greater proportion of household income. Lower income households with a mortgage paid $314 a week on average, or 26 per cent of their gross weekly income on housing costs. Lower income households renting from a private landlord paid on average $295 per week, which represented 30 per cent of gross weekly income.

Since 1994-95, the proportion of households that owned their home outright dropped from 42 to 31 per cent. Those with a mortgage increased from 30 to 37 per cent and households renting privately have increased from 18 to 25 per cent.

"Average housing costs in capital cities were 44 per cent higher than housing costs outside capital city areas." Ms Cunningham said.

Households in the Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia and New South Wales reported average housing costs above the national average, while average housing costs in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania were below the national average. Housing costs in Queensland were similar to the national average of $265 per week.

More details are available in the 2011-12 issue of Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia (cat. no. 4130.0) available for free download from the ABS website at www.abs.gov.au.

Media note:
  • Housing costs comprise rent payments, rates payments (general and water) and mortgage or unsecured loan payments, if the initial purpose was primarily to buy, add to or alter the dwelling.
  • Estimates for the Northern Territory other than Darwin are not considered reliable. All of the ACT is defined as a capital city for this publication.
  • Low income households are those containing the 30 per cent of people with equivalised disposable household income between the 10th and 40th percentiles.
  • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.