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How Australians are tracking with home ownership this year

Australian Bureau of Statistics

A new report shows that it’s harder than ever for home owners, as the number of renters rise and the proportion of households that have paid off their mortgages falls.

Australian households renting their home has increased to 32 per cent in 2017-18, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The report showed that there has been a 5 per cent decrease in home ownership since 1997-98 when 27 per cent of people rented.

ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman believes most of the increase in renter households was in the private rental market. 

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“Some of the decrease in public housing numbers can be attributed to recent trends in social housing provision, which have seen the community housing sector taking on an increasingly prominent role,” said Mr Hockman. 

Down, down, down 

The proportion of households that own their home fell to 66 per cent, which is down 4 per cent from 1997-98. 

Further, the proportion of households that own their home without a mortgage decreased to 30 per cent, which is down 10 per cent, while the proportion who owned their home with a mortgage increased by 6 per cent to 37 per cent.

Housing costs remained steady for most household tenures when compared to recent years. On average, in 2017-18 renters paid $366 per week on housing, while housing costs for owners was up to $484 per week. 

The affordability crisis  

One measure of housing affordability is the ratio of housing costs to gross household income known as the housing affordability ratio.

In 2017-18, the housing affordability ratio for major household tenure types was:

  • 3 per cent for owners without a mortgage
  • 16 per cent for owners with a mortgage
  • 23 per cent for renters from a state or territory housing authority
  • 20 per cent for renters from a private landlord

In 2017-18, average housing costs and housing affordability ratios for lower income households by tenure type were:

  • $209 per week (22 per cent of gross weekly income) for all lower income households, compared to $311 per week (14 per cent of gross weekly income) for all households
  • $376 per week (29 per cent of gross weekly income) for lower income home owner households with a mortgage
  • $339 per week (32 per cent of gross weekly income) for lower income households renting from a private landlord

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How Australians are tracking with home ownership this year
Australian Bureau of Statistics
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Cameron Micallef

Cameron Micallef is a journalist at Nest Egg, writing primarily about personal wealth and economic markets. 

Prior to this, Cameron worked for Australian Associated Press. He graduated from the University of Wollongong with a double degree in communications and commerce.

You can contact him on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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