Renting could become the norm in the Northern Territory according to the results of a report from the Domain Group.
The Domain Property Research Report, prepared by information and measurement company, Nielsen, shows the Northern Territory is home to the highest percentage of renters and the highest percentage of residents who believe owning their own home is unachievable in Australia.
While nationally one third of Australians are living in rental accommodation, the report shows that 43% of Northern Territorians are currently renting, while 62% of the territory’s population believe that owning their own home is no longer attainable.
Domain Group senior economist Andrew Wilson said the Northern Territory’s higher proportion of renters was not overly surprising.
“To be honest there’s not a lot that’s surprising in these figures,” Dr Wilson said.
“If you look at house prices in the Northern Territory, they’re some of the highest in Australia and the rents there are also some of the highest,” he said.
“It’s just a matter of affordability, with prices so high and people paying so much in rent it’s no wonder they don’t think they’ll ever be able to buy a house.”
According to the report Queensland has the next largest proportion of renters with 37%, while New South Wales and Victoria had 51% and 52% respectively of residents who didn’t believe they would own their own home.
While he wasn’t surprised by the report, Dr Wilson said its findings, particularly in regards to whether people thought they would ever own their home, were sobering.
“It is a bit of a sobering report, home ownership is one of the key pillars of our economy and it looks like that is being undermined somewhat with so many people thinking it is unachievable,” he said.
Dr Wilson said the report showed there was a need for governments and industry to come up with a solution for the issue.
“I don’t think fiddling with the tax mix is the way to go… it’s a matter of supply and demand we need to free up more supply.
“We also need to look at some other strategies to get people to decentralise, things like tele-commuting and flexi-time so people can live in more regional and affordable areas while still working in the bigger CBDs.”
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