Number of renters spikes as homeownership falls

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The proportion of Aussie households renting their dwelling increased to 32%, as homeownership in the country fell to 66% in 2018, according to a new analysis from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The number of households renting their home from a private landlord also rose to 27%, with the proportion of public housing tenants falling from 6% to 3%, according to the analysis.

“Most of the increase in renter households was in the private rental market. Some of the decrease in public numbers can be attributed to recent social housing provision which [has] seen the community housing sector taking on an increasingly prominent role,” ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said.

Homeownership fell to 66% last year from 70% in 1997-98. The proportion of households owning their houses without a mortgage fell to 30% from 40%, with households who owned their home with a mortgage increasing to 37%, the analysis showed.

Twenty percent of households owned one or more residential properties aside from their usual residence. Of these households, 71% owned a single property, while 5% owned four or more properties, according to the analysis.

Housing costs remained stable for most household tenure types, compared to recent years, the analysis showed.

“Interest rates have remained relatively low over the past several years and we have seen a recent softening in the rental market in some major cities,” Hockman said.

On average, renters paid $366 per week on housing in 2017-18, while housing costs for owners with a mortgage were at $484 a week, the analysis said.

Renters continued to devote more of their income to housing compared to homeowners, according to the analysis.

On average, lower-income households who rent privately paid 32% of their gross weekly incoming, amounting to $339. While lower-income households owning their home paid their mortgage with 29% of their gross weekly income, amounting to $376.


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