28 Housing Statistics in Australia to Get You Thinking

Australia- housing statistics

The flexible, mortgage-free lifestyle that comes with renting is an appealing option for some, but for others, the secure feeling of owning a home is invaluable. You certainly know which one is right for you, but what about other Aussies? 

Find out all about the latest trends and housing statistics in Australia, the housing market, the demographics of first home buyers, the cities with the highest and lowest rents, and much more.

Come on in!

10 Key Housing Statistics in Australia

  • There are over 10 million households in Australia
  • Two-thirds of households own their home, mortgaged or not
  • In 2021, the average cost of a house rose by 16%
  • One in five Aussies own residential property other than their home
  • Half of the population aged 30-34 are homeowners
  • First-time home buyers comprise a third of the market
  • Canberra has the highest average rent of $580 per week
  • Sydney has the highest median house value in Australia at $1.3 million
  • 75% of households spent 25% or less of their income on housing costs
  • $311 is the average weekly housing cost for a household

General Housing Statistics in Australia

1. There are over 10 million households in Australia.

(Australian Institute of Family Studies)

The Australian housing market has been growing over the past decade. In 2021, the number of households in Australia is projected to reach 10.1 million, up from 8.4 million ten years earlier.

2. Most Aussies live in detached houses.

(Statista)

Higher-density dwellings are likely to attract younger residents, who often rent, whereas families go for the larger, separate dwellings. According to the latest housing data, about 7 million Australian households live in detached houses, almost three times the combined number of those living in medium and high-density dwellings.

3. The average household is down to 2.6 people. 

(Australian Institute of Family Studies)

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) reports that nearly a quarter of all households are made up of a single person. As a result, the average number of persons per household is now 2.6, down from 3.6 fifty years ago.

4. First-time homebuyers comprised a third of the housing market in 2018.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics) (National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation)

The share of first-time homebuyers is considered a general indicator of the ease of entry and the overall condition of housing markets. According to ABS population statistics, first home buyers amounted to 35% of all buyers and they were more likely to purchase a flat or an apartment. About a quarter (23%) of the properties they bought were newly built.

5. One in five Aussies own residential property other than their home.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Australian housing statistics reveal that in 2018, 1.86 million households owned a residential property other than their primary residence. Of those, 70% owned a single property, while 5% owned four or more other residential properties.

6. Australian housing demand fell sharply due to the impact of Covid-19.

(National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation)

The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) survey shows that housing demand is expected to fall until 2025, in large part due to the pandemic’s significant effect on net overseas migration. Supply will also fall in response and is expected to be outpaced by demand only towards the end of this period.

7. How many houses are sold in Australia each year?

(Domain)

Housing statistics reveal that sales are close to their lowest point in the last two decades. Close to 100,000 properties were sold in 2019 Q1, a drop of 17% compared to the year before.  

8. CommBank is the leading mortgage lender.

(Statista)

With nearly $5.5 trillion in loans, CBA is the largest mortgage lender in Australia, followed by Westpac Banking with $4.9 trillion. Mortgage statistics in Australia also show that the ten largest mortgage lenders held 91% of the mortgage market in 2020.

Housing Tenure in Australia Statistics

9. Two-thirds of Australian households own their home.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Referencing the 2017-18 fiscal year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that 36.7% of households owned their residence under a mortgage, while 29.5 % of homes were owned without a mortgage. Over the course of the last two decades, those figures have grown 7% and dropped 10%, respectively.

10. The Australian home ownership rate is declining.

(Australian Parliament House)

Housing data from the last census show that 67.5% of all private dwellings were occupied by their owners in 2015-16, compared to 70.6% back in 1999–2000. This indicates that Australia’s overall homeownership rate has dipped slightly, but the decline is more dramatic for specific groups, such as young households and those with lower incomes. 

11. The highest Australian home ownership rate is in Tasmania.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

According to ABS, homeownership rates are highest in Tasmania (72%) and lowest in the Northern Territory (59%). Such regional differences in the housing trends in Australia are at least partly related to the average housing costs in the territories.

12. Half of Aussies aged 30-34 are homeowners.

(Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)

The vast majority of Australians in their twenties tend to live in rented homes, as only 37.4% in the 25-29 age bracket are homeowners. Indicatively, this figure was as high as 50% some 50 years ago. 

By the time Aussies get to their forties, almost two-thirds own their own home and the figure rises to 73.4% for the 50–54 age group. It’s safe to say the thirties are a turning point in terms of home ownership in Oz. 

13. A third of Australian households rent their home.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Rental statistics in Australia show that 32% of Australians live in rented homes, up 5% from 20 years ago. Specifically, 27% of all Australian households rent from private landlords (up 7%), while only 3% from state or territory housing authorities (down 3%).

14. Over half of Aussies under 35 rent from private landlords.

(Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)

The proportion of households renting from private landlords has affected younger households more than older Australians. The housing data from the 2016 Census shows that 53.5% of the age group under 35 rented from private landlords, compared to only 11% from the age group 55 and over.

15. The majority of social housing in Australia is public housing dwellings.

(Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)

In 2018, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported that some 800,000 inhabitants live in about 436,000 social housing dwellings. Of those, 72% were public housing, while 87,800 were community housing dwellings.

16. The largest number of dwellings in Australia dedicated to social housing is in NSW.

(Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)

Recent ABS housing data reveal that New South Wales has 156,260 social housing dwellings, 71.3% of which are public housing and 22.6% community housing dwellings. The Australian Capital Territory has the lowest number with only 12,076 social housing dwellings. 

17. Half of community housing dwellings in Australia are flats or apartments.

(Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)

In 2018, public housing in Australia was distributed almost equally between dwelling types: 38% were separate houses, 35% were flats or apartments, and 26% semi-detached townhouses. In terms of community housing, a flat or apartment was the most common form of dwelling with 50%, followed by separate residences with 31%, according to AIHW residential reports.

Housing Costs and Affordability

18. In 2020, the house price to income ratio in Australia was 106.7%.

(OECD)

The OECD’s price to income ratio index in Australia shows a 16.8% increase between 2010 and 2020. During the decade, the highest price to income ratio was seen in 2018 with 108.4%, while it was at its lowest in 2012 at 83.6%.

19. 75% of households spent 25% or less of their gross income on housing costs.

(Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)

Housing affordability in Australia and across the world is expressed as the ratio between housing costs and household income. According to ABS housing data referring to 2018, 5.5% of households were in financial stress, spending 50% or more of their gross income on housing costs, while 11.5% spent between 30% and 50%. 

20. In 2018, average weekly housing costs across all Australian households were $311.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The average weekly housing costs vary dramatically based on the tenure and landlord type. In the ABS analysis of housing trends in Australia referring to 2017-18, the average weekly housing costs for owners with a mortgage was $484, $366 for renters, and $53 for owners without a mortgage. 

21. How much does a house in Australia cost?

(Statista) (Real Estate Institute of New South Wales)

When it comes to Australian house prices, Sydney has the highest median house value, reaching $1.3 million as of March 2021. This is almost 50% higher than the national average!

In related housing news, house values on the Australian property market have also gone up in Perth, Hobart, and Darwin, but fallen in Adelaide. 

22. What is the average house rent in Australia?

(Domain)

Perth is Australia’s most affordable capital city in terms of rent, with a median weekly lease of $370 for a house and $310 for an apartment. Domain’s rental statistics in Australia indicate Canberra has the highest average rent at $580 per week for houses and $410 for apartments.

Stats on Home Owners in Australia

23. Half of first-time home buyers were aged 25-34.

(Australian Bureau of Statistics)

According to ABS housing data, there were approximately 350,000 first home buyers in 2017-18. Of those, 49.6% were in the 25 to 34 age bracket, 27.8% were in the 35-44 age group, and 11.8% were aged 45-54. 

24. First home buyers were most active in the Northern Territory.

(CoreLogic)

2019 saw a significant increase in housing affordability in Australia – or across most of the territories at least. In the Northern Territory and Western Australia, first home buyers accounted for 45% and 37% of new buyers. On the other hand, first-time buyers in South Australia and Tasmania preferred to save up funds, as they made up only 22% and 24% of the market demand, respectively.

25. Over 115,000 people were reported to be homeless in Australia.

(Australian Institute of Health and Welfare)

According to 2015-16 census data, there were some 116,000 homeless people in Australia. Three out of five were male, while one in five was between 25 and 34 years of age.

Australia Housing Future

26. Four out of five older Australians prefer to live in their own home.

(The Conversation)

Estimates indicate that by 2036 about 9.5 million Aussies will be over the age of 55. According to recent residential reports by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, about half of this population would like to live in a three-bedroom house, while a fifth would prefer four or more bedrooms. In terms of location, the 55-74 age group would prefer a small town, but interestingly there was a strong preference for capital city suburbs in those aged 75 and over.

27. In 2021, the average cost of a house in Australia rose by 16%.

(PropertyUpdate)

Real estate industry statistics for Australia indicate that while housing prices went down during the initial phase of the Covid pandemic, the drive for asset investments quickly drove demand for real estate up again. Reports estimate that house prices will grow by a solid 16% nationally in 2021, before slowing down to a 7% growth in 2022. 

28. Real estate trends reveal that high-end home values grew 2.7% in one month.

(PropertyUpdate)

The high end of the real estate market in capital cities is defined by properties with a typical value of about $1.2 million, while the low end of the market are properties valued at less than $497,000. The inexorable growth of the former segment indicates that it is the high tier of properties that is driving the Australian property market increase.

Bottom Line

After a challenging pandemic period, the housing market is ready for a rebound. Data suggest most Aussies are looking to upgrade their home, which means that, as demand picks up, prices will skyrocket. On the other hand, the work-at-home mandate during the pandemic allowed renters and homeowners from packed urban areas to migrate to the suburbs or regional towns, where housing is more affordable.

We hope this overview of the housing statistics in Australia gives you a better understanding of the housing market’s current state and the real estate trends of the immediate future.

Sources:

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Australian Institute of Family Studies

Australian Institute of Family Studies

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Australian Parliament House

CoreLogic

Domain

Domain

National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation

National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation

OECD

PropertyUpdate

Real Estate Institute of New South Wales

Statista

Statista

Statista

The Conversation

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