Census data confirms home ownership rate still declining

28 June 2017

Data released from the 2016 census yesterday has revealed that home ownership rates in the country have continued to decline, as they have done so for the last 25 years.

As house prices in Melbourne and Sydney have soared, more people are renting and more home owners are experiencing mortgage stress, with just 31 per cent owning their home outright.

Back in 1991, more than 40 per cent of Australians had paid off their home.

The percentage of Australians renting has jumped from 27 per cent in 1991 to 31 per cent in last year’s census.

Melbourne’s population grew by 12.1 per cent over the last five years and remains on track to overtake Sydney as the nation’s most populous city in the coming decades.

According to the census data, housing construction was keeping up reasonably well with the population growth. There were an extra 631,162 new homes built to help accommodate the new 19 million people in the city.

Somewhat surprisingly, even though prices have been rising rapidly in cities like Melbourne, an increasing number of homes are being left vacant.

The census data showed that around 11 per cent of homes in Australia were unoccupied on census night. That’s around 1 million homes.

Unoccupied homes are usually holiday homes, renovations or the homes of travellers but the rise may indicate an increasing number of investment properties being left empty deliberately.


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