Renting population growing as Great Australian Dream fades
Australia’s cohort of renters is on the rise: there are now almost as many Australians renting as there are people who own their property outright.
A total of 31 per cent of the population owns outright, 30.9 per cent rents and a further 34.5 per cent own a home with a mortgage, data from Census 2016 shows.
“However, the proportion renting is slowly growing, while those who have the good fortune of owning their home outright are declining,” the Census release says.
In the 2011 census 29.6 per cent of the population rented, compared to 28.1 per cent in 2006.
This also continues the steady trend of those owning a home with a mortgage, which previously increased from 34.1 per cent in 2006 to 34.9 per cent in 2011.
In 15 years, since the 1991 Census, the rental population has increased from 26.9 per cent to 30.9 per cent.
Those owning a home outright fell 10 per cent over the same time period, while those owning with a mortgage increased from 27.5 per cent to 34.5 per cent.
And though the Great Australian Dream of a detached home with a yard is still the norm across the country, at 72 per cent, there was a significant uptick in alternative forms of housing.
The definition of a dwelling considers “any structure which is intended to have people in it, and is habitable on census night” for the purposes of the national survey.
These dwellings numbered close to 10 million on census night 2016, of which 8.3 million were “occupied private dwellings” compared to 7.8 million in 2011.
The median household rent had jumped substantially: $335 a week in 2016, a $50 jump from $285 in 2011.
But median household mortgage repayments dropped to $1755, from $1800 in 2011. This was likely due to lower interest rates in the past few years. When the census was taken in August 2011, the official interest rate set by the Reserve Bank of Australia was 4.75 per cent, compared to 1.5 per cent in August 2016.
The median bedrooms per household, 3.1, and the average number of people per household, 2.6, remained the same across the two Census nights.
But there was a rise in group households up from 4.1 per cent to 4.3 per cent in the fiveyears to 2016. And single person households increased from 24.3 per cent in 2011 to 24.4 per cent in 2016.
Family households were down from 71.5 per cent to 71.3 per cent.