Australias falling home ownership rate

Australia’s home ownership rates are falling, despite international trends that show home ownership in other countries is rising.

Earlier this year figures from the OECD show that while the home ownership rate increased in the United States, Britain, Canada and Germany between the 1990s to the first half of the 2000s, the Australian home ownership rate fell from 71.4% to 69.5%.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which represents the governments of the world’s developed nations, says new research illustrates the high costs of Australia’s housing supply.

The OECD says Australia’s homeownership rate would have declined even further, had it not been for our ageing population.

The Urban Taskforce’s chief executive Aaron Gadiel says Australia is one of just five countries where home ownership rates have fallen since the 1990s. “Australia is grouped with Greece, Mexico, France and Luxembourg as countries where an increased share of the population can’t access a home of their own,” he says.

“Older Australians are more likely to own their own home, so our changing demographics have propped up the headline home ownerships rate, disguising significant falls in home ownership amongst young and middle-aged Australians,” Gadiel says.

“If the impact of our ageing population was excluded, the OECD concludes our levels of home ownership would have fallen by nearly another one per cent.”

My thoughts:

For many years the percentage of our population than have managed to buy their own home has hovered around 70%.

But this is slowly decreasing and Australia’s home ownership rates are falling, and is likely to continue to slowly drop, in part because of affordability and partly because of life style choices.

Many Gen Y’s are getting married later and often travel overseas before they settle down. Others have a Hex debt to pay off before they can consider buying a home.

Renting for longer and leaving the decision to buy their first home till they are in their 30’s will mean that more Australian’s will be tenants for all of their lives.

This means there will be an ongoing requirement for good rental accommodation in the future which will underpin rental growth for property investors like you and me.


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