Housing and Occupancy Snapshot

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have released Housing and Occupancy Costs for the 2013-14 financial year.

The data is released every three years and provides some really valuable insights into the characteristics of households and how much they spend on housing costs.

Table 1

The first table shows weekly housing costs across household types over time. 

As you would expect the costs have increased over time however, rental costs are increasing at a much more rapid pace than costs for owners without a mortgage and owners with a mortgage.

In fact, in 2013-14, the weekly costs of taking out a mortgage were 60% higher than rental costs which was the slimmest difference on record between the two series.

Table 2

The second table highlights the proportion of total households showing the particular characteristics.

The latest data indicates that since the last data release there has been a decline in the proportion of those that own a home.

However, the proportion of those that own without a mortgage has risen whilst the proportion of owners with a mortgage has declined.

As a result, the proportion of households that are renting has risen to a record high 31.0%.

Table 3

The third table highlights the average weekly housing costs across the capital cities. 

The ACT is the most expensive for mortgagees and for renters Sydney is the most expensive however, for those without a mortgage Sydney is one of the cheaper capital cities.

Interestingly the cost of renting in Sydney ($430/week) is higher than the cost of having a mortgage in Adelaide ($383/week) and Hobart ($393/week).

Table 4

The above table highlights the characteristics of residential property ownership, it also really highlights the popularity of residential property investment.

80.6% of households that live in an owner occupied property own an additional property.

Interestingly, a further 17.4% of those that rent actually own a residential property.

The majority of those households that own an additional residential property only own 1.

Table 5

The above table highlights how much Australians love large homes and the subsequent additional space.

According to the data 77.7% of all households have additional bedrooms with 85.6% of owner occupied households having more bedrooms than they need.

This also provides insight to the housing undersupply, the reality is we have more than enough bedrooms to cater to our population, unfortunately those who need a bedroom don’t have access to them because most households have additional unused bedrooms.

Even across rental households, 60.9% have more rooms than are required.


In summary the data indicates that it is getting relatively more expensive to rent while paying off the mortgage while interest rates are so low is becoming more popular.

Housing costs reduce significantly once the mortgage is paid off.

The rate of home ownership is falling overall however, a higher proportion of people now have no mortgage.

Residential property investment is popular with a surprisingly high number of people that rent also owning a property themselves.

Almost half of all households with a mortgage (45.6%) own an additional residential property.

Finally Australians like their homes to have lots of space, with a significant majority of homes having more bedrooms than required.

Of course this also means that most Australians end up spending significantly more on housing than required given that more bedrooms usually means more expensive accommodation whether it be from a rental or an owner occupation perspective.

There is a lot more interesting data in this release but this is a macro snapshot of the key elements of this release.


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Cameron Kusher is Corelogic RP Data’s senior research analyst. Cameron has a thorough understanding of the fundamentals such as demographics, trends & economics. Visit www.corelogic.com.au

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