Housing tenure – who rents and who owns what?

One minute read  Property-Investment-Checklist-300x199-300x199

Some 1.1 million new homes have been built across Australia over the past decade.

According to the census, most were detached houses, followed by townhouses and then apartments.

With regard to housing tenure, in this Missive, we have included two tables.

Table 1

Australia, change in housing tenure, 2006 to 2016

Tenure Detached Townhouses Apartments
Owned 11% 19% 3%
Mortgage 49% 27% 27%
Rented 40% 54% 70%

Table 2

Australia, current housing tenure, 2016

Tenure Detached Townhouses Apartments
Owned 36% 23% 15%
Mortgage 41% 26% 17%
Rented 23% 51% 68%

A 10 second summary: 

  • Detached houses remain mostly held by owner occupiers.  But most growth in owners with a mortgage.
  • Townhouses are a fifty-fifty split between owner residents and investors.
  • Apartments remain in the investor realm and increasingly so.

When it comes to rental property, only half are managed by real estate agents.

A further 25% are rented via a government arrangement/agency or employee, with the remaining quarter held by a relative or friend of the tenant.

Putting aside survey bias, these statistics suggest that real estate surveys, such as vacancy rates, represent only a proportion of what’s going on in the rental market.

Keen to hear your thoughts.


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Michael Matusik


Michael is director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights. He is independent, perceptive and to the point; has helped over 550 new residential developments come to fruition and writes his insightful Matusik Missive

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