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Australian Rented Households on the Rise

The number of Australian rented households is on the rise as the number of Australian and overseas property investors entering the private rental market increases.

The proportion of Australian households renting their home increased to 32 per cent in 2017–18, according to new figures released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is an increase from 27 per cent in 1997–98.

Over the same 20-year period, the proportion of households that rented their home from a private landlord increased to 27 per cent (up from 20 per cent), while the proportion of public housing tenants decreased from 6 per cent to 3 per cent.

The proportion of households that owned their own home fell to 66 per cent, down from 70 per cent in 1997-98. The proportion of households that owned their home without a mortgage decreased to 30 per cent (down from 40 per cent), while the proportion who owned their home with a mortgage increased to 37 per cent (up from 31 per cent).

One in five households (20 per cent) owned one or more residential properties other than their usual residence. Of those households that owned other residential property, 71 per cent owned a single property, while 5 per cent owned four or more properties.

ABS Chief Economist, Bruce Hockman commented: ‘Most of the increase in renter households was in the private rental market. Some of the decrease in public housing numbers can be attributed to recent trends in social housing provision which have seen the community housing sector taking on an increasingly prominent role.’

The data also shows that renters continued to devote more of their income to housing than homeowners. On average, private renters paid 20 per cent of their income on housing costs, compared to 16 per cent for owners with a mortgage and 3 per cent for households who owned their home outright.

It seems that the private rental market in Australia continues to grow from strength to strength.

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