What the 2016 Census Tells Us About Housing In Australia

June 29, 2017
2016 Census data housing in Australia

By now, we’ve all heard the main findings from the 2016 Census data released on Tuesday the 28th of June – Australians are getting older, more multicultural and less religious.

But what about the property and real estate findings? Here we round up the latest housing stats as revealed in the 2016 Census for you.

Home ownership and mortgage repayments

  • The number of Australians who own a home outright declined to 31 per cent, down from 32.1 per cent in 2011. In the last twenty five years this number has decreased by more than 10 per cent.
  • NSW, Victoria, Northern Territory and ACT showed the biggest declines in home ownership, while the percentage of ownership increased in Western Australia.
  • The number of Australians who own a home with a mortgage dropped to 34.5 per cent, down from 34.9 per cent previously.
  • Monthly mortgage repayments have actually become more affordable for Australians in the past five years at a median repayment of $1,755, down from $1,800.
  • Mortgage repayments that are less than 30 per cent of a household’s income increased to 92.8 per cent, up from 90.1 per cent in 2011. Mortgage repayments equal to or greater than 30 per cent of a household’s income decreased to 7.2 per cent, down from the 9.9 per cent recorded five years ago.

Renting in Australia

  • The percentage of those renting in Australia increased to 30.9 per cent from 29.6 per cent in 2011. In the 1991 Census this figure sat at 27 per cent, showing that renting is continually becoming a more common option for Australians.
  • In the last five years, weekly rent has become less affordable at a median rent of $335, up from $285.
  • The percentage of Australian renters whose rent is less than 30 per cent of household income decreased to 88.5 per cent (from 89.6 per cent), while rent payments that are equal to or greater than 30 per cent increased to 11.5 per cent from 10.4 per cent in 2011.
  • Western Australia was the only state in Australia to show a decrease in renters. Data revealed Victoria showed the biggest increase in this category.

Dwelling type overview

2016 census data australian property
  • Census data found that across Australia, 88.8 per cent of private dwellings are occupied, down from 89.3 per cent in 2011, while 11.2 per cent of dwellings are left unoccupied, up from 10.7 per cent five years ago.
  • In terms of the types of structures we’re living in, the number of separate houses and flats have decreased, at 72.9 per cent (previously 75.6 per cent) and 13.1 per cent (previously 13.6 per cent) respectively. Semi-detached, row, terrace and townhouses saw an increase at 12.7 per cent (up from last 9.9 per cent in 2011).
  • There has been a rise in the number of one bedroom homes, now at 5 per cent and up from 4.7 per cent previously. There has also been a rise in the number of four or more bedroom homes, at 32.2 per cent up from 30.3 per cent in 2001. Two- and three-bedroom homes have fallen at 18.9 per cent and 41.1 per cent respectively, down from 19.1 and 43.6 per cent respectively.

Population stats

2016 census data property in australia statistics

  • Since the last census in 2011, Australia’s population has increased by nearly two million people to an estimated 24.4 million.
  • NSW remains the country’s most populous state, with 7,480,228 people counted, ahead of Victoria which had 5,926,624 people counted and Queensland which recorded 4,703,193.
  • The state which saw the biggest population growth in the last five years was the Australian Capital Territory, which had an increase of 11 per cent – that’s more than 40,000 new residents.
  • Greater Sydney is Australia’s largest population centre with 4,823,991 people. This represents a growth of 1656 people every week since the 2011 Census.
  • The number of Australians older than sixty-five has grown by nearly 665,000 since the 2011 Census. Those aged over eighty-five sit just over the half a million mark.

Household snapshot

  • Along with a rise in overall population, there’s also been a rise in the number of families, up by approximately one million to just over six million families.
  • While a couple with children remain the typical style of family, numbers for this family type have dropped to 45 per cent. This was at 54 per cent in 1991.
  • At the same time, the number of couples without children has risen from about one third to 38 per cent, while single parent families have jumped 13 per cent to approximately 900,000.
  • There are more Australians living by themselves. Two million people were recorded as living alone on Census night and more than half of these people were women, most of whom were aged about sixty four.
  • The number of Australians aged in their late twenties and early thirties still living at home with parents has jumped by one-fifth to almost 400,000.
  • The majority of stay-at-home kids were male (239,264).
  • Furthermore, there were almost 420,000 families with dependent offspring aged eighteen to twenty four. This increased the proportion of families with adult dependants from 7 per cent in 2011 to 8 per cent in 2016.
  • The number of households with six or more people has soared 20 per cent since 2011, while the average number of people living in each dwelling rose to 2.7 in Sydney and Melbourne and 2.6 nationally.

These findings not only give an insight into what’s happening with property in Australia at the moment, but also provide solid reference to better anticipate future trends and housing needs more accurately.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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