Number 5: Australian housing market

The Research FaCS Sheet series was produced by the former Department of Family and Community Services (the former FaCS). The aim of the series was to provide a brief overview of varied social policy research undertaken by FaCS staff or research undertaken in conjunction with external research bodies. The last Research FaCS Sheet was released in 2002.  

This FaCS Sheet provides information on the Australian housing market, including home ownership, home purchase affordability and rental patterns.

Home ownership

Survey estimates indicate that the home ownership rate (combined owners and purchasers) in 1997–98 was 71.2 per cent, the same level as in 1995–96. Census data indicate that home ownership was at its highest levels in the late 1960s and early 1980s. Over the past 15 years the rate fell from 73.4 per cent in 1981 to 71.1 per cent in 1996, this change being attributable to a number of different elements:

  • ageing of the population, which contributed a positive increase of 1.2 per cent points. This was outweighted by:
  • changing household structures, such as the increase in lone parent and group households, providing a negative influence of 1.7 per cent; and
  • an 'underlying' change in the rate of negative 1.8 per cent (mainly between 1981 and 1986)
Content Updated: 11 May 2012