Interest rates

Cheap home loans spur buying, but rising interest rates create problems

In addition to an increase in the number of mortgage holders, the census revealed a further increase in the number of renters. More than 30% of the population rents today compared to 26% at the beginning of the century.

This means that the number of Australians who own their homes remains well below its 2001 level and has barely changed in the past five years.

The census found that 31% of people owned their homes, but the proportions fell in both New South Wales and Victoria. In 2001, nearly 40% of Australians owned their own property.

Outright home ownership in Sydney (27.8%) and Melbourne (29.7%) is well below their state and national averages. In Sydney, renters (35.9%) easily outnumber those with a mortgage (33.3%).

The types of houses people live in are also changing.


At the beginning of the century, three quarters of the population lived in a separate house. It’s now at 72 percent.

There has been a substantial increase in the proportion of people living in semi-detached properties, terraces and townhouses, which now account for nearly 13% of all dwellings. In 2001, they housed less than 9% of the population.

Townhouses and tractor-trailers are preferred by Melburnians (16.2%) over apartments (15.6%).

But in Sydney, the dish rules. There, the proportion of people calling for an apartment has climbed to almost 31%, from less than 24% in 2001. The proportion of people living in independent houses has fallen from 63.1% to 55.8%.

Sydney is home to more than a third of the country’s studios or studios, while Melbourne and it have much higher proportions of one and two bedroom homes.

The chief executive of the NSW branch of the Urban Development Association, Steve Mann, said the census indicated the continued need for flats to be built.

“If we’re going to keep affordability where it is today, let alone improve affordability, we’re going to have to significantly boost the launch of new projects and momentum in the apartment supply pipeline,” a- he declared.

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, opinion and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up for our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.