home loansTwo-thirds of Australian households own their homes, despite a decrease in the rate of home ownership in recent years.

The Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that 66% owned their home in the 2018 financial year (FY2018).

This was down from the 68% home ownership rate in FY2016.

The rate of home ownership is expected to rise, however, because owner-occupier buyers are now dominant (compared to investors) and first-home buyers have their biggest market share since 2011. This evolving trend will be boosted by the federal scheme to support FHBs and the low cost of housing finance.

The 66% home ownership rate includes households that own their home outright and those that are still paying their mortgage.

The home ownership decrease in recent years reflects the rise in households who rent, 32% in FY2018 compared to 30% in FY2016.

Households on average spend at least 14 % of their gross incomes on housing costs, but renters (20% on average) and those with mortgages (16%) spend more.

Home-owners without a mortgage spend an average of $53 a week, while those still paying off their mortgage pay $484 a week. Renters on average spend $366 per week on housing costs.

The average number of persons per household remained the same at 2.6 – and the average number of bedrooms per dwelling also remained unchanged at 3.2.

The survey also revealed that 20% of households hold another property in addition to their residence – with 71% owning one other property and 5% with four or more.

Among the first-home buyers, 55% of households had a reference person aged under 35.