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4130.0 - Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia, 1997-98  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/10/1999   
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MEDIA RELEASE

October 15, 1999
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
119/1999

Australia's high home ownership continues - ABS

Seven out of every 10 of Australia's 7 million households were living in homes they either owned outright or were paying off in 1997-98, according to figures on housing occupancy and costs released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Sydney had the highest housing costs with households who had a mortgage paying an average of $269 per week, while private renters were paying an average of $210 per week. Meanwhile Hobart had the lowest housing costs ($142) for purchasers and ($129) for private renters.

Sydney homes also had the highest median reported value ($251,000), 19% higher than in 1995-96. Median values for homes in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra were about $100,000 less than those in Sydney. Adelaide and Hobart had the lowest values ($116,000 and $117,000 respectively).

Over one million households purchased a home in the three years prior to 1997-98. The majority of these households (58%) were changeover buyers and they purchased more expensive homes than first home buyers ($161,000 compared with $124,000). The average age of first home buyers was 33 years compared with 47 years for changeover buyers.

Nearly 80% of recent home buyers bought established homes which were less expensive than new homes ($135,000 compared with $165,000). These established homes were, on average, slightly smaller (3.0 bedrooms compared with 3.3).

Nationally, households still paying off mortgages had average housing costs of $205 per week (or 18% of their income in housing costs). Households paying rent to private landlords paid $157 per week (20% of their income) and households renting from a State or Territory housing authority paid $63 per week (17% of their income). Owners who had paid off their mortgage paid an average of $21 per week or 3% of their income.

The publication Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia found that life-cycle stages and income impacted most on housing costs:
  • young singles living alone and aged under 35 paid average housing costs of $133 per week or 25% of their income;
  • childless couples aged under 35 paid $212 or 19% of their income;
  • couples with eldest child under five paid $182 or 18%;
  • couples with dependent and non-dependent children only, paid $132 per week, or 9%;
  • couples with non-dependent children only, paid $71 per week or 5%;
  • couples only, aged 55 to 64 paid $49 or 7%; and,
  • couples aged 65 and over paid $25 per week or 5%.

More details are in Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia (cat. no. 4130.0) available from ABS bookshops in all capital cities. The ABS encourages media organisations with online news services to link to the main findings. Please phone us if you need assistance to do this.


CAPITAL CITY HOUSEHOLDS, Income and Housing Costs by Tenure Type and Capital Cities




Tenure Type
Sydney
Melbourne
Brisbane
Adelaide
Perth
Hobart
Canberra
All capital cities(a)


MEAN WEEKLY HOUSING COSTS ($)

Owners without a mortgage
25
22
27
18
18
20
25
23
Owners with a mortgage
269
207
201
174
193
142
241
218
Renters:
    State housing authority
59
71
61
60
68
*54
80
64
    Private landlord
210
153
147
136
135
129
166
171
    Total renters (b)
172
138
132
103
119
106
127
143
Total
138
117
122
98
106
83
136
122

(a) Includes households in the Northern Territory for which disaggregated data are not acceptable for most purposes. (b) Includes other renter.
* Relative standard error of 25% to 50%.

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