The ABS's Survey of Income and Housing (SIH), which measures levels of housing occupancy and costs every second financial year, revealed home ownership figures in 2019-20 remained consistent with figures recorded in 2017-18 at 66%.

Rental figures also remained relatively stable, with the survey noting 31% of Australian households rented their home in 2019–20, compared to 32% in 2017–18. 

The survey revealed housing costs, adjusted for inflation, have increased over the past 20 years for major tenure and landlord types by:

  • 50% for homeowners without a mortgage.
  • 40% for homeowners with a mortgage.
  • 27% for state or territory housing tenants.
  • 50% for private renters. 

Despite rising costs, young first home buyers were not deterred from entering the housing market, with a six percentage point increase in under-35 first home buyers from 2017-18.

The proportion of first home buyers under the age of 35 grew from 55% to 61% in 2019-20, yet of the 420,000 first home buyers surveyed, only 17% of dwellings recently purchased were brand new.

This raises questions as more than three-quarters of first home buyers are potentially forgoing government grants with a preference to buy an established home.

Throughout 2021, almost one in 10 first home buyers - or 33,000 - were backed by either the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) and the New Home Guarantee (NHG)

With a newly formed Federal Labor Government, another scheme is imminent being the Help to Buy shared equity scheme.

CoreLogic’s Research Director Tim Lawless said the Help to Buy scheme is likely to be popular with prospective home buyers, providing a more affordable entry point to the market.

“Being able to share up to 40% of the purchase price with the government, along with only a small deposit and opportunity to save on lenders mortgage insurance, helps to overcome several of the hurdles of home ownership,” Mr Lawless said.

“Having said that, a higher interest rate environment, which may see lower prices, could make people more cautious of buying, reducing demand for the scheme in the short term.”

It’s important to note data collected for the SIH survey does not consider the pandemic, record low interest rates, housing boom, rising rents and surging inflation as figures were recorded up until June 2020.


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Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

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