Source: The Australian, 25 June, 1996, p.4
By PETER WEEKES ALMOST half of the country's 6.8 million house- holds own their own homes outright while another 28 per cent are paying mort- gages, according to the Australian Social Trends 1996 report. But while the country boasts one of the highest levels of home ownership in the OECD at 42 per cent, the rate varies between States. Tasmania has the highest proportion of outright home owners followed by Victoria, NSW, South Australia, Queensland, Western Aust- ralia, ACT and the Northern Territory. However, when it comes to people who have purchased a home between 1992 and 1994, the ACT was the most popular area with Tasmania coming in last. The median house price nationally for the recent buyers was $106,000 and only 13 per cent spent more than $160,000. The proportion of people who have paid their homes off increased by 4 per cent since 1980 while the number of new home buyers fell by 5 per cent. "This partly reflects the overall ageing of the popu- lation with households consist- ing of older people being more likely to own their homes out- right," the report said. According to the housing snapshot, the size of the aver- age family home increased from 170 square metres in 1985 to 197 square metres nine years later. The typical family home is a bungalow with three bed- rooms and one bathroom. Only 4 per cent of home own- ers and purchasers have given up the suburban house for apartment living. While the age of people buy- ing their homes has fallen since the last snapshot in 1994 to 39 years, the survey found that it was easier for a couple to purchase a house. In 1994, 57 per cent of house owners were couples, 29 per cent were single parents. "This reflects the economic disadvantage of one-parent households and the difficulty they may have in establishing themselves as purchasers," the report concluded. Divorced and separated couples appear to decide who keeps living in the family house on a fairly equitable basis. The report showed that an equal number of men and women remained in the home after they had separated. However, if it was the woman who left, she was more likely to be in public rental accommodation than the man, who went to the private rental market. The private rental market accommodates 27 per cent of households. The report found that more than 50 per cent of purchasers and renters in the lowest two income groups spent more than 30 per cent of their gross weekly wage on a home.
Where to next?
Student Questions for this article
Teacher Discussion of this article
Index - Related articles
Index - Data Reduction
Index - Numeracy
Main Index - Numeracy in the News