Housing costs shape our lives
Despite its memorable cybersecurity meltdown, the 2016 census has revealed some interesting facts about ourselves. For starters, it shows that since the previous census in 2011, rising property prices and lower interest rates have had a significant impact on the way we live. More of us live in share houses
The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines a group household as consisting of two or more unrelated people over the age of 15. The number of group households has risen by 10.5% in the five years to 2016, with the largest increase in Sydney. Research house CoreLogic believes this is due to increased rents for tenants and significant deposit hurdles for potential first home buyers.
Mortgage costs have gone down
As interest rates have declined, the cost of servicing a mortgage has declined significantly. According to CoreLogic, the average standard variable rate fell from 7.8% in 2011 to 5.25% in 2016. Since 2011, the typical mortgage repayment across the capital cities was either unchanged or fell (with the exception of Darwin, which has a very low proportion of home ownership). Hobart has the cheapest monthly mortgage repayments at a median of $1402 a month.
More people own vacant properties
The census recorded a slight rise (1%) in unoccupied dwellings, with the highest vacancy levels in holiday areas of coastal Victoria and regional NSW. CoreLogic says that due to high housing pressures in inner-city suburbs, there is reason to believe that more investors are buying properties in these locations without intending to tenant them. But rental income may be desirable once interest rates rise and capital gain returns soften.