Economic constraints and changing lifestyles have changed the buying and renting habits of households. According to the latest census data, homeowners with a mortgage made up the largest share of household occupancy in Australia. Just under 30 percent of Australian households own their property outright. Meanwhile, the share of households that are renters has increased overall to almost 30 percent of private housing. Rental costs have increased over the last decade, intensifying the problem of housing affordability further.
Increasing value of property across the countryExcluding periods of economic uncertainty, the annual growth in residential house prices in the country has remained strong. The median house value in major Australian cities has continued to reach new heights, with Sydney and Melbourne leading in terms of residential property price growth. House values are significantly higher in larger cities, with the median value of residential houses across Australia ranging from almost a million Australian dollars in Sydney, to less than half of that in Perth. In the last quarter of 2020, improvements in housing market indicators such as new lending commitments and auction clearance rates supported the rise in property prices.
The big four banks dominate the mortgage lending market in Australia, with almost a quarter of the lending value attributed to Commonwealth Bank alone. The value of mortgage debt outstanding in Australia peaked at almost 1.9 trillion Australian dollars in 2020, indicating a strong demand for purchasing homes from both owner-occupiers and investors.