The Australian housing system: a quiet revolution?

PublishedJune 2017
PublisherInstitute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne
DOI10.1111/1467-8462.12220
ISSN0004-9018
Number of Pages197-204
Volume 50Issue 2

The Australian housing system is quietly undergoing a major transformation. Many young and middle-aged home owners are paying down large mortgages that leave them precariously positioned on the margins of ownership. As house prices have remained stubbornly high relative to incomes, renters are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve home ownership status. For some low income households, precarious housing circumstances will result in worrying levels of homelessness, which is symptomatic of a housing system that is failing the most vulnerable in society. This article describes long-run trends derived from nationally representative datasets that offer some insights into how the Australian housing system has reached this position.