Rates of home ownership among young Australians have taken a battering in recent years thanks to turbocharged growth in the cost of housing – and the trend looks set to continue, a new report has found.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the percentage of 25 to 34 year olds who own their own home has fallen by a third over the past 25 years.
Fewer than 40 per cent of people in that age group owned a home in 2013-14, compared with 60 per cent in 1988-89.
Over the same period, rents have increased by 62 per cent, or $144 a week.
As a result, the AIHW predicts widening inequality between renters and owners, and a general worsening of intergenerational inequality.
The country’s overall home ownership rates have been in steady decline in recent decades, with the proportion of Australians who own their properties falling from 71 to 67 per cent over the past 25 years, the report found.
Australia ranks in the bottom third of OECD countries for aggregate home ownership rates, and in the top third for home owners with a mortgage.
Australia’s ownership levels were on a par with those in the UK and US, and well below countries such as Iceland, Norway, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
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Assistant Social Services Minister Zed Seselja said the high cost of land and the lack of land release in some of the major cities had been a factor.
“I think it’s fair to say most Australians would say that you know we want to do more,” he told the Nine Network.
Home ownership rates among people aged 35 to 44 also declined markedly, the report found.
People were increasingly using mortgages to buy property with less owning their houses outright, while affordability had also diminished for households who rent, the report found.
The AIHW report also found 394,000 households were living in social housing in 2015-16, an increase of four per cent since 2007-08.
Another 195,000 households were on waiting lists for social housing.