More Australians are renting the home they live in and the cost of doing so increased strongly from 2006 to 2011.Australian Bureau of Statistics figures this week show that the median weekly household rent rose to $285 from $191 in 2006, an increase of 49.2%. Overall, rental costs have increased twice as much as wages; the median weekly household income increased from $1,027 in 2006 to $1,234 in 2011, up 20.2%.
Nearly three in ten Australian households (29.6%) rented their dwelling at the time of the 2011 Census. There was a larger increase in rented homes between 2006 and 2011 compared with homes owned with a mortgage. The proportion of rented homes increased almost two percentage points (from 28.1% in 2006), whereas homes owned with a mortgage increased by less than one percentage point (from 34.1% in 2006 to 34.9% in 2011), and the proportion of households that owned their dwelling outright decreased (from 34.0% in 2006 to 32.1% in 2011).
The ABS figures show that rental costs increased by about ten percentage points more than mortgage repayments. The median monthly mortgage repayment in Australia rose from $1,300 in 2006 to $1,800 in 2011, an increase of 38.5 per cent, while the median weekly rent payment increased by 49.2 per cent.
In 2011, the Northern Territory recorded the highest home rental rate of all states and territories, with nearly half of all homes being rented (49.1%). Tasmania and Victoria had the lowest home rental rates of 26.4% and 26.5% respectively. Home rental rates increased in all states and territories between 2006 and 2011. Queensland had the largest increase from 31.1% in 2006 to 33.2% in 2011, followed by Western Australia from 27.2% in 2006 to 29.2% in 2011. New South Wales had the smallest increase from 29.5% in 2006 to 30.1% in 2011.