Homeownership declines, mortgage stress rises in Sydney, census finds
The census showed that the share of tenant households in Greater Sydney has climbed to 35.9%, 4 percentage points higher than a decade ago.
Public concern about housing affordability has grown in New South Wales after several years of rapidly rising house prices. At the end of March, the median price of a detached house in Sydney was just under $1.6 million, after rising 21% the previous year, according to figures from Domain. Although some indicators suggest that prices have fallen slightly over the past few months.
Grattan Institute economist Brendan Coates said the homeownership rate in Sydney had fallen despite very favorable conditions for homebuyers, including historically low interest rates and a range of housing schemes. government support, including the HomeBuilder program.
“Housing is so expensive that a growing number of young people in Sydney cannot afford to buy a house in their own city,” he said.
“Homeownership will continue to decline unless we correct the underlying factors of why housing is so expensive in the first place. That means correcting planning laws and reducing some [housing-related] tax breaks.”
The share of Sydneysiders owning their own home has fallen from 39% to 27.8% since 2001.
The census showed that Sydney’s median monthly mortgage payment increased by $327 between 2016 and 2021 despite very low interest rates during this period.
Home borrowers in the eastern suburbs statistical region had the highest median monthly mortgage payment of $3,298, followed by the northern ranges with $3,124.
The census also revealed large differences in incomes and housing types across the city. The Eastern Suburbs Statistical District had the highest median household income in Sydney at $177,000. That’s $80,000 more than the median household income in the city’s South West Statistical District comprising Liverpool, Fairfield and Bringelly ($96,200).
The median annual family income in Greater Sydney was $123,448.
There is a growing contrast in housing types across the metropolitan area. In the city and the South Central Statistical District, which includes the CBD, Redfern and Botany, almost 70% of housing is flats or flats while 10% is detached houses. However, in the Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury Statistical Area, only 8% of dwellings are flats or flats, while 83.3% are detached houses.
Other statistical districts in Sydney with a high share of flats and flats are Eastern Suburbs (58%), Western Inner (49%) and North Sydney and Hornsby (46%).
In Greater Sydney, 31% of households now live in an apartment while 56% live in a detached house.
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