The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released a new analysis of housing prices that reveals there are nearly 1.5 million Australians living in housing “for rent”.
The ABS has also revealed that while some of these people are renting, the vast majority of them are buying homes.
It says this trend is likely to continue, as people move to cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
This chart from the ABS shows where people are buying and selling homes: The housing market is “increasingly dominated by investors” The ABS also reveals that Australians have an average age of 37 years, which is well above the OECD average of 30.
It also says that Australia’s population is projected to reach 7.3 million people by 2051, which would leave just over 100 million people living in rental accommodation.
“This is a significant increase on the number of people who lived in households for rent in 2015, and this growth is likely driven by investor demand,” the ABS said.
It noted that in 2015 the number renting homes fell by 20 per cent, while the number buying homes rose by 29 per cent.
But while some investors are moving in and out of the market, many are still buying.
“The share of investors in Australia’s housing market has grown to more than 45 per cent from just under 20 per of Australians in the year to March,” the report says.
The ABS said there were a total of 6.9 million rental apartments, of which 1.7 million were occupied.
It found that the number owned by investors has increased by more than 300 per cent over the past three years.
“Investors accounted for about a quarter of all residential investment in Australia, rising from 6 per cent in 2014 to 16 per cent last year,” the document says.
A big reason for this growth in the market is the fact that investors are looking to buy homes at a lower cost than they can from existing property owners.
“Newer buyers are buying more expensive homes, and are also finding it cheaper to acquire a rental property than a home owned by an existing owner,” the research states.
“These new buyers are also looking to make a profit, which means their rental properties are likely to have lower interest rates than they would with a house of their own.”
A large number of Australians are not moving out of rented accommodation because they want to find cheaper places to live, the ABS says.
It said that one in five Australians was in a rental situation and that one-in-three people were living in a house for rent.
“While a significant proportion of Australian households are in a rent situation, a substantial number of households are renting out their properties to investors,” the analysis states.
In the past few years, Australia’s property market has experienced a “significant increase” in investor demand, the report states.
While this is likely partly because investors are buying properties, many of these investors are also buying properties for a higher price than they could previously have purchased.
In particular, “the average selling price of properties for sale in Australia has risen from $600,000 in 2016 to $2.8 billion in 2017,” the study states.