Over recent decades Australia’s housing system has shown reductions in rates of affordable housing, stable tenure housing and affordable locations close to employment, all of which weaken urban productivity growth. This Brief presents policy options that can improve the qualities of Australia’s housing market, so as to improve urban productivity growth.
This Brief introduces and summarises the concept that housing characteristics — such as a dwelling’s qualities, location, neighbourhood and price — can influence wider urban productivity growth.
Very low supplies of rental housing in some parts of Australia have raised concerns about significant numbers of unoccupied housing as revealed by the 2021 Census, and have some local governments asking whether unoccupied housing can be redirected to the private rental market.
A ten year story of population, households and private dwelling numbers, drawn from the ABS Census 2011 to 2021.
The story of the 2021 ABS Census and the interplay between increases in population and numbers of households and increases in numbers of private dwellings between 2011, 2016 and 2021 is quite nuanced. For Australia, the rate of population growth slowed slightly between 2016 and 2021 (8.6% growth) when compared with the rate of growth in the years 2011 to 2016 (8.8% growth).
The release of the 2021 ABS Census data shows that the number of social housing households (which includes both public housing and community housing) fell between 2011 and 2021 across Australia except in the Northern Territory, which had a 3.3% increase over that time period. While Tasmania recorded a 5.3 per cent fall between 2011 and 2016, it turned this around to show an increase of 4.6 per cent between 2016 and 2021.