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The castle: not what it used to be

Most Australians live in regular houses or apartments, but some live on wheels and even water, according to insights from the latest Census data.

What’s more, over a million homes had no-one living in them at all, on the night the census was taken in 2021.

Data revealed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that there were nearly 11 million (10,852,208) private dwellings counted in the 2021 Census, an increase of nearly one million (950,712) since 2016.

The dwellings comprised separate houses (70%), apartments (16%) and townhouses (13%). The proportion of apartments continues to increase, with apartments accounting for nearly one-third (30.9%) of the increase in private dwellings since 2016.

The latest census separately identified high-rises (nine or more storeys) for the first time and found that over half a million people (550,592) live in Australia’s 370,000 (368,943) high-rise apartments.

Over 2.5 million people (2,620,903) or 10.3% of us now live in apartments.

Not all dwellings were occupied on Census night (such as vacant holiday homes or vacant investment properties), with the data revealing more than one million (1,043,776) unoccupied dwellings.

Many alternative dwellings were also counted, including caravans (58,155), cabins and houseboats (29,369).

Two-thirds of households (66.0%) own their home outright or with a mortgage, similar to back to 1996 (67.8%). However, the proportion of households that own outright has dropped from 40% in 1996 to 30% in 2021.

Households with a mortgage have increased from about a quarter of all households (26.2%) in 1996 to 35% (35.0%). Over the last 25 years, the number of homes owned outright has increased by 10%, while the number owned with a mortgage has doubled (increased by 96.8%).

When travelling to and from our homes, we are a nation of drivers. 91% of households (91.3%) reported having at least one vehicle and more than half (55.1%) reported having two or more vehicles.

Australian Statistician Dr David Gruen AO said the Census provides a unique snapshot of where people slept on Census night – whether at home, in hotels or even on an oil rig.

“The information collected about how people live and what type of home they live in will help inform community planning for new housing and support existing living arrangements within the community”, he explained.

About Adam Nobel

CEO | Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA


0417 007 001

Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 22 years experience in property investment, and 16 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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