Why more Australians on high incomes are renting
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Why more Australians on high incomes are renting

This may be contributing to continually rising weekly rents

By Bronwyn Allen
Fri, Apr 26, 2024 9:54amGrey Clock 2 min

There has been a substantial increase in the number of Australians earning high incomes who are renting their homes instead of owning them, and this may be another element contributing to higher market demand and continually rising rents, according to new research.

The portion of households with an annual income of $140,000 per year (in 2021 dollars), went from 8 percent of the private rental market in 1996 to 24 percent in 2021, according to research by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI). The AHURI study highlights that longer-term declines in the rate of home ownership in Australia are likely the cause of this trend.

The biggest challenge this creates is the flow-on effect on lower-income households because they may face stronger competition for a limited supply of rental stock, and they also have less capacity to cope with rising rents that look likely to keep going up due to the entrenched undersupply.

The 2024 ANZ CoreLogic Housing Affordability Report notes that weekly rents have been rising strongly since the pandemic and are currently re-accelerating. “Nationally, annual rent growth has lifted from a recent low of 8.1 percent year-on-year in October 2023, to 8.6 percent year-on-year in March 2024,” according to the report. “The re-acceleration was particularly evident in house rents, where annual growth bottomed out at 6.8 percent in the year to September, and rose to 8.4 percent in the year to March 2024.”

Rents are also rising in markets that have experienced recent declines. “In Hobart, rent values saw a downturn of -6 percent between March and October 2023. Since bottoming out in October, rents have now moved 5 percent higher to the end of March, and are just 1 percent off the record highs in March 2023. The Canberra rental market was the only other capital city to see a decline in rents in recent years, where rent values fell -3.8 percent between June 2022 and September 2023. Since then, Canberra rents have risen 3.5 percent, and are 1 percent from the record high.”

The Productivity Commission’s review of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement points out that high-income earners also have more capacity to relocate to cheaper markets when rents rise, which creates more competition for lower-income households competing for homes in those same areas.

ANZ CoreLogic notes that rents in lower-cost markets have risen the most in recent years, so much so that the portion of earnings that lower-income households have to dedicate to rent has reached a record high 54.3 percent. For middle-income households, it’s 32.2 percent and for high-income households, it’s just 22.9 percent. ‘Housing stress’ has long been defined as requiring more than 30 percent of income to put a roof over your head.

While some high-income households may aspire to own their own homes, rising property values have made that a difficult and long process given the years it takes to save a deposit. ANZ CoreLogic data shows it now takes a median 10.1 years in the capital cities and 9.9 years in regional areas to save a 20 percent deposit to buy a property.

It also takes 48.3 percent of income in the cities and 47.1 percent in the regions to cover mortgage repayments at today’s home loan interest rates, which is far greater than the portion of income required to service rents at a median 30.4 percent in cities and 33.3 percent in the regions.



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The cost of owning a home in an LGBTQ-friendly area in the U.S. comes with a hefty price premium of almost 50%, according to a report Wednesday from Redfin.

In a metropolitan area with state laws protecting LGBTQ people from housing discrimination, a home buyer needs to earn an annual income of $150,364 to afford a median priced home. That’s 46.8% more than the $102,435 buyers need to earn to afford a home in places without such protections, the online property portal said.

For the purposes of their report, a metro is considered to have protections if the state it’s located in prohibits housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, Redfin explained. In the case of metro areas which span multiple states, Redfin considered the metro to have protections if at least one of the states it’s located in prohibits such discrimination.

“LGBTQ+ Americans face disproportionately large barriers to homeownership,” said Redfin senior economist Elijah de la Campa in the report. “On top of paying a premium to live somewhere that feels safe, many LGBTQ+ house hunters are earning less than the typical U.S. worker, and face discrimination while shopping for homes despite laws that prohibit it.”

The locales where individuals identifying as LGBTQ make up the largest share of the adult population are also those where housing is the least affordable, the report found.

In San Francisco, where 6.7% of the adult population identifies as LGBTQ—the highest share of any of the 54 metropolitan areas Redfin analyzed—only 5.1% of listings last year were affordable based on the median local income, one of the lowest shares in the country.

In Portland, Oregon, which had the second highest share of LGBTQ adults at 6%, only 6.7% of homes for sale were affordable; in Austin, Texas, where 5.9% of the adult population identifies as LGBTQ, 2.9% of listings were affordable.

And in Seattle and Los Angeles, where LGBTQ adults make up 5.2% and 5.1% of the population, 4.8% and 1.9% of homes for sale were affordable, respectively.

All but one of those top LGBTQ metros—Austin—has state-level protections, the report said.

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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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