One in every four Australian households rents, and it’s not just those on low incomes. A new national survey of renters, funded by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, finds that while 60% of renting households have a household income below $78,000, 30% are on incomes of more than $100,000.
Although many households on low incomes and those headed by single parents are undoubtedly struggling to meet rental costs, those on moderate or higher incomes are generally positive about the experience.
Despite its reputation as a nation of home-owners, Australia has the 10th largest private rental sector in the 37 OECD nations. Six in ten renters do it because they can’t afford to do anything else. The rest rent by choice. Perceptions of dwelling quality are positive with only 6% reporting that their dwelling is in a poor or terrible condition; 81% report a good or excellent relationship with their landlord.
Asked whether their rental property felt like home, just over 60% reported it did. Generally, levels of satisfaction with the sector are high given the proportion of tenants who would rather be owners.