Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Uncertain futures - Renters in the Census 2016

The second round of the 2016 Census was released last week, and amongst employment, education and travel statistics there's the question of whether respondents had moved in the previous few years.

We took a look at this question across different tenure types. It probably comes as no surprise that renters in the private sector were nearly 3 times more likely to have moved in the last year as any other tenure type. In fact, more than a third of renters in New South Wales moved home in the last year.

In the last 5 years, more than three quarters of renting households had changed. This is entirely consistent with findings included in our latest Rent Tracker about the churn of rental bonds in NSW.

The story continues for people aged 60 years and over:

People who may particularly need to remain in a single home are, because they are in the private rental sector, three times as likely to have moved in just the previous year as any other tenure type. There were about 136,000 tenants aged 60 or over at the Census, meaning 23,000 had moved in the last year, and a further 44,000 in the last five.

This level of insecurity is unsustainable. Previously, people who were unable to purchase their own home in order to have housing stability and affordability in retirement would be able to rely on social housing. As above, movement in social housing is fairly comparable to owner occupiers, but years of under investment has meant it is reaching historically low levels.

As people are increasingly renting into retirement, change is needed to ensure private renting is stable, livable and affordable - primarily, the removal of unfair evictions.


  1. This is disappointing and compelling. Thank you. When you reviewed the Census data, what categories did you include under "private rental"?

    1. Hi drillvoice,
      Thanks for the comment! Under the Tenure and Landlord type category ( we have included all rented classifications from question 57 except Government Housing, Housing co-operative et al., and Residential Park et al. The first two are combined for the Social Housing figure.


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