Home Insights One in 10 Australian homes are sitting empty, but that’s a marked improvement

One in 10 Australian homes are sitting empty, but that’s a marked improvement

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By 2021, there were far fewer vacant homes, and the proportion of vacant homes on the night of the census fell to the lowest level in 15 years. Unoccupied homes have fallen in almost every part of the country, especially in areas where prices have risen significantly over the past two years.

According to data released from the census this week, 10.1% of homes were vacant on the night of the 2021 census. This is the lowest share since 2006, a significant decrease from the 11.2% that was empty in 2016.[1]

Empty houses were more common in rural areas than in the capital. I don’t know why the house is vacant, but this difference is consistent with some people being in villas or areas where villas are vacant.

The New South Wales region has the lowest percentage of vacant homes in the region, at 11.2% of vacant homes on the night of the census. Regional SA was the highest, with more than one in five vacant.

Throughout the capital, Canberra (6.6%) and Brisbane (6.8%) had the lowest share of vacant homes on the night of the census. Melbourne, which was closed at the time, was the highest at 10%.

This means that even Melbourne, the most vacant capital, is still less than in all regions.

The proportion of vacant houses is higher in rural areas, but the share has declined in all regions compared to the census five years ago. In fact, the proportion of vacant homes is declining in almost every city and region. Only Sydney and Melbourne, which were blocked at the time of the census, had an increased proportion of vacant homes between 2016 and 2021.

In Tasmania, which was very popular during the pandemic, vacant homes declined particularly rapidly. Both Hobart and Tasmania have fallen into their lowest level of vacant homes in at least 20 years.

You can see that there is a large pattern of demand for driving fewer vacant homes across Australia.

Even in areas where prices rose significantly due to pandemics, the decline in vacant homes was the largest.

The reverse is also true. In Melbourne’s inner city, the percentage of vacant homes surged from 12% in 2016 to 18% in 2021. The region has also shown a relatively slow price increase of only 8.9% since February 2020, well below the national average.

This pattern is that strong demand for a particular area is driving both higher prices in that area and better use of existing housing stock in that area (ie, a decrease in the share of vacant homes). It matches.

If many people want to live somewhere, they are less likely to find an empty house.


[1] This may have been promoted by Covid and may have changed the possibility that the dwellings were occupied on the night of the census and how people responded to the census. I don’t know what effect it had, but the fall of vacant houses was widespread and it was the only place. did not do it Sydney and Melbourne occurred, both of which were closed at the time. Therefore, the decline in vacant homes does not appear to be due to changes in people’s reaction to the census.

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