Housing stats are out from the census, and with it a bunch of news articles about what can be gleaned from the release (aren’t we all glad the long form census is back?). In Victoria the ownership rate is just short of 63% which is down a couple percent from 10 years ago. The breakdown by housing types is as follows.
Why is the duplex category so big? It’s because every basement suite counts as a “flat in a duplex”.
Also some other stats I thought were interesting, on the age of our housing stock:
Too bad they didn’t break down the years before 1960 and the bins are different sizes, but you can clearly see the large building boom of rental apartments along with neighbourhoods like Gordon Head in the 60s and 70s.
57.1% of owners have a mortgage, which is a smidge higher than the 55.7% it was 10 years ago. The percentage of owner households spending more than 30% of their income on housing is actually down to 19% from 20.9% 10 years ago which indicates fewer households were stretched financially due to their housing costs. Probably something to do with the fact that in 2016 mortgage rates were half those of 2006. The census was also before most of the recent runup in housing prices.
Back to construction for a minute though. The usual suspects are trying to present the data to say that construction has not kept up with population growth (clearly we need to build more!). In the last 5 years this is true. We had a growth of 23,455 people and only added 5330 housing units, which would yield 4.4 people per unit, which is well over the average household size of 2.2. But housing construction goes in cycles and 2011 to 2016 was a slow period for construction while population grew faster than normal. That’s quite obvious looking at construction history.
Looking back 10 years, we grew by 37,682 people and added 17,335 dwelling units, which yields a household size of 2.17 people, or pretty much exactly our average. No evidence of systematic underbuilding.
One look around the city (or a glance at the stats) would also show you that construction has picked up massively from the levels of 2011-2016 so I don’t think we need to concern ourselves too much with running out of housing quite yet.