05/03/2015 - 13:16

Population growth up, home ownership down: Report

05/03/2015 - 13:16

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Home ownership levels have fallen by almost 10 per cent in Perth while population growth outshone the rest of the country, according to a report released by the Committee for Perth.

Committee for Perth chief executive Marion Fulker.

Home ownership levels have fallen by almost 10 per cent in Perth while population growth outshone the rest of the country, according to a report released by the Committee for Perth.

The report found that while we’re better educated and earning more money, home ownership levels had fallen and the number of people with a mortgage had increased by more than 5 per cent.

That being said, population growth in Perth was well above the national average.

“It’s amazing when you look at Perth’s transformation over that 20 year period, it really was the beginning of the end of Perth being a small city,” Committee for Perth chief executive Marion Fulker said.

“Between 1991 and 2011, Perth’s population grew from 1.2 million to 1.7 million, which is a 46 per cent increase or 2.3 per cent a year, the national average is only 1.5 per cent.”

But while our population was on the rise, the percentage of people who owned their own home was falling.

“In 1991, 32.5 per cent of people in the metropolitan Peel and Perth had a mortgage in 2011, it had risen to 38 per cent,” Ms Fulker said.

“So while we have a larger percentage of people buying their own home, fewer have actually reached the goal of full ownership.”

 

See the full report below.

 

Perth’s growing home ownership struggle

 

A landmark report ‘Perth as a Spatially Transforming City’ examines one of the greatest periods of change in Perth’s history and has found that while we’re better educated and earning more money, home ownership levels have fallen by almost 10 per cent, while the number of people with a mortgage has increased by more than five per cent.

 

The other remarkable finding was how our population growth outstripped the rest of the nation.

 

“It’s amazing when you look at Perth’s transformation over that 20 year period, it really was the beginning of the end of Perth being a small city. Between 1991 and 2011, Perth’s population grew from 1.2 million to 1.7 million, which is a 46% increase or 2.3% a year, the national average is only 1.5%. If the current trend continues, it is predicted that Perth will experience the highest percentage growth of any Australian capital city, which will fundamentally change the racial, cultural and religious make-up of Perth’s communities,” said Committee for Perth CEO, Marion Fulker.

 

The areas with the highest population growth were north-west Wanneroo at 40.3% and north-east Wanneroo with 13.6%.

 

“As well as our strong population growth and a change in where people were living, the number of people who were born overseas increased from 386,000 to 591,000, which is almost 35% of the population.”

 

But while our population was rising, the percentage of people who owned their home was falling. In 1991, 37.2% of homes were fully owned, two decades later, the figure had fallen to 28.1%.

 

“They’re really interesting statistics. In 1991, 32.5% of people in metropolitan Peel and Perth had a mortgage in 2011, it had risen to 38%. So while we have a larger percentage of people buying their own home, fewer have actually reached the goal of full ownership.

 

“It could be that the increase in house prices in recent years meant that people are having to take out larger home loans and they’re taking longer to pay them off,” Marion added.

 

“Those figure also raise the issue of housing affordability and the need for more diverse housing options across Perth. The availability of affordable housing strongly impacts on the attractiveness and competitiveness of Perth as a place to live and work. There is also a growing mismatch between the location of affordable housing and where people work that needs to be addressed.”

 

The report also highlighted that there could be financial difficulties for residents with mortgages in certain parts of Perth.

 

“People living in the metropolitan regions of north-east and south Wanneroo, Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Armadale and Gosnells are amongst the lowest paid in Perth. A slowdown in economic growth or any sharp increases in the cost of living, poses a risk to them in terms of being able to pay their mortgages and any other debts,” Mrs Fulker added.

 

The other concerning statistic within the ‘Perth as a Spatially Transforming City’ report focuses on our ageing population, which rose from 10.37% to 12.44%, and the aged dependency ratio, which is the ratio of dependents – people who are younger than 15 or older than 64, compared to the working-age population, increased from 15.5% to 18.2%.

 

“These increases are going to provide some significant challenges in the not-too-distant future. Governments are going to find there will be extra demand on healthcare services and the social security budget. On top of that, we know that baby-boomers will retire demanding better services including public transport and high quality residential care facilities.

 

“Apart from pressure of delivering these services, one of the biggest issues will be, how is all of this going to be paid for when we know that the number of taxpayers is declining.”

 

Other key findings outlined in the report include:

 

  • 75.8% of Western Australia’s population lives in the metropolitan area
  • The percentage of people born in Australia fell from 65.3% to 59.9%
  • The United Kingdom and New Zealand were the top two countries of birth for the overseas born population
  • The areas where more than 40% of the population were born overseas are north Joondalup, Canning, Perth, north-west Wanneroo, central Stirling and Victoria Park
  • 41.2% of the overseas born population had higher than average educational qualifications with a Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Between 2001 and 2011, the number of households in Perth and Peel surged from 534,570 to 661,450, an increase of 23.7%. The national growth rate was 15.7%
  • Between 1991 and 2011 WA’s unemployment rate fell from 13% to 4.9%
  • In 2011, the highest unemployment rates, at more than 6% were in the Peel region, Rockingham and Kwinana. The lowest unemployment rates were in Cambridge, inner Perth, Claremont, Peppermint Grove, Cottesloe and Nedlands
  • In 2011, Mandurah had the lowest median total personal income of $483 a week. Cottesloe, Peppermint Grove, Perth and Fremantle the highest median total personal income of more than $1,000 a week

 

Mrs Fulker said that the report’s analysis over a 20 year period in the Perth and Peel region made it a useful tool for government and policymakers.

 

“By looking at what’s happened in the past, we can better prepare for the future,” Mrs Fulker said.

 

“Trends and cycles can be better evaluated when you take a helicopter view. We can also get an understanding about what local infrastructure needs will be based on projected population figures, demographics, household growth and where people are choosing to live.”

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