New private dwelling completions, seasonally adjusted, September 2011 to June 2020

This graph reflects a boom in private dwelling construction, corresponding to waves of investor finance over the period. Since 2018, the pipeline of new dwellings has contracted, and particularly since March 2020. There appears to be a reorientation towards detached homes, but given the natural month-to-month fluctuation in apartment and unit approvals, and notwithstanding the months immediately following the implementation of COVID-19 restrictions, it is too soon, given the data within this graph, to determine whether this is a lasting trend.

Value of new home loan commitments for investor purchase, seasonally adjusted, November 2010 to September 2020

This graph shows two waves of investor finance for NSW, QLD and Victoria, before and after 2015-16, corresponding with substantial growth in the supply of privately rented dwellings. From the beginning of 2010-11 to the end of 2013-14, approximately 262,000 additional households, and in 2017-18, another 245,000 households, entered the private rental sector, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (Housing Occupancy and Costs)

Value of new home loan commitments in Australia, seasonally adjusted, November 2010 to September 2020

This graph shows that the trend before 2017-18 was one in which investor purchasers were receiving a growing share of new home loan commitments (besides a contraction during 2015-16). However, in COVID times, owner-occupier finance has rebounded more sharply than investor finance, which only recovered to pre-pandemic levels as of September 2020.

Key pandemic policy innovations relevant to minimising housing market disruption and homelessness in Australia

This table shows the key policy innovations that were introduced in Australia at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to minimise the impact on housing and homelessness. Items 5-8 are the focus of the Poverty and Inequality Partnership report Covid-19: Rental housing and homelessness impacts - an initial analysis  

New report shows progress made on homelessness in response to COVID-19 slipping away – tens of thousands face huge rental debts

A new report shows the gains made on reducing homelessness during the pandemic last year are slipping away. It shows less than a third of those assisted with temporary hotel accommodation during the crisis were later transitioned into longer-term affordable housing, mainly due to a shortage of social housing available. At the same time, tens of thousands of people renting across the country now owe mounting rental debts, after having their payments deferred (but not reduced) while eviction moratoriums were in place. The report - COVID-19 Rental Housing and Homelessness Impacts: an initial analysis – is part of the UNSW Sydney and Australian Council of Social Service’s Poverty and Inequality research partnership. Australian Council of Social Service CEO, Dr Cassandra Goldie, said: “During the pandemic, governments did the right thing by increasing income support payments, putting in place eviction moratoriums and providing emergency housing to prevent a sudden surge in homelessness.…

Changes in employment, hours and wages by percentage from March to June 2020

The spread of COVID-19 and the government-ordered lockdowns to contain it had a sudden and profound impact on employment and earnings in Australia.  This graph shows that, in just the three months from March to May 2020, paid hours worked declined by 10% and employment fell by 6%, whilst wages paid were reduced by 8.3%. In June, there was a modest recovery in paid working hours and wages as lockdowns easied, but unemployment and underemployment continued to rise. The unemployment rate stood at 7.4% in June 2020.

Size of private rental sector, Australia, 1994-2018

This graph shows that, in 2009-10, households renting from a private landlord made up around 23.7% of all households. In 2017-18, they constituted 27.1%.