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Housing costs of lowest 20% compared with middle 20%, among people aged <65 and 65+ (in $2017-18 per week)

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This graph shows trends in average weekly housing costs for people of different ages in the lowest and middle 20% of households by income (adjusted for family size).

Note that these amounts are adjusted downwards for household size, so they are much lower than average housing costs – for example – for a family of four people. It shows that housing costs grew strongly from 2005-06 to 2017-18, especially among the lowest 20% of working-age households by income. From 2005-06 to 2017-18, average housing costs for the lowest 20% of working-age households (under 65 years) grew more than twice as fast as those of the middle 20% (by 42% compared 15%). Among the lowest 20% of working age households, average housing costs rose from $103pw to $146pw. Average housing costs for the middle 20% rose from $166pw to $191pw. Possible contributing factors for this disparity include higher rent increases for low-income households of working age and rapid growth in the share of renters among that group. Among people under 65 years, the proportion renting their homes privately rose from 21% in 2005-06 to 29% in 2017-18. In contrast, among older people average housing costs for the middle 20% grew more than twice as fast as those of the lowest 20% (75% compared with 32%), but this was from a much lower base so had less impact on poverty rates (on average older people have much lower housing costs). Among the lowest 20% of older people, average housing costs grew from $47pw to $62pw, compared with a rise from $36pw to $63pw for the middle 20%. A possible contributing factor to the large increase in housing costs for older middle income-earners was a decline in the share of outright home-owners among that group.

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