Recent buyer demographics

The latest statistics from a great ABS series titled housing occupancy and costs have just been released.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will feature some of the key findings with you.

Two tables and two charts are included in this post.

Some observations from table 1 include:

  • There were 1.1 million Australian dwelling transactions during 2020, of which 14% were for new homes and 86% for established abodes.
  • There were some 9.732 million households across Australia in 2020, so some 11% of households either bought, sold, and moved or bought an additional home that year.
  • First home buyers accounted for 37% of the sales, whilst changeover buyers, 63%.
  • The average price paid was $700,000 (remember these statistics cover fiscal 2020) and the average equity held buy all buyers was 52%.
  • According to the ABS first home buyers had a 35% equity stake in their purchase, whilst changeover buyers held a 60% share of the dwelling’s worth.
  • Buyers are paying a premium – ranging from 7% to 12% – for a new dwelling when compared to something established.

My end note here is twofold, firstly if this equity stake has remained stable since 2020 – and in contrast to recent media comments – recent buyers should be okay if (when) housing values take a bit of a slide.

And secondly, due to material shortages and rising labour costs, new homes over the past two years have become more expensive, making established digs (to many I would suggest) better value for money.   This in turn will contribute to a fall in new housing starts over the next couple of years.

My observations from table 2 are:

  • Somewhat surprisingly 65% of recent changeover buyers have a mortgage.
  • About half of the recent buyers live in a family household; whilst 30% are couples (with no dependent children) and 19% live alone. Lucky buggers!
  • Detached houses are still the most popular housing purchase for changeover buyers (75%), less so for first timers (67%).
  • Nearly all first home buyers are aged between 25 and 44 years, whilst the majority (61%) of changeover buyers are over 45 years old. Some 23% of changeover buyers during 2020 were over 65.

My end comments include that it isn’t maybe that surprising that buyers have been taking advantage of record low interest rates.  Chart 1 shows that homeowners with full equity have been in decline for some time.

Whilst detached housing remains the preferred dwelling type across Australia, there have been clear trends in recent years – due often to the rapid rise in detached house prices – that more first home buyers are opting for something attached instead.  Apartments seem to be an increasing choice.  See chart 2.


My May 2022 playlist is below.

50 songs that I have liked listening to this month.  The usual caveat applies being some tunes are new, many old.  No rhyme or reason for their inclusion, playlist order or genre.


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