Perth is in the midst of a growing property ownership struggle, with a 10 per cent fall in the rate of people who own their homes and a 5 per cent jump in those with a mortgage over the past 20 years.

Research by private sector think tank Committee for Perth reveals the fall in home ownership, despite higher levels of education and earnings in the Perth and Peel metropolitan area.

The report, that was released last month, analysis Census data from 1991 to 2011 to produce a social and demographic snapshot of one of the periods of biggest change in Perth’s history.

In 1991, 37.2 per cent of homes were fully owned but two decades later it had fallen to 28.1 per cent. In 1991, 32.5 per cent of people in metropolitan Perth and Peel had a mortgage. This had risen to 38 per cent in 2011.

Committee for Perth chief executive Marion Fulker said though a bigger percentage of people were buying their own home, fewer actually reached the goal of full ownership.

She said over the past 20 years house prices had risen, 30-year mortgages were more common and the proportion of income paid to service mortgages had increased.

“The implications are that we’re paying them off over 30 years or thereabouts and we’re working for a long time to put a roof over our head and pay for it before we’ve got a real discretionary income, ” Ms Fulker said.

She said the research showed Perth needed more affordable housing and more diverse housing options.

The data revealed fully owned homes were concentrated in areas including Peppermint Grove, Nedlands, Mundaring and East Fremantle, while areas in the north, south-east and south-west of the metropolitan area were characterised by a big proportion of properties with a mortgage.

WA Housing Minister Colin Holt said the Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy had created more than 18,500 homes since May 2011, and that current partnerships would provide 200 apartments in the CBD and West Perth, 35 per cent of which would target low-to-moderate income earners.

“Delivery of high-density developments around transport hubs, including affordable housing, continues to be a priority, ” he said.

‘We’re working for a long time to put a roof over our head.’”Marion Fulker, Committee for Perth


© The West Australian

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