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Housing affordability: Housing costs as a proportion of household income (ABS)

Housing costs as a proportion of household income (ABS)

Housing costs are a major component of Australian household living expenses. Housing costs as a proportion of income can be used as a measure of housing affordability, sometimes referred to as affordability ratios.

The biennial Survey of Income and Housing (SIH), conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), collects detailed information about income, wealth and household characteristics of persons aged 15 years and over in private dwellings throughout Australia (excluding very remote areas). The household survey has been conducted every two years since 2003–04, with surveys before then conducted continuously from 1994–95 to 1997–98, and then in 1999–2000, 2000–01 and 2002–03. Households with nil or negative income have been excluded from calculations of housing costs as a proportion of gross income. Comparisons of affordability measures in SIH with affordability ratios from other sources should be made with caution, as there are limitations with SIH estimates for housing costs; see data source for details. Equivalised household income adjusts the results to take into consideration variations in household size and composition.

Data from the Housing Occupancy and Costs publication are also used in the following dashboard menu options: Household tenureHousehold estimates, Household mean weekly housing costs and Low income rental households in rental stress.

See ABS Housing Occupancy and Costs ( for further information, including in-depth commentary and analysis, in particular, the source data Quality Declaration. Source reference Data downloads, tables 1.2, 12.2, 12.5, 12.8, 12.11, 12.14, 12.17, 12.20, 12.23.