The Meeting Place

Cheaper to rent or buy a home?

The weekly costs of buying a home versus renting have been thrown into stark contrast by new research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS tracked the cost of renting versus home ownership, with renters, on average, spending 20 per cent of their income on housing, compared to 16 per cent for owners with a mortgage.

The study found the average weekly housing costs for all Australian households were $311, but they varied significantly for different tenure types:

  • $53 for owners without a mortgage
  • $484 for owners with a mortgage
  • $366 for renters.


The ABS found that nearly a third of households are renting – up from about a quarter 20 years ago – and that home ownership is at its lowest level since it started collating figures in 1994. 

About two-thirds (66 per cent) of Australian households either own their home or are buying it, compared with 70 per cent in 1998.

And the proportion of households that had paid off their mortgage had dropped sharply – from 40 per cent 20 years ago to 30 per cent  last year.

In other news for the housing market, the proportion of households slipping behind in mortgage repayments appears to have stabilised after a steady rise earlier in the year, the ABC reports.


I rent and it costs me nothing, zero

housing costs for household with no mortgage covers water and general rates. Excludes energy connections, maintenance, insurance.

Don't know how they get those figures. My rates ALONE are more than $53 a week! 

A fair and reasonable point Farside. It may very well be cheaper to buy than rent at today's rates but a high maintenance home could prove much more costly.

When it comes to buying or renting a house these days, there is always the usual debate about which makes the most financial sense. The truth is, both sides have valid points and depends on each person’s lifestyle, financial situation, whether they’re working or retired.

Age plays a big role, many youngsters I come across can afford to buy a house but would rather not be tied down with the responsibility and costs home ownership brings. Some young people with a good head, find investing the money in other ways brings a better return. Coming from the traditional school of thought myself, I believe owning my own home is the way to go.