Following extensive research, CoreLogic estimated there were 2.6 million investor-owned dwellings across Australia worth approximately $1.37 trillion in total. Meanwhile, current taxation statistics showed there were 2.03 million individual investors, which each own an average of 1.28 investment properties.
In contrast, data from the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) identified that approximately 6.48 million people, or 36% of the adult Australian population, own shares in property. Investor-owned dwellings were found to comprise 26.9% of all housing stock by number, or 23.8% based on the value of all housing stock.
Perhaps surprisingly, investment in the housing market was found to be generally across lower valuation segments compared with owner-occupied homes. More than half (53.4%) of investor-owned dwellings were found to have a current estimated market value of less than $500,000, compared with 46.9% of owner-occupied dwellings. Further, each capital city shows the large majority of investor-owned dwellings have an estimated market value that is lower than the capital city median value.
Most investment activity was found to be heavily concentrated within the unit sector, where investor-owners comprised almost half (48%) of all attached housing, compared with only 17% investment-ownership of detached housing. Investor concentrations were heaviest around captured rental markets such as office precincts, universities and hospitals.
The largest investor concentration was within inner city unit markets, where investors represented almost 60% of unit stock in Victoria and South Australia, and approximately 50% in New South Wales and Queensland.
Melbourne was most favoured by property investors, however outside of the capital cities, property investment concentrations were found to be substantial within mining and resources related areas in regional Australia, as well as in tourism-centric markets such as the Gold Coast and Far North Queensland.
CoreLogic Asia Pacific research director Tim Lawless said that given the fact that investors currently own almost one third of Australia’s housing, and comprise almost half of the demand for new mortgage commitments, it was important for politicians and the general public to have an understanding of the typical profile of the Australian property investor, and their overall economic contribution.
“Given the significance of this asset class to Australians’ wealth, and to continued economic prosperity and financial system stability, it is important that policymakers and commentators have access to the most comprehensive and independent statistics and analysis to inform the current housing debate, and ensure any potential changes are considered in the context of this broader context,” said Lawless.