Housing market not fulfilling long-term needs for older Australians

Research has found current housing meets the short-term needs for over 90 per cent of older Australians, but only 70 per cent for longer-term needs.

The study ‘Older Australians and the housing aspirations gap’, explored the housing aspirations of Australians over the age of 55 to support government policy making.

It was undertaken by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) with researchers form Curtin University and Swinburne University of Technology, studying 2,400 older Australians across the country.

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Other key findings included an “aspiration gap” between renters in the private and social housing sectors, where there is demand for greater diversity in housing options, particularly in regional towns.

Owning a three-bedroom separate dwelling in the middle/outer suburbs of a capital city had the highest demand.

The report showed a preference for 55-74 year-olds to live in a regional town, then move to the inner suburbs of a capital city at 75.

Dr Amity James, lead author of the study from Curtin University, said aspirations were underpinned by a desire for long-term stable housing.

“Around 80 per cent of older Australians surveyed reported a preference for home ownership, this is a cause for concern given homes ownership rates are falling fast within younger generations,” James said.

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