The Age, a daily newspaper in Melbourne and Victoria, Australia, reports that in the mid-1990s, nearly 44% of people living in New South Wales (NWS), a southeastern Australian state, outright owned their home, but according to new data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, this rate has now plummeted to just 29.7%.
So what happened over the last twenty years? Why have Australians resorted to hefty mortgages instead of buying homes in cash?
Well, the swing from outright ownership to financing has primarily been due to a 460% jump in the median house price in Sydney, approaching levels that are considered out of reach for many.
The Age reveals a similar crisis in Victoria, wherein the mid-1990s, more than 45% outright owned a home, but now that number has declined to just 31%.
Over the same period, the median house price in Melbourne has skyrocketed from $126,131 to $806,000, forcing homebuyers in the last decade to resort to mortgages more than ever.
The Northern Territory has the smallest population of people who own their home mortgage-free, at just 17%. Among the states, just 27% of residents in Queensland and Western Australia live without a mortgage or rental payments.