Department of Family and Community Services
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6.1 Housing stress

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Rental and mortgage stress, people 45 years and over

 Current position

In the over 45 age group, single women are the group most affected by housing stress.

Out of the total over 45 population paying rent and mortgage, single women made up 60 percent of people experiencing rental stress and 55 percent of those experiencing mortgage stress.

The direction of
change over time
The percentages are similar to 2010 for rental stress, and slightly lower for mortgage stress (55 percent compared to 63 percent in 2010).

Mature age people are a key focus of concern when considering housing because the level of stress is an indicator of whether they will own a home during their retirement. Home ownership, in turn, is a major factor in whether older people will be comfortably able to live on fixed incomes, whether superannuation or pensions.

The HILDA data further shows that the single women are a slightly larger percentage of people under housing stress in the bottom two socio-economic quintiles, or most disadvantaged social groups of the population. Women are 63 percent of people experiencing rental stress and 60 percent of people under mortgage stress in this population.

Housing stress is defined in the indicator as those households where mortgage or rental payments equal 30 percent of more of household gross income. This group is measured as a percentage of all households where rent or mortgage is being paid. Housing stress is reported for women and men aged 45 years and over in those households.

Year collected: 2011.
Data source: HILDA Release 11. Data is weighted based on person weights, but for socio-economic data is based on household weights. Australian data is used to avoid sampling errors. More information is available at