Home Ownership Australia V The World

In the EU28 (European 28), the average Owner Occupied Rate (OOR) was 70.6% in 2012 and 70% in 2013. However, looking at the actual data in more detail shows that at least three groups of countries can be distinguished:

  • Countries with rates below the EU28 average (70%);
  • Countries with rates between the EU28 average and 80%;
  • Countries with rates above 80%.

The interesting fact about the 3 different categories is that the countries in the EU that have ownership rates below 70% are nations that all come from Northern or Western Europe. 

Germany, Austria, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden and Ireland. Some of these economies even display very low OORs (such as Germany, Austria, France and Denmark), implying highly developed tenant markets.

Rank  Country       Home ownership rate (%)

5        France                  65.0  

4        Denmark               63.3  

3        Austria                  57.2

2        Germany               52.5   

1        Switzerland            44.0  

The low levels recorded are partly the result of specific policy objectives. For example, in the context of the polycentric structure of the labour market in Germany, the development of a broad rental housing market has been considered essential to easing interregional mobility by local regulators.

Considering policy tools, the heterogeneity observed within the group recording rates below the EU28 average might be due a differentiated use of tax policies and social housing.

The highest level of property ownership in Europe is quite surprising also;

Rank  Country       Home ownership rate (%)

1         Romania              96.1                      

2        Lithuania              89.9            

3        Slovakia               90.3                                        

4        Hungary               88.2

5        Croatia                 89.7   

Australia ranks number 35 in the world in terms of home ownership with NZ, UK and USA all having a lower percentage of ownership;

Rank  Country       Home ownership (%)

35      Australia               67.0  

36      New Zealand         64.8  

37      United Kingdom     64.8  

38      United States        64.5