Aussies crowd into group homes amid deepening rental crisis


Defenders of mass immigration frequently assert that a decrease in the population per dwelling is the main factor contributing to Australia’s rental crisis.

The proliferation of Australians moving into shared housing in order to save money refutes their claim.

On Tuesday, The ABC reported the following:

More than 350,000 Australians are living as part of a group household according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) — more than ever before.


While the ABS defines group housing as a household consisting of two unrelated people where all the residents are aged 15 years or older, they’re also referred to as share houses.

Demand for this type of accommodation has skyrocketed amid an exceedingly tight rental market and affordability crisis — and it’s left people looking for alternatives.

In a similar vein, 9News reported on Thursday that dozens of listings have plastered Facebook Marketplace advertising beds in “share rooms” across Sydney priced between $200 and $250 a week.

Joel Dingham, executive director of advocacy group Better Renting, told that “there’s something pretty wrong with the rental market” if people are paying up to $700 collectively for a single room.

“You might have a whole bunch of people sharing a single toilet, which might then become a health issue and then there are safety issues like fire risks”, Dingham said.

“It really does begin to cross a line from things that renters might safely and willingly give up, to try to find a place they can afford and getting to a place where people are having to compromise their health and safety which isn’t a compromise you should have to make”.


This is what happens when the federal government lets in an unprecedented 980,600 net overseas migrants in only two calendar years while the supply side of the housing market is constrained by high material costs, interest rates, and labour shortages.

Australian net overseas migration

This surge in migration has massively increased demand for rental accommodation and sent rents to the moon:

Capital city asking rents

Accordingly, Australian tenants have been driven into deep financial stress, which has driven many into group housing and homelessness.

Blame the federal government for opening the immigration floodgates.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.