The first release of the 2011 Census provides some interesting information about the structure of housing in Melbourne and how it has changed.
In summary: over the past five years there has been an increase in the proportion of people renting compared to those owning or buying their own home.
At the same time, there has been little change in the types of homes we live in.
In the 2001 Census, 883,012 homes were owned or being purchased in Melbourne out of the 1.26 million in this city. By 2006 that has increased to 929,834 dwellings; however, they represented only 68 per cent of all homes, down from 70 per cent in 2001.
By 2011 the total number of homes that were owned or being purchased increased in raw terms to 998,860 but they dropped as a proportion of all properties to 67 per cent.
This drop in the level of home ownership is a concerning shift, as it directly reduces household wealth.
Over the past five years the proportion of detached homes has not changed. In 2006 72 per cent of all homes were detached houses and that was the same in 2011. The more obvious shift in housing type occurred between 2001 and 2006 when there was a drop in the proportion of detached houses from 75 to 72 per cent.
This suggests that, while there seems to have been an increase in high-rise living, there has been a commensurate increase in detached homes as the city itself has expanded outwards.