The latest report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals housing costs for private renter households have remained steady in the last two financial years.
According to the report, housing costs for private renter households increased by $25 (eight per cent) from $322 in 2009/2010 to $347 in 2011/2012.
Director of the Living Conditions section Emily Cunningham said the report showed households that owned their home with a mortgage had the highest housing costs, averaging $432 per week.
This represented 18 per cent of their gross household income. Those without a mortgage had the lowest costs, paying $40 per week or three per cent of their income on housing costs.
The ABS report revealed that average housing costs for owners with a mortgage had been stable since 2007/2008.
"In 2011/2012, both owners with a mortgage and private renter households spent the same proportion of their income on housing costs as they did in 1994/1995,” said Ms Cunningham.
The report found lower income households had lower housing costs per week on average, but these costs represented a greater proportion of household income.
Lower income households with a mortgage paid $314 a week on average, or 26 per cent of their gross weekly income on housing costs.
Lower income households renting from a private landlord paid on average $295 per week, which represented 30 per cent of gross weekly income.
Since 1994/1995, the proportion of households that owned their home outright dropped from 42 to 31 per cent. Those with a mortgage increased from 30 to 37 per cent and households renting privately increased from 18 to 25 per cent.
"Average housing costs in capital cities were 44 per cent higher than housing costs outside capital city areas," Ms Cunningham said.
Households in the Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia and New South Wales reported average housing costs above the national average, while average housing costs in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania were below the national average. Housing costs in Queensland were similar to the national average of $265 per week.