In liberal market Anglophone nations, where private rental housing is typically lightly regulated, little is known about the household-level drivers of recent private rental sector growth. In Australia, where long-term private renting (10 years plus) has doubled since the 1990s, growing numbers are thus exposed to risks of landlord-initiated moves and unpredictable rent rises for lengthy periods. Our research suggests that although long-term renting mainly reflects adaptation to increasingly unaffordable home ownership, lifestyle choices are also significant—at least in Australia’s major cities where renting in a ‘desirable’ area may be preferred to owning elsewhere. While many tenants appear sanguine about their housing security, this is highly problematic for lower income residents lacking other choices, many of whom appear likely to remain lifelong renters. The paper contributes an additional perspective to debates about the interplay between changing housing market dynamics, lifestyles and housing choices/constraints.
Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group 2017