What is the proportion of people who own multiple properties in Australia?

Information is in fact very hard to come by, but we have dug and dug, and this is what we have discovered.

FIRSTLY:

In April 2013, figures released by the ATO (Australian Tax Office) showed there were 1,764,924 individuals that had interests in rental property in the year ending June 2011 tax year.

This was out of 12.637 million individuals that lodged tax returns.

That data indicates that around 14% of individuals that lodged tax returns owned investment properties.

That equates to barely 9.6% out of the adult population over 20 own any investment property. (the good news is that that figure seems to be up from the 4.39% that owned investment property in 1997- see below)

6.9% of all adult Australians own one investment property.

Just 1.7% own 2 investment properties and

under 1% own 3 or more properties.

Around 90.4% of all adult Australians do not own any investment property.

(all figures estimated based on adult Australians and rounded for simplicity)

Another way to look at it is that 72.8% of actual investors have 1 property, 18% two, and just 9.2% have three or more.

(see below)


 
The only other statistics that are also very revealing that we could find after extensive searching were from the ABS,
(Australian Bureau of Statistics) released in 1998 based on survey data in June 1997. Although old data which does not appear to have been updated by the ABS anytime since (at least we couldn't find it, if you have seen it please email us the link so we can update it here) we have no doubt that the TRENDS will be the same today.

8711.0 - Household Investors in Rental Dwellings, Australia, Jun 1997 (page updated on ABS website 3 July 2008)

Here is the full report:

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@

If you cant be bothered to go through all the data, here are what we feel are some of the most interesting statistics.

76.4% of investors owned one rental investment property
16.1% two and
just 7.5% owned three or more.

(this % has changed only slightly from 1997 compared to the ATO figures in 2011 above, therefore, we feel the other data below will still also be relevant today)  

Which based on the population at that time meant just 4.39% of adult Australians over 20 owned any investment property, with barely 0.33% owning 3 or more.

OF ALL INVESTORS:


An incredible 50.7% had in the past 5 years SOLD their investment property, or intended to sell within the next 2 years.
With a standard property cycle lasting 18 years-14 up, 4 down- that is they haven't even held for HALF of a property cycle.
 
The REASONS they had sold so quickly after buying were:

NEED MONEY : 21.6%
TOO MUCH WORRY/WORK: 12.5%
CANNOT AFFORD TO KEEP IT: 7.7%
INADEQUATE RETURN: 17.4%


with only 6.5% selling because they MADE A GOOD PROFIT.

The number #1 mistake investors make: SELLING TOO SOON. This is perfectly illustrated above.


(Sources: Citylife International, ABS, ATO, RP Data)