Investment in more affordable homes is needed throughout Australia's major cities, as new statistics show a growing number of people are residing in each property in Sydney and Melbourne, raising concerns about future overcrowding.
Data from the 2016 census has been published for the first time, which shows that on average 2.6 people live in every dwelling in Australia, but this rises to 2.7 in both Sydney and Melbourne.
In addition, there has been a 20 per cent increase in the number of households with six or more residents over the past five years alone, indicating that while the country's population is growing - it recently reached a record high of 24.5 million - the supply of new housing is not keeping up with demand.
The census data also reveals a ten per cent rise in people living in rental properties, suggesting that more residents are finding it a challenge to purchase an affordable home in a good location, further highlighting the need for more investment in this sector of Australia's property market.
At the same time, statistics from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) show that rental costs have increased over the past few years, rising by 17 per cent in Melbourne and by 24 per cent in Sydney, subsequently making it harder for people to save for a deposit to get on the housing ladder.
Commenting on the census data, HIA principal economist Tim Reardon stated: "These figures show that the housing market in these cities continues to be undersupplied and inaccessible to new entrants. Households are increasingly forced from the owner-occupier market to the rental market.
"The demand for housing continues to exceed the supply of housing, leading to high prices and more people per dwelling as a consequence of the housing affordability squeeze."
As a result, greater property investment in affordable housing is needed both domestically and from overseas investors to make sure that certain parts of the country are not left overcrowded and inaccessible to those with lower budgets.