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Over 90% of older Australians intend to stay in their current accommodation rather than move to aged care or move at all, and this intent is strongest among older people who own their own homes, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, The desire to age in place among older Australians, examines the housing circumstances of older Australians by different tenure type and the desire to age there.

It looks at older people who own their home outright (about 73% of older households), those paying a mortgage (5%), and those who rent their home privately or through social housing (10% and 8% respectively).

'Most older Australians say that they desire to "age in place"—that is, to remain in their current accommodation as opposed to moving into specialised care, or even moving at all,' said AIHW spokesperson Geoff Neideck.

'This report shows that older people who are outright home owners not only intend to move less, they actually move less than other household tenure types.'

Older home owners exhibit the highest levels of satisfaction with their housing compared with older mortgagees, private renters and social housing tenants. They were least likely to say that they could not afford to move.

Mortgagees were unique in that even at older ages the most common reason given for actually moving was to upsize.

Private renters as a group appear least satisfied with their housing conditions.

'The majority of older private renters intend to move in the next 5 years and report the fewest number of reasons for wanting to stay in their current home,' Mr Neideck said.

'They also move most frequently, despite expressing anxiety about this.'

For most households, location is the most often reported reason to stay, followed by comfort and then finances. An exception to this is social housing tenants, who reported that financial considerations were most important.

The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.

Canberra, 17 April 2013

Further information: Mr Geoff Neideck, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1163, mob. 0439 878 933

Full publication: The desire to age in place among older Australians