7,000 Victorians share insights about home safety, renting and future homes in RACV My Home survey


Posted March 19, 2024

group of family members and neighbours outside a house

Some 7,000 Victorians took part in RACV's My Home survey. Image: Supplied

My Home survey findings

Home safety is important to everyone

Ninety two per cent of participants agreed that home safety was the most important factor for liveability. It rated significantly higher than housing affordability (75 per cent), ease of getting around (86 per cent), or proximity to services.

RACV Head of Trades Kieran Davies says that a range of factors including cost, time, and finding help to get the work done means people aren’t doing as much as they would like to keep their homes safe.

"Cost-of-living pressures are impacting home safety, with 41 per cent of participants saying doing tasks to keep their home safe are ‘too expensive’, making cost the top barrier," Davies says. "Twenty nine per cent of homeowners also have difficulty finding someone to do jobs around their homes."

Regional vs metropolitan Melbourne

Participants living in regional areas rate their neighbourhood's performance higher on personal safety: 83 per cent compared to metropolitan Melbourne's 77 per cent.

Regional participants are also more satisfied with their housing affordability (52 per cent compared to 43 per cent in metro Melbourne).

Seventy five per cent of participating households in regional Victoria complete their own home safety maintenance, compared to metro 69 per cent in Melbourne.


mother walking her three sons to school

Regional Victorians feel safer than Melburnians. Image: Getty

Safety concerns for older Victorians

Most participants felt safe in their home, but data from the Victorian Department of Health shows that the home is the most common location for unintentional injuries that result in hospital emergency visits. Falls from ladders are the most likely incident while performing tasks in the home.

"There is also a high perception of safety at home amongst people over 70, but they are often the most vulnerable to home safety incidents such as trips and falls," Davies says.

"Data from the Victorian Department of Health shows that one in three older people (aged 65-plus) experience a fall each year, and that more than half of falls injuries that require hospitalisation occurred in the home."


woman and senior woman washing dishes together

One in three Victorians aged 65 and over experience a fall each year. Image: Getty

Renters and how they feel about their home

Renters are most likely to feel unsafe in their homes, according the My Home survey results.

"The survey showed that 42 per cent of renters needed a repair that required immediate attention," Davies reports. "However, when they made the request, nearly half of these renters had to wait more than a week or had to follow up more than once."

Urgent repairs must be attended to immediately, as they fix issues that make properties unsafe or difficult to live in. Victorian law defines some examples as serious roof leaks, dangerous electrical faults, or an appliance not working.

“Concerningly, a third of renters who requested an urgent repair indicated that they were worried that making a maintenance request will result in their rent being increased," Davies says. "More needs to be done to raise awareness amongst landlords about the rental minimum standards and compliance requirements to make homes safe for renters."

On a happier note, 22 per cent of renters indicated that they had made a request to their rental provider to upgrade an appliance or make an energy efficiency upgrade, and 53 per cent of those renters indicated that one or more upgrades have been made.


two young men unpacking boxes in a living room

Renters are most likely to feel unsafe in their homes. Image: Garth Oriander

Most Victorians expect future homes will be solar powered

Survey participants see solar panels and sustainable design as the top standards for homes in the future. Sixty five per cent of participants expect solar panels to be standard for new homes in the future, while 44 per cent expect electric vehicle (EV) chargers to be standard in 10 years’ time.

Nine per cent of participants indicated that they have already converted to electricity. Ten per cent indicated that they either have an EV charger or are planning on getting one installed. Regional Victorians are more likely to have made energy efficiency upgrades, whereas Victorians in metropolitan Melbourne are more likely to still be considering it.

But cost-of-living pressures are also stopping many Victorians from making the switch to cleaner energy. Forty nine per cent of homeowners indicate that cost is a barrier to converting from gas to electricity or getting solar installed. Participants aged under 30 are more likely to report cost a barrier to installing solar.

Regional Victoria and outer metropolitan Melbourne dominate the top 10 areas in Victoria adopting rooftop solar:

  1. Ballarat (region)
  2. Cranbourne
  3. Werribee / Point Cook
  4. Eppalock (region)
  5. Hoppers Crossing / Tarneit / Truganina
  6. Wodonga
  7. Croydon
  8. Grovedale / Highton / Waurn Ponds
  9. Ferntree Gully
  10. Frankston


solar panels on rooftop

Most Victorians expect future homes to be solar powered. Image: Supplied

Victorians encouraged to conduct regular home maintenance checks

Fifty seven per cent of participants agree that they could do more, or be more proactive, to make their homes safe.

“Around eight in ten people have faced barriers to getting home safety maintenance done,” Davies says. “The main barriers to completing home safety maintenance jobs are cost, time, and finding help to get the work done."

The survey showed that 70 per cent of participants perform home maintenance themselves, 40 per cent hire a tradesperson, and 13 per cent get a family or friend from outside the household to help.

“If in doubt, hiring a professional tradesperson to do home maintenance work is always the best option," Davies says.


woman on ladder

Take care using a ladder or get a professional to do the job to prevent incidents in your home. Image: Getty

How My Home survey results will be used

RACV is sharing the results to create awareness about home safety and provide practical tips on how people can make their homes safer.

"We will also share the results with government to inform them about what safety in the home means to Victorians, and how we can work together to make people feel safer," Davies says.

The survey is part of RACV’s Have Your Say series and includes the RACV My Country Road and My Melbourne Road surveys.


Get a copy of the RACV My Home survey results. 
Download here →