This paper describes and assesses trends in the disposable incomes of Australian families between 1982-83 and 1989-90. The paper's results are based on the 1985-86 Income Distribution Survey adjusted by micro-analytic simulation techniques to reflect changes in employment and earned and unearned incomes, as well as developments in the personal income tax and social security systems. A model of factors influencing mortgage repayments is also developed and used to assess trends in housing costs and in incomes after housing costs are deducted. Overall, the paper estimates the increase in median real family incomes to be around 6.5 per cent between 1982-83 and 1989-90. Excluding farming families, this increase is reduced to only 3.3 per cent. The family types with the smallest income growth have been single young people and couples with children, whose real median incomes have remained essentially stable over the period (for non-farming families). Real mortgage repayments for house purchasers are estimated to be an average of $48 per week higher in 1989-90 than they would be if housing and finance markets had remained unchanged. The average purchaser aged under 30 years, however, is estimated to be paying $79 per week more in real terms. Over all tenures, real housing costs are estimated to have increased by an average of $14 per week.