New data predicts a year from now, less than half of Australian adults will own a home.
The news is hardly surprising as property prices have shot through the ceiling, with the average Sydney home hovering just under the million dollar mark, putting the ‘Australian dream’ out of reach for more and more members of the younger generation.
The survey from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) revealed NSW had the equal-lowest percentage of home ownership across the nation, with Sydney’s insane real estate market copping much of the blame.
There has always been a generational gap when it comes to home ownership, but worryingly, data has shown that gap is widening.
While the vast majority – four in five – of adults over the age of 65 own their own homes, the outlook is much bleaker for those aged 25 to 34, whose ownership rate has dropped from 60 percent to 47 percent since the 1960s.
More and more middle-aged adults are also choosing to rent instead of signing up for a lifetime of mortgage debt.
“It’s not that I’m in a terrible financial position, I’m just not really interested in buying,” Jonathan Hoult, a 43-year-old father of three, told Fairfax.
“I think the amount of debt people are taking on, I think it’s unsustainable. From a personal point of view I would rather rent, at current prices.”
Experts agree the trend is well on-track to continue, whether people choose to rent or are forced to rent by skyrocketing property prices.
“It’s not like Germany, where if you’re renting you have much more security of tenancy and it’s a much closer substitute for owning,” Professor Roger Wilkins of the Melbourne Institute told Fairfax.
“I think most people in Australia would prefer to own their homes.”
That dream seems more and more impossible for many, as statistics show younger Australians’ wealth has shrunk over the last decade, and, as the survey predicts, by next year home owners will officially become an Australian minority.