Millennial home ownership woes

May/June 2017 edition

As the housing affordability debate continues to rage here at home, a new survey shows the home ownership dream is not dead but deferred for millennials around the world. 

Home ownership in Australia is ranked among the world’s worst for young home buyers, according to the recent Beyond the Bricks study released by HSBC.
Surveying 9000 millennials (born between 1981 and 1998) across nine countries, Australia is close to the bottom of the list with only 28 per cent having bought their own home. This compares to the global average of 40 per cent. Only the United Arab Emirates ranked worse, with just 26 per cent of millennials saying they were home owners. The country with the most first homebuyers was China, where 70 per cent of those surveyed owned a home.

Deposit difficulty

In eight of the nine countries included in the survey, property prices had risen in 2016 and almost all homebuyers pointed to difficulties saving a deposit. Sixty-one per cent of Australian respondents said they needed to earn a higher salary before they could save or afford to buy.

“The deposit for a home loan is the biggest initial cost of owning a home, but buyers also need to factor in the costs of stamp duty, legal fees, mortgage insurance, building inspection fees and in some cases renovation costs,” HSBC Australia’s Head of Mortgages, Alice Del Vecchio, said. “This research demonstrates that a lack of preparation and understanding of the realities of owning real estate can stall or even deflate the achievement of their dream of homeownership.”

Australian millennials are also getting less help from their parents to buy a home. Just 30 per cent of home owning Australian millennials tapped the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, compared to the international average of 36 per cent – but more of them are moving back home to save for a deposit than the global average.

Despite lower ownership levels, younger Australians haven’t given up on the goal of owning their own home. As many as 83 per cent – in line with the international average – said they intended to buy in the next five years.