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Aussies swap housemates for home ownership

  • November 23 2020
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Aussies swap housemates for home ownership

By Cameron Micallef
November 23 2020

The number of younger Australians looking to enter the property market in the next five years has doubled, as COVID-19 restrictions sees home ownership goals increase, according to research released by a big four bank.

Aussies swap housemates for home ownership

Aussies swap housemates for home ownership

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  • November 23 2020
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The number of younger Australians looking to enter the property market in the next five years has doubled, as COVID-19 restrictions sees home ownership goals increase, according to research released by a big four bank.

Aussies swap housemates for home ownership

Research by Westpac shows that the number of first home buyers looking to enter the market has doubled from 7 per cent prior to the pandemic to 16 per cent.

Westpac’s managing director of mortgages, Anthony Hughes, said the research shows young Australians are increasingly seeking the sense of independence and stability that home ownership provides. 

“It’s encouraging that so many Australians are thinking about home ownership despite some of the challenges brought about by the pandemic. 

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“It’s also interesting to see this is now largely being driven by Gen Z, who, after being cooped up at home during restrictions, are now ready to leave their housemates or parents behind for a place of their own – many of whom might not have considered this a possibility prior to COVID-19,” he explained.

The major driver is younger Australians not wanting to pay rent as well as looking for financial stability and security following the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19.

Nearly half of first home buyers said they were more optimistic about entering the housing market than they were 12 months ago, due to factors like house prices (38 per cent ), low interest rates (24 per cent) and the opportunity to live in a new area (24 per cent).  

“Even though younger generations have been some of the most financially impacted this year, it’s positive that many have really used this time to take stock of their finances and get serious about their long-term goals,” Mr Hughes noted.

Beyond financial reasons, the findings suggest time spent with others during restrictions has also been a motivating factor, with seven in 10 of those currently sharing a roof with housemates, parents or in-laws now determined to get a foot on the ladder. 

A  third of prospective buyers are also seeking a sense of independence through home ownership. 

Where are Aussies looking to buy?

Despite experts predicting a regional boom with COVID-19 changing consumer preferences, younger Australians are still looking for properties within half an hour to the CBD, the research showed.

“With a younger generation of buyers emerging, many are also weighing up areas that would enable them to maintain a certain lifestyle, like Sydney’s inner west, which is in close proximity to social hubs and nightlife, while also catering to changing needs like the ability to work from home more,” Mr Hughes explained.  

The top locations first home buyers identified they would like to buy in are: 

  • Sydney – western suburbs located within 10km from the city centre, like Ashbury and Marrickville. 
  • Melbourne – eastern suburbs located 20-40km from the CBD, like Mitcham and Croydon. 
  • Brisbane – Brisbane CBD and inner-city suburbs up to 20km out, like Chermside and Zillmere. 
  • Adelaide – southern suburbs located about 10-20km from the CBD, like Bedford Park and Bellevue Heights. 
  • Perth – northern suburbs located within 10km from the city centre, like Dianella and Nollamara. 
Aussies swap housemates for home ownership
Aussies swap housemates for home ownership
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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