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Home ownership changes with the generational shift

By Lyall Russell
18 November 2019 | 10 minute read
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A new study has shed insights into why Australians are waiting longer to get on the property ladder.

A new report from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) reveals a link between home ownership and population ageing.

It is clear that younger people are less likely to commit to buying a home as they did in generations past, but it makes sense because we are living longer and settling down later in life, the report’s lead author, Rafal Chomik, said.

“Over the past 50 years, the median age of home purchase has increased by six years, from age 27 to 33,” Mr Chomik said.

“Over the same period, the median age of getting a first job has increased by two years; finishing education has been delayed by five years; having a child has been delayed by seven years; and getting married is now taking place eight years later.

“In fact, the median age at death is now 12 years later, adding scope for people to catch up and purchase a house later in life.”

The report did not take into account affordability and access to housing finance, but it created another layer when the topic is placed in a broader demographic context, he said.

It did conclude that those who rent in retirement are at a significant disadvantage, as it indicated that relative poverty rates in this group are among the highest in the OECD.

“Home ownership serves multiple purposes, and housing outcomes affect financial and personal health and wellbeing over the life cycle. It acts as a home — the nest — as well as a store of wealth — the nest egg — to guarantee financial security in retirement,” Mr Chomik said.

“As lifespans increase and Australia’s population ages, it is important to understand the interactions between demography and housing.”

Home ownership changes with the generational shift
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