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Hard times ahead for the Great Aussie Dream

By Tim Neary
11 December 2018 | 10 minute read
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The traditional Australian dream of owning a home on a quarter-acre block in the suburbs has fallen on hard times, with close to two-thirds of Aussies saying that this dream is a thing of the past.

Instead, the new Australian dream is to achieve happiness, with Aussies consciously choosing freedom and flexibility in life instead.

Released today from Real Insurance, The Real Home Reality survey is the 14th instalment in a series of national studies investigating the shifting values and concerns impacting Australian families.

The research reveals that over two-thirds (69.9 per cent) of Aussies say that it is still important to them to personally achieve the Australian dream. However, more than nine in 10 (91.5 per cent) rate personal happiness as more important than the traditional Aussie dream. Instead, they would consider purchasing an apartment (56.1 per cent) or a tiny house (55.1 per cent) as an alternative.

In saving up to purchase their own homes, some prospects took on more work (35.1 per cent) and made the most of government grants (34.7 per cent), as well as cut down spending on travelling (71.1 per cent), going without the latest tech gadgets (71.1 per cent) and limiting buying clothing and accessories (69.7 per cent).

Real Insurance spokesperson Tania Bradley said that the research presents fresh insights into the Australian dream.

“While most respondents still say that home ownership is important to them, many cite staying healthy, enjoying life and feeling financially secure as some of their greatest dreams in life.

“In fact, many Australians are choosing freedom and flexibility in life over the commitment of saving for a home. It’s not surprising given that housing affordability is a thing of the past, coupled with travelling and seeing the world being an important goal for many.”


Rich Harvey, buyer’s agent and CEO of propertybuyer.com.au, said that the dream of home ownership as we know it understandably has to change.

“Australians should consider ‘rentvesting’, renting where they want to live and investing in property elsewhere, if they want to have the bricks-and-mortar security that comes with having assets in property.

“However, that some are choosing to invest in experiences over a home deposit is certainly a sign of the times.”

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