1 in 4 say they will never own their own home

(9 August 2017) Home ownership is the universal Australian dream, right? Wrong, according to the latest survey from ServiceSeeking.com.au.  

1 in 4 Australians who don’t own a home think they will never be able to, according to new data from a survey of over 3,200 ServiceSeeking.com.au customers. Further, of those who don’t own property, 35 per cent said home ownership is not a major priority in their life.

“A quarter of Australians who don’t currently own a property think they will never be able to. A further third aren’t even prioritising homeownership. This contradicts the ‘great Australian dream’ of property ownership and shows how rising house prices are changing Australian culture” says ServiceSeeking.com.au CEO Jeremy Levitt.

Rising property prices are forcing a generation of Australians to rethink housing. People who might have bought houses 10 years ago are looking at apartments in areas further from the CBD. Those that are already in the market are choosing to renovate rather than move – a trend gathering significant momentum. 80 per cent think property prices won’t fall this year and a further 44 per cent will not be able to afford a home, despite wanting to.

Of greatest concern are Gen X (1981 to 1995) who are approaching the age of property ownership. 59 per cent of Gen X respondents believe property prices won’t fall in the next five years – a worrisome outlook for those entering the market at its very peak.

“Housing prices and living costs are higher than ever, making it more difficult for younger generations to buy a home. The whole perception of home ownership and its importance in our lives has changed,” says ServiceSeeking.com.au CEO Jeremy Levitt.

But, rising home prices aren’t as beneficial to many owner-occupiers as they might appear to be. Why? Housing is a large source of wealth, but at the same time, we all need to pay for some amount of housing, whether by renting or buying. When that cost increases it means we have less to spend on other things, reducing our quality of life.

Moreso, many Australians are choosing to renovate an existing property rather than purchase a new property. According to Levitt, renovation can be a huge driver of wealth creation. 

“Renovating your house is a proven strategy to build wealth and quality of life at the same time. Renovators can achieve their dream home without further incurring transfer costs like stamp duty. The last 10 years has seen residential renovation jobs sky-rocked around Australia,” he said.

As housing prices boom, find-a-tradie sites like ServiceSeeking.com.au have seen a dramatic increase in popularity over the last 10 years. Since 2007, over $3.2 billion worth of jobs have been posted through the site, generating more than 10 million quotes from 150,000 registered tradies all keen to get a slice of the action.

“Home owners are far more prepared to take a risk by drawing down equity to renovate rather than buy in a booming market, which in turn is turbo-charging the growth rate in many residential property markets around Australia. Renovations now contribute a colossal $99 billion to the economy; one of the largest drivers of GDP,” says Mr Levitt.

All statistics come from a recent survey of over 3,300 ServiceSeeking.com.au customers and businesses.