23 October 2019

High property prices forcing young australians to stay home for longer

Vic Lorusso
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A 2018 Demographia study ranked Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide in the top 20 least affordable housing markets in the world. Sydney and Melbourne were close to the top, coming in at third and fourth behind only Hong Kong and Vancouver.

This has obviously made entry into the property market a difficult proposition and has forced many younger Australians to consider what to do when they can’t afford a home of their own? The answer for many young people has been to stay at home with their parents for longer.

MORE YOUNG AUSSIES ARE STAYING AT HOME INTO THEIR TWENTIES

Back in 1981 the census showed that 36% of 20-24 year old Australians still lived at home with their parents. By 2016 that percentage had grown to 43%. The proportion of those in the 25-29 age-bracket living at home also increased during the same period – from 10% in 1981 to 17% in 2016.

Those living in capital cities are also far more likely to stay with parents for longer, which can be explained by the higher property prices in these areas. In fact, 50% of young men and 43% of young women in capital cities live at home, compared to 42% of young men and 31% of young women in regional areas.

These results are from the most recent 2016 census, which means that there’s a good chance the current numbers are even higher.

THE REASONS WHY YOUNG AUSTRALIANS ARE STAYING AT HOME

The Australian Institute of Family Studies says there are a number of drivers behind this trend:

“A range of factors including the cost of housing in capital cities and time spent in higher education have contributed to a growing trend for more young people to delay moving out in recent decades.”

Other factors could include a culture shift toward getting married later (or not at all), as well as the increasing casualisation of work in Australia.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUNG AUSTRALIANS LEAVE HOME?

Data from .id – a firm specialising in population and demographic stats and trends – shows that the proportion of Australians from 20 to 29 years old who rent in metro areas has increased from 59.9% in 2011 to 62.8% in 2016.

During the same period the proportion of young Australians in metro areas who own a home has dropped sharply – from 30% to 26.4%.

While this may not seem like a significant change it shows that for young people living in capital cities, renting is often the only affordable option.

The moral of the story is, if you’re still living at home with your parents, or if your child is still living at home with you late into their twenties, there’s no need to worry. Thanks to sky-high property prices and changing cultures you’re part of the new normal!

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