Aussies fear next generation won't be able to afford to buy homes

by Mackenzie McCarty08 Jan 2013

The days of flying the coop permanently may be well and truly over, according to a global survey by ING, with 14% of Australian adults admitting they’ve returned to live with family and friends due to financial difficulties.

The research, which compared consumer attitudes towards the affordability of housing, found two-thirds of Australians viewed the housing market as expensive, with one in two predicting further price rises over the next 12 months.

Approximately a third of respondents declared they’re paying more for housing than they were a year ago, with homeowners spending an average of 30% of their income on a mortgage.

The challenge of getting on the housing ladder has inspired a growing trend for first home buyers to obtain financial assistance in order to get the keys to their first property.

The average age of a first home buyer in Australia is now 26 years old, with one in three tapping the “Bank of Mum & Dad” to put their housing finances on a firmer footing.

Yet, while getting financial assistance is becoming more common, it’s not a new phenomenon.

The research found that the younger the age group, the more likely they are to have received financial help. Over half of 18-24 year old homeowners received money either towards their purchase or to help with home loan repayments, compared to 38% of 35-44 year olds and only 22% of those aged over 55.

Seven in ten Australians think it’s more difficult to buy a home now than it was 10 years ago and are worried that younger people won’t be able to afford a property in future. 

However, despite the perception that housing in this country is expensive, three-quarters of Australians still agree it’s better to buy than rent, with the same proportion giving it the thumbs up as a good investment.