Gen Z still aim to own homes, says survey

by Mike Wood05 Mar 2021

Gen Z still largely aspire to own their own homes despite on the ongoing pressures of the pandemic, according to a new survey.

Bankwest asked more than 1600 Gen Zers, about their thoughts on the Australian Dream of owning a property, with 71% saying that it was still something that interested them.

Gen Z, which represents the cohort between 14-22 years of age, has been challenged financially in recent years, as casualisation of labour and, most prominently, the pandemic has decreased their ability to save.

According to Bankwest’s data, however, they have not given up hope of owning their own home, and were not afraid to call upon family members for support: 38% said that they had discussed it with relatives.

Lack of confidence was a major issue among Gen Z: 36% felt pressure over job security and 35% felt unsure about the property market in general, while another 19% said that they did not understand money matters.

“The effects of the pandemic hit young people quite hard compared to other generations, as they reported most negatively across all the wellbeing and confidence markers,” said Peter Bouhlas, General Manager Home Buying at Bankwest.

“COVID-19 certainly changed some behaviours, and research conducted in June indicated that almost half the respondents were trying to save more, with our data on savings balances reflecting that and showing median balances were up 45 per cent from pre-COVID.”

“However, those changes are unlikely to reflect Gen Z, which is the age bracket representing much of the young, casualised workforce of the country, often balancing study commitments, and which was greatly impacted by the challenges of presented by 2020.”

“Perhaps what is most promising in the results is that 71 per cent of Gen Z respondents remain interested in owning their own home, and 44 per cent still believe it’s achievable, suggesting their ambitions and dreams remain alive despite the incredible challenges.”

Gen Z remain some of the most financially insecure demographics in Australia. “Some of the other results we saw from Gen Z showed that more than a quarter (27%) had to borrow money in the past three months, a fifth (21%) had no savings set aside, and 44 per cent reported having a personal income of less than $20,000,” said Bouhlas.

“Gen Z was also the least confident in managing money and understanding money matters, all of which indicates under-22s have just been trying to get by, and it’s difficult to feel confident about a large purchase such as property from a position of financial survival.”

“However, I go back to the promising results that 71 per cent of Gen Z respondents remained interested in owning their own home, and 44 per cent still believed it was achievable, suggesting their ambitions and dreams remain alive despite the incredible challenges.”