Parents and children divided when to leave the nest, Bankwest reveals

by Micah Guiao24 Nov 2021

When are children expected to move out of their parents’ homes? Bankwest’s latest survey on 1,800 Australians has parents and children divided on the answer, with results likely linked to housing affordability.

Parents with children still living at home expect them to move out by 23 years old, while children who still lived with their parents have no intentions to leave until they are 27 years old.

This gap in expectation came from residents in metropolitan areas, with the divide halving to two years for those living outside of Australia’s five major capital cities to 22 years old for parents and 24 years old for children.

Peter Bouhlas, general manager of homebuying at Bankwest, said the older generation might be unfamiliar with the market their children are attempting to enter.

“The reasons behind the significant difference in expectations is likely one of genuine affordability consideration for younger Australians aspiring to own their own home,” Bouhlas said.

Interestingly, the answer also differed between mums and dads. Dads want children gone by 22 years old, while mums provide an extra year of grace for them until 23 years old.

Bankwest created the survey to understand the needs and preferences of those who own – or aspire to own – their own home. Previous Bankwest research found that the most common living situation for Gen Z is “living rent-free” with their parents as they saved for a deposit.

“The housing market is currently incredibly competitive, and data from the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre has shown how equally challenging it is for people in the rental market, leaving many young Australians homebound,” Bouhlas said. “That inevitably means a longer spell in the family home as aspiring homeowners save for greater deposits, face lengthy construction delays, or encounter increased competition in entering the market.”