Is the “great Australian dream” really over for Generation Y?

A suburban house on a quarter-acre block is – or rather, was – the embodiment of the great Australian dream. Yet with median house prices skyrocketing across Australia – Sydney’s is now over $1 million, according to Demographia’s 2017 Housing Affordability Survey – this is becoming less achievable for most of us.

In spite of this, the 2016 Westpac Home Ownership report revealed that the ultimate goal of becoming a home owner remains. The great Australian dream isn’t dead yet.

Fewer of us are buying

Findings from the 2016 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey indicate a decline in home ownership among Australians aged 25-34. The problem for millennial property seekers is about more than indulging in one too many Sunday brunches, as Bernard Salt suggested in a controversial column for The Australian last year.

Looking at the ABS’ February 2017 Housing Finance report reveals a simultaneous increase in property values and decline in the number of owner occupied homes in 2016. Evidently, affordability is a major obstacle for first home buyers.

Yet we still want to own property

In spite of the affordability crisis, the 2016 Westpac Home Ownership report found nearly 90 per cent of Australians still view owning a home as the Australian dream. They’re just going about it differently – and with more help.

First home buyers are looking for different ways to achieve their home ownership dream.

24 per cent of people who had purchased their first property in the four years prior to the Westpac survey had borrowed money from family or friends, compared to 8 per cent among those who had bought their first home five or more years ago.

“As the Australian property market becomes increasingly tough, first home buyers are looking for different ways to achieve their home ownership dream,” says Chris Screen, Westpac Group Head of Home Ownership.

There’s still hope 

You don’t need to give up your smashed avo on toast just yet. Reading up and expanding your financial literacy, implementing a solid savings plan, seeking support from family and talking to a financial adviser are just some ways you can achieve your goal of owning your first home.

Furthermore, with Generation Y more uncertain than ever about purchasing property, home loan providers are realising the need to offer better terms. Shopping around could land you a better deal than you thought, and a mortgage broker can help you do this.