The Aussie dream of home ownership is evolving

A Commonwealth Bank survey of more than one million Australians has found that the great Australian dream of home ownership is still alive, however the traditional notion of a quarter acre block in the suburbs is being challenged.

Just under half of those surveyed (48 per cent) said that they believe their property dream is still alive. As for the remaining 52 per cent, they said their property dream is still alive too, but it has been “redefined”.

The survey results were published in the CommBank Connected Future Report, a partnership with CommBank and social researcher and demographer Claire Madden.

The report showcases the resilience of homebuyers and how they are grappling with increasing housing costs. Despite what many may think, the average age of a first home buyer has remained relatively consistent over the last two decades, hovering around 32 years.

What is changing though is housing preferences. Priorities are shifting and more people are looking at owning flats, units or apartments with steady increases in these types of purchases. Seven per cent of first home buyers purchased medium or high density housing in 1995/96 compared to 15 per cent by 2016/17.

Overall the CommBank report shows that home ownership is still high on the list of aspirations for a lot of Australians, with the majority of Australians either fully owning or paying off their home (69 per cent). Despite the challenges facing the current generation of buyers, this statistic has remained relatively consistent over the last five decades.

A few more highlights from the report:

  • Millennials are delaying other conventional life milestones such as getting married for having children
  • 74 per cent of those living in cities currently live in a standalone house compared to 81 per cent of those outside capital cities
  • 48 per cent of new residential approvals over the past year have been for medium or high density housing
  • How optimistic you are about the housing market depends where you live, with regional areas more likely to believe the property dream is still alive
  • Those in Sydney’s West (59.6 per cent) were significantly more optimistic than those in the major city centres.


To read the full CommBank Connected Future Report, click here.

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