‘Booming house prices’ contributing to Millennial pessimism

The rising cost of housing in Melbourne and Sydney is “partly to blame” for an increase in young Australians’ pessimism about their financial and emotional wellbeing.

According to The 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey, which involved 8,000 ‘Millennials’ (classed as those born after 1982), young people in Australia are “significantly” more pessimistic about their finances than those in other countries, with many believing the dream of owning their own home is increasingly out of reach.

Three hundred millennials were surveyed in Australia, with just 8 per cent believing they would better off than their parents and only 4 per cent believing they would be happier. However, in emerging markets, such as Asia, there is greater optimism, with 71 per cent believing they will be financially better off and 62 per cent believing they will be happier.

Further, when asked whether they expect the Australian economy to improve in the next 12 months, less than a third (28 per cent) said it would (compared to a global average of 45 per cent), just 6 per cent more than in last year’s survey.

David Hill, Deloitte Australia’s chief operating officer, said that the report highlights the need for government intervention to improve housing affordability.

He commented: “For Millennials, it seems Australia no longer looks like the lucky country.

“I suspect booming house prices in the major cities of Sydney and Melbourne are partly to blame for this pessimism, with many young Australians believing the dream of owning their own home is increasingly out of reach.

“It’s another indicator for state and federal governments of the need to find answers to the question of housing affordability,” said Mr Hill.

Indeed, Millennials reported a general disillusionment with the country’s politics, with 22 per cent saying they expected the overall social/political situation to improve in the next 12 months, below the global figure of 36 per cent.

According to the respondents to the survey, the confidence in politicians would improve if ministers used plain, straight-talking language (66 per cent of Australian respondents) and voiced opinions with passion (57 per cent).

“Our survey shows business and political leaders need to find a way to bring Millennials with them on key initiatives,” observed Mr Hill. “They are more comfortable with straight-talking language but will reject leaders who take divisive positions.”

Political tension is now one of the top concerns weighing on the minds of the young, along with crime, corruption and war. This differs greatly from four years ago, when climate change and resource scarcity were among the top concerns of global Millennials.

[Related: Australia’s housing markets ‘severely unaffordable’]

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