According to the report Evolving Great Australian Dream by Mortgage Choice and CoreData, 87 per cent of 1,000 Australians surveyed consider the ‘Great Australian Dream’ of owning a home to no longer be achievable.
Mortgage Choice chief executive officer John Flavell said that while the research shows that the concept of owning a property continues to be ‘the dream’ for many Australians, it appears that the traditional dream is evolving.
He elaborated: “Australians no longer consider owning a free-standing home as the ‘Great Australian Dream’. Instead, they believe the ‘dream’ has evolved to include any style or type of property.”
“Over the last few years, we have seen a dramatic surge in the number of people embracing apartment living. And, when you look at the level of apartment construction taking place across the country, it is likely that we will continue to see more Australians calling apartments ‘home’.”
Mr Flavell pointed out that while many Australians are happy to buy and live in an apartment, others are choosing to do so because they believe they cannot afford the traditional dream of a free-standing home.
“To date, we have heard a myriad of suggestions from both sides of Parliament in relation to what should be done to address the issue of housing affordability,” he said.
“Many of the suggestions have centred around tax concessions; extended first home owner grants; and allowing first home buyers to use their super as a home deposit.”
These initiatives are likely to only temporarily treat some of the symptoms associated with housing affordability, according to Mr Flavell, but do “very little” to treat the root of the cause.
“Property price growth is fundamentally driven by supply and demand. When you get an ever-increasing proportion of the population seeking to live in the urban centres for direct access to employment opportunities, education and other amenities, it is only fair to assume that we will see these centres come under greater supply pressure,” he explained.
“Structural changes across the country are needed. We need to see further opportunities for employment in regional areas. In addition, we need better infrastructure to enable a faster connection between our suburban/regional areas and our urban centres. Finally, we need to see continued development within the urban areas.
“Only when all of these initiatives are in place can we truly start to treat the root cause of the housing affordability crisis,” he concluded.