A national survey by Bankwest has revealed that young Australians are intent on home ownership, despite being challenged by the goal, and feeling financial stress.
The survey of more than 1,600 Australians showed that home ownership remained a priority for the majority of Gen Z respondents (those aged 14-22 years old), with 71 per cent interested in owning a home in the future, higher than any other age group. Millennials (aged 25-38) were also predominantly interested in owning their own home, coming in second at 68 per cent.
While younger Australians were most enthusiastic about buying a home in future, two-fifths (41 per cent) had not yet started saving for one.
Approximately 27 per cent of Gen Z respondents said they were saving for a deposit. However, this was higher with Millennials, at 32 per cent.
Older Australians (those over the age of 54) were the least likely to own their own home in future.
Gen Z was also the least pessimistic regarding the reality of home ownership, with just 3 per cent stating it would “never be achievable” (against 17 per cent average).
Despite this, only 6 per cent said they felt it was “easily achievable” (versus an average of 35 per cent across all cohorts).
Younger Australians were more pessimistic when it came to other aspects of their life, however.
The group was significantly over-represented across many areas, with more than a third (36 per cent) feeling negative about their job security (compared to the average of 19 per cent) and the state of the property market (35 per cent versus 22 per cent).
The survey also highlighted the significant financial literacy and confidence challenges facing young adults.
About a fifth (18 per cent) lacked confidence in managing money (versus an average of 10 per cent) and understanding money matters (19 per cent versus 11 per cent), while the same number made an impulse purchase in the past three months they regretted (18 per cent versus 8 per cent).
However, Gen Z appeared open to support and many were actively seeking it, with 38 per cent having discussed their finances with family and 28 per cent with friends in the past three months, nearly double those of the average across all age groups.
Bankwest’s general manager, home buying, Peter Bouhlas, commented: “Every generation of Australians maintains the dream of buying their first home, but it’s clear the next generation feels this is increasingly challenging.
“We know the challenges of 2020 remain for many, and Gen Z, representing much of the young, casualised workforce of the country, often balancing study commitments, are greatly impacted by those challenges.
“These results show how young Australians face the multiple pressures of increased financial strain, a fall in confidence for job security, and an understandable increased negativity towards the property market. But it’s promising that more than a quarter of Gen Z had spoken to others about their financial position and that they don’t believe today’s challenges will prevent them from pursuing home ownership in the future,” he said.
“It could be the case that the current low interest rate environment is contributing to the sentiment that home ownership remains achievable, and helping Gen Z understand those factors is key for financial institutions.”
[Related: House price growth rate hits 17-year high]