Does the great Australian dream still exist?

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Once upon a time the great Australian dream of property ownership as the way to a better, more financially secure life seemed readily achievable for most.

But these days housing affordability issues, an undersupply of good stock in many markets and the diminishing numbers of first home buyers beg the question of whether that great Australian dream does still exist.
According to new research from, it does – but it has expanded to include a desire for much more, in particular overseas travel.
This year’s Housing Affordability Sentiment Index (HASI), which is compiled annually, showed that property ownership remains the leading aspiration of many with:
32% of property owners aspiring to buy another property
50% of those who didn’t own a property hoping to buy
23% of those who didn’t own an investment property hoping to buy

Yet 77% of property owners with plans to buy another property wanted to travel overseas in the next five years, while 68% of non property owners hoping to buy wanted to travel overseas in the next five years.
The research indicated the dream is complicated further by the fact that, overall, Australians were feeling less optimistic about housing affordability – despite a positive shift in Australia’s financial position.
However, the research also showed that aspiring property investors were adopting a range of different strategies to achieve their goals. These include:
Working two jobs (13%)
Drawing from other financial assets (12%)
Selling valuables (6%)
Leasing a room once they had bought a property (4%)

It seems most were willing to make sacrifices in order to afford a property: Buyers were willing to give up such things as swimming pools, recreational vehicles and luxury items.
Interestingly, while 44% of buyers would not consider buying a property further than 10km from their ideal location, those who identified as investors were significantly more likely to consider purchasing over 50kms from their ideal location.
Of those surveyed for the research, it was Generation Y who were most positive when it came to housing affordability – and who were most willing to seek assistance to attain their property goals.
As a result, 53% of the Generation Y representatives surveyed were already property owners, with 23% owning investment properties.
They also got into the market at a relatively young age, with 50% of those buying their first property between 25 and 29 years.
Over a quarter (27%) of them received financial assistance to buy their first property, with the majority receiving it from their parents (19%).

Finance expert Bruce Brammall said that Gen Y were getting older and settling into their careers.
“This coupled with the saving strategies their Baby Boomer parents have educated them about, and the financial assistance many receive from their parents means that a large proportion of Gen Ys now have the skills, financial confidence and family support to achieve their property goals.”

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