Hold the smashed avo - young Australians are dreaming big

17 February 2020

The idea of young Australians as financially naive smashed avo-eaters has been dashed, with research showing more than a quarter would delay starting a family to own their own home.

The results were revealed in a national survey from Bankwest, which showed millennials not only believed in the Great Australian Dream but were willing to make big sacrifices to achieve it.

More than a quarter (27.1%) of young Australians said they would put off having children to afford their own home, while one-in-five (21.8%) were willing to give up basic necessities.

And, in a blow to the stereotype, more than half of millennials surveyed would sacrifice little luxuries (57.7%), experiences (56%) and big-ticket items (55.3%) to get on the property ladder.

More than a quarter (27.8%) of young Australians were even willing to sacrifice their independence to enter the housing market by living with parents or family for longer.

The cohort also defied property price and cost-of-living pressures to be among the most likely to believe in the Great Australian Dream of home ownership and that it was achievable for them.

However, only one-in-five (19.9%) admitted to knowing exactly how much they needed for a deposit, while a similar number (20.1%) said they made a savings plan but failed to stick to it.

Bankwest General Manager Personal and Third-Party Banking Donna Dalby said: “These results are really promising and paint a very different picture of young Australians to the one we usually hear.

“This is not a bunch of carefree kids ignoring the future for an indulgent moment; this is a group of people who have financial goals they want to achieve and are willing to sacrifice big to do that.

“Home ownership may be a daunting prospect for some aspiring homeowners, but we know there are options available to those who are willing to make choices or trade-offs.

“Owning your own home is a key moment in life and it’s important we do all we can to make that process as simple and transparent as possible, and help customers achieve their dream.”

 

Survey findings

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Do you believe the Great Aussie Dream of owning your own home still exists?
 

Millennial 

(23-38yo)

Gen X 

(39-53yo)

Baby Boomer

(54-73yo)

Overall
Yes 46.6% 36.5% 43.0% 45.3%
Maybe 31.9% 40.3% 39.9% 35.7%
No 21.5% 23.1% 17.2% 19.0%
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Do you believe home ownership is achievable for you?
 

Millennial

(23-38yo)

Gen X

(39-53yo)

Baby Boomer

(54-73yo)

Overall
Yes, it's easily achievable for me 6.3% 0.0% 3.1% 4.2%
Yes, but it will be challenging to achieve 25.7% 10.5% 6.8% 17.0%
Maybe, but it's getting harder to achieve 29.5% 30.2% 10.3% 26.3%
No, it's not achievable for me right now 19.7% 25.8% 24.5% 23.2%
No, it will never be achievable for me 18.7% 33.5% 55.2% 29.3%
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Considering today's property market, do you think younger generations (such as Millennials) need to make sacrifices to afford their own home?
 

Millennial

(23-38yo)

Gen X

(39-53yo)

Baby Boomer

(54-73yo)

Overall
Yes, and more so than other generations 50.0% 50.0% 45.0% 47.8%
Yes, but no more than other generations 30.2% 30.6% 41.9% 35.6%
No, it is possible to live how you want and still afford a home/save for a deposit 12.3% 9.2% 5.6% 8.2%
No, home ownership today is beyond reach for most young Australians, no matter how much they sacrifice 7.6% 10.2% 7.5% 8.4%
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What are, or were, you willing to sacrifice to enter the housing market?
 

Millennial

(23-38yo)

Gen X

(39-53yo)

Baby Boomer

(54-73yo)

Overall
Family (waiting longer to have children) 27.1% 21.1% 15.4% 20.5%
Independence (living with parents/family for longer) 27.8% 24.1% 13.8% 21.3%
Experiences (going on fewer, less extravagant, or even no holidays) 56.0% 63.5% 66.3% 62.1%
Necessities (heating/cooling my home, some meals or groceries, new clothing) 21.8% 24.5% 16.8% 20.6%
Little luxuries (going without coffees, bought lunches, weekend breakfasts, take-away, subscriptions and/or streaming services) 57.7% 61.6% 58.8% 57.9%
Big ticket items (new appliances / gadgets, car) 55.3% 63.8% 62.3% 58.2%
Nothing 10.0% 9.7% 11.5% 11.2%
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When you decided to start saving for a home deposit, did you know how much you needed to save?
 

Millennial

(23-38yo)

Gen X

(39-53yo)

Baby Boomer

(54-73yo)

Overall
I knew exactly how much I needed when I started saving 19.9% 26.2% 27.4% 25.9%
I had a rough idea how much I would need when I started saving 58.4% 53.5% 53.8% 53.2%
I had no real idea how much I would need when I started saving 21.7% 20.3% 18.9% 20.9%
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How are/did you approach saving your deposit?
 

Millennial

(23-38yo)

Gen X

(39-53yo)

Baby Boomer

(54-73yo)

Overall
I made a savings plan and stuck to it 41.3% 45.5% 45.4% 44.8%
I made a savings plan, but wasn't able to stick to it 20.1% 12.4% 4.9% 11.7%
I didn't have a savings plan, I just put away what I could, when I could 31.2% 35.0% 42.1% 36.4%
I didn't need a savings plan, as I had financial assistance from my family / others 7.4% 7.1% 7.6% 7.1%
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About Bankwest
Bankwest’s vision is to deliver brilliant customer experiences that matter, and our purpose is to improve the financial wellbeing of our customers and communities. Bankwest provides personal and business banking solutions for more than 1.1 million customers across Australia. Our customers enjoy access to an extensive network of branches and business centres, direct and third-party distribution channels, agencies and electronic banking facilities, as well as 24-hour banking on the telephone, internet and the Bankwest App. Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL/Australian credit license 234945.

About the survey
The data in this release was captured as part of a national survey commissioned by Bankwest. Research was carried out by CoreData, which conducted a quantitative online survey that was designed with input and approval from Bankwest prior to fieldwork commencing. All fieldwork was conducted from 5-8 November 2019. CoreData was responsible for distributing and hosting the survey, which collected a total of 1729 valid responses.

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