Home Truths: parents and children divided on crowded house

22 November 2021

Bankwest’s latest Home Truths survey has uncovered a trend that could have families set for interesting dinner table conversations, with a clear disconnect between when children are expected to move out of the family home.

Bankwest’s Home Truths survey collected the responses of more than 1800 Australians, with a focus on West Australians, to better understand the needs and preferences of those who own, or aspire to own, their own home.

The data revealed a significant difference between parents and children on the age at which the latter is expected to move out of the family home, with the chasm of creature comforts dividing the groups by four years.

Respondents with children still living at home stated they were expecting them to move out, on average, by 23-years-old, while respondents still living with their parents were not intending to leave until 27-years-old.

The four-year gap in expectations came from those in metro areas, with the divide halving to two-years for those living beyond Australia’s five major capital cities to 22-years-old for parents, and 24-years-old for children.

The findings also revealed a split between mums and dads, with fathers expecting children to leave home by 22-years-old, but maternal instinct providing a full year’s grace to 23-years-old.

The results are likely linked to housing affordability, with previous Bankwest research finding that “living rent-free with my parents” was the most common living situation while saving for a deposit for Gen Z (22yo and younger).

Bankwest General Manager Homebuying Peter Bouhlas said: “These results provide some interesting insights into the changing dynamic of the family home and, as a father, I can see the humour in the inevitable conversation.

“However, a light-hearted family divide aside, the reasons behind the significant difference in expectations is likely one of genuine affordability consideration for younger Australians aspiring to own their own home.

“The housing market is currently incredibly competitive, and data from the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre has shown how equally challenging it is for people in the rental market, leaving many young Australians homebound.

“That inevitably means a longer spell in the family home as aspiring homeowners save for greater deposits, face lengthy construction delays, or encounter increased competition in entering the market.

“The significant difference between parents and their children in expectations of moving out could then simply be a difference in experience, with older generations unfamiliar with the market their children are attempting to enter.

“This is also reflected in our First Homebuyer data, which shows, when comparing suburbs of application to suburb of purchase, that many first-time buyers are likely exiting the nest when entering the market.”

The parents

Swipe
  Overall average (%)
Major capital city average (%)
Non-major capital city average (%)
Males average (%)

Females average (%)
At what age do you expect your child/ren will move out of home?
22.7
21.9
22.2
23.2
23.2
Swipe

The children

Swipe
  Overall average (%)
Major capital city average (%)
Non-major capital city average (%)
Males average (%)

Females average (%)
At what age do you currently plan or hope to move out of your family’s home and into your own?

NB: This can include renting or buying a home of your own.
27.1
28.5
24.0
27.3
27.2
Swipe

About Bankwest
Bankwest’s vision is to deliver brilliant customer experiences every day and our purpose is to improve the financial wellbeing of our customers and communities. Bankwest provides personal and business banking solutions for 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.

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