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Home ownership falling, debts rising its looking grim for the under 40s

Roger Wilkins writes in The Conversation (2.8.17) about the latest release of the HILDA (Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia) survey data, pointing out that the results show home ownership among young people is declining to worrying levels.

'Home ownership among young people is declining, as mortgage debt almost doubles for the same age group, results from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey show. It also shows young people are living with their parents longer.

'The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research undertakes the survey every year. It’s Australia’s only nationally representative household longitudinal study, and has followed the same individuals and households since 2001.

'The survey shows the rate of home ownership among 18 to 39 year olds declined from 36% in 2002 to 25% in 2014. In the same age group, the decline in home ownership has been largest for families with dependent children, falling from 56% to 39%.

'Even for those in this group who manage to buy a home, mortgage debt has risen dramatically. In 2002, 89% of home owners in this age range had mortgage debt. By 2014 this had risen to 94%.

'More significantly, the average home debt rose considerably. Expressed in December 2015 prices, average home debt grew from about A$169,000 in 2002 to about A$337,000 in 2014. Low interest rates since the global financial crisis have meant mortgage repayments for these home owners have remained manageable, but this group is very vulnerable to rate rises.'


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