A new report, Australian home ownership: past reflections, future directions, produced by researchers from Swinburne University of Technology looks at the levels of homeownership in Australia since World War II and what we can expect in the future. Owning a property, for many Australians, is still one of the key things they want to accomplish in their life. It’s still the great Australian dream, but for some, in the decades to come it could remain a dream as up to 40 per cent of Australians could rent in the future, according to the report.
The expected increase of renters in Australia in the coming years is expected to be driven by several factors, including ongoing affordability challenges. Interestingly, the report found that homeownership levels in Australia have been relatively stable. In 1976, approximately 68 per cent of people were owner-occupiers, and in 2016, around 67 per cent of Australians were owner-occupiers.
According to the report, approximately 50 per cent of Australian households under 60 years old will rent from private landlords over the next 20 years. At the same time, owner-occupiers are expected to decrease to 63 per cent. Of those people who will be renting, it’s expected that 51 per cent of these people will be in the 25 to 55-year-old age bracket.
So, what does that mean for property investing?
While the report is interesting, it’s important to remember that these numbers are all forecasts. In any case, the changing proportion of owner- occupiers and renters will likely happen steadily as it has over the last four decades.
Keeping these changing demographics in mind and balancing this with your priorities as a property investor is key as you look forward over the coming years. The fundamentals in the property market are unlikely to change. People want to live close to amenity, decent infrastructure and close to employment opportunities. If you can find properties that tick these boxes, while structuring your investments in a way that helps you meet your long-term goals, you’ll be well on your way to building a strong portfolio for yourself.
The important thing for investors right now, and all the time, is to regularly check-in and ensure your portfolio is working towards meeting your long-term goals. And if it’s not, that’s ok. It’s a timely note to shift things around to make sure you’re building sustainable, long-term wealth.