Aussie dream alive and well: Commbank

Aussie dream alive and well: Commbank

16 June 2017

While the quarter-acre block may be a threatened species and backyards are being replaced by patios, just under half of Aussies (48 per cent) believe that the property dream is alive and well, and for others (52 per cent), the Australian dream is being redefined.

These findings emerged from the Commbank Connected Future Report compiled by Social Researcher Claire Madden for the Commonwealth Bank. The report analysed more than one million responses to a national survey that asked Australians how they view the property market, changing workforce, and ways to future-proof younger generations.

“The remarkable insights emerging from the CommBank ATM data overall is the resilience and tenacity Aussies have in the face of economic uncertainty,” said Ms Madden.

“As a lead example, while the Australian property dream looks markedly different in 2017, the majority of Australians either fully own or are paying off their home.

“This has remained constant over the past five decades. So despite uncertainty, the Australian dream has clearly lived through time.”

Key findings from the report include:

  1. The architecturally designed dream

As building quality steadily improves, the Australian ‘dream home’ is no longer a weatherboard standalone house but an architecturally designed structure.

Whilst 74 per cent of those living in cities and 81 per cent of those outside capital cities currently live in a standalone house, 48 per cent of new residential approvals over the past year have been for medium or high-density housing.

CommBank data reveals 68 per cent of first home buyers purchased a house in the last year, 16 per cent desire to build their architectural dream home after purchasing vacant land, and 15 per cent purchased an apartment or townhouse.

  1. Living in your state of optimism

The data relating to the Australian property dream reveals that the optimism of potential home buyers varied by state.

The least optimistic were people residing in New South Wales (53 per cent) and Victoria (54 per cent), and this was significantly high with younger generations (57 per cent in both states).

Those in Queensland (51 per cent), South Australia (53 per cent), Western Australia (54 per cent) and the Northern Territory (57 per cent) believe the dream is more attainable.

  1. The ‘options’ Generation

Gen Y have prioritised global travel, lifestyle experiences, stayed longer in formal education, and attained the name KIPPERS (Kids in Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings) for staying in the family home longer.

However, now they are in their prime career-building and family-forming years, they, like their predecessors, are finding a way to overcome the obstacles, respond to new realities, and see the (re)defined dream come alive.

Although the dream may have taken a different form, the data reveals property ownership remains high on the aspirational list (average home buying age remains consistent at 32).

  1.    Gen Z and Gen Alpha

According to the research, rapid digital disruption, increased global connectivity, and the emergence of artificial intelligence are converging to reshape the business landscape and the way future generations define work.

With high job mobility and the increased casualisation of the workforce, Gen Z (8-22 years old) will have 17 jobs across 5 careers in their lifetime.

As Gen Z and Gen Alpha (born 2010-2024) complete their schooling and enter the workforce, they will need to be adaptive and agile in order to integrate job roles with rapidly advancing automated systems. They will also need to adapt to changing employment markets and organisational structures.

  1. Women leading the way

Women are most optimistic about our youth being skilled up for the future with 52 per cent believing they are future ready, compared with 48 per cent of men.

This is particularly evident amongst younger age groups, with the greatest gender gap amongst Gen Ys (25-39 year olds) with a 5 per cent differential between males and females.

  1. Culture and society

With almost 3 in 10 Australians (29 per cent) born overseas, and a quarter (27 per cent) of the population’s labour force born overseas, immigration has significantly contributed to Australia’s workforce and economy.

In the midst of this diversity, CommBank data reveals that almost half of Aussies (49 per cent) believe that our society truly embraces everyone.