hand holds skeleton of house from shakespeare
Image: Canva.
  • Survey found 70% of voters fear younger people will never be able to buy a home
  • Almost 90% of those trying to enter the market said housing affordability will be front of mind at the polls
  • Separate data shows markets may be turning, 1 in 4 saying now is a good time to buy a home

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the pangs and toils of inflated house prices today, or to take arms against a sea of rising interest rates tomorrow, and by avoiding a hot market, enter into it?

While the original and tragic lines from Hamlet carried a much darker message, some of the latest surveys and information make the housing market seem like something that is similarly melancholic and tough to stomach.

We take a broad look at the information that has become available over the past few days and weeks to see what’s happening in the market from various perspectives. Readers should take care to not confound the information as surveys referenced asked different questions, similarly other data referenced address different points.

To sleep, perchance to dream

… but under a roof of your own ownership? Research from the Property Council of Australia found almost 70 per cent of voters fear younger people will never be able to buy a home in this country.

Data also revealed that almost 90 per cent of people trying to enter the housing market said housing affordability was among their chief concerns when heading to the polls in the upcoming election.

“Our research shows 4 out of every 5 aspiring homeowners actually believe the dream of home ownership is unachievable, which you’d have to say is incredibly disheartening,” said Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison.

“It’s no wonder more than half of 18–34-year olds say it will be an important issue for them in deciding their vote, while another quarter felt it was one of the most important issues coming into the election.

“Older voters are also very concerned. Our data shows 82 per cent of over 55-year olds say while they believe home ownership is crucial to financial security, 70 per cent of them also believe that dream is fading for future generations,” he said.

For who would bear the whips and scorn of cost

The Australia-wide poll of 1,100 people undertaken last week by Essential Media for PCA also found women are more concerned than men when it comes to the issue of affordability, while three quarters of renters said they would like to see the Federal Government ramp up efforts in encouraging more affordable homes to be built specifically for first home buyers.

Almost three-quarters of voters (73%) also expressed their desire for the Federal Government to work with the states to improve housing stock in areas of need.

In separate research by NAB, a quarter of Australians still believe now is a good time to buy a home.

Is now a good time to buy? State-by-state breakdown

Home NSW VIC QLD SA WA TAS ACT
2021 Q4 22% 25% 21% 20% 29% 26% 17%
Q3 23% 27% 26% 25% 26% 17% 28%
Q2 26% 32% 23% 35% 36% 25% 24%
Q1 38% 38% 44% 44% 44% 36% 44%
2020 Q4 40% 47% 48% 41% 53% 41% 34%
Q3 43% 41% 46% 36% 56% 41% 35%
Investment Property
2021 Q4 24% 25% 21% 26% 22% 22% 30%
Q3 23% 22% 25% 25% 20% 15% 23%
Q2 25% 26% 22% 28% 26% 26% 27%
Q1 30% 26% 32% 34% 35% 40% 29%
2020 Q4 32% 36% 40% 29% 29% 32% 20%
Q3 32% 29% 33% 22% 34% 26% 32%

Source: NAB Research, retrieved 24 March 2022.

At first glance, the numbers are falling since last year, but after considering the figures seem to be flattening between the September and December quarters of 2021, there may be some signs of hope.

NAB Executive Home Ownership, Andy Kerr said house price growth was easing in 2022 and more supply was coming onto the market.

“Australians remain positive about the property market, with a quarter saying now is a good time to buy a home,” Mr Kerr said.

“This is in line with last quarter, a time when it became clear price growth was slowing.

“We currently expect more subdued property price growth in 2022, with gains of around three per cent compared to 21 per cent in 2021.

“However, the market remains competitive and for many Australians buying a home can be a daunting experience.

The details

… and less of the poetic licence. The NAB Behavioural Special Insight Report found that renovations may be front of mind for Australians, with one in three Australians believing now is a good time to renovate. In a slight nuance, 18 per cent intend to upgrade their existing home, with 15 per cent looking to complete renovations within the next 12 months.

A younger demographic had the hankering for a home renovation, NAB research found that 18 to 29 year olds were most likely to upgrade their home, at 23 per cent.

Those renovations won’t come easily though, with one in two Australians believing it is harder to complete renovations in the past three months, and 60 per cent signalling it had become more expensive.

Property intentions for the next 12 months broken down by age and state

Upgrade existing home Renovate a property Upgrade to a new property Sell a home Downgrade/downsize your home Sell an investment property
Australia 18% 15% 9% 7% 6% 5%
NSW 15% 15% 11% 6% 6% 6%
VIC 19% 14% 8% 7% 7% 4%
QLD 19% 17% 6% 7% 4% 3%
SA 18% 16% 6% 3% 2% 7%
ACT 37% 37% 17% 17% 20% 12%
WA 16% 15% 10% 8% 9% 3%
TAS 23% 18% 13% 8% 10% 5%
Age
18-29 23% 18% 17% 9% 8% 7%
30-49 17% 18% 10% 8% 7% 6%
50-64 18% 15% 4% 6% 5% 4%
65+ 13% 8% 3% 5% 5% 2%

Source: NAB Research, retrieved 24 March 2022.

We explore more residential perspectives in part 2.

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information and should at no time be considered financial advice to the reader. The reader should always verify their situation with their financial advisors before taking any further steps. 

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