Millennials haven’t yet given up hope of owning their own home

While some of our policymakers appear to have given up on the idea that home ownership is a realistic aspiration for almost everyone, our kids have not.

Home ownership may be becoming unattainable for more people but is still ranks as a key aspiration for the young.

Home ownership, despite getting harder, is still a major aspiration of millennialsCredit:Paul Rovere

It remains so entrenched that more than quarter of millennials – those aged between 23 and 38 – told a survey conducted on behalf of BankWest that they would even put-off having children to afford their own home.

Just under 20 per cent said that home ownership would never be achievable for them.

Contrary to beliefs held by some that millennials are more interested in spending on eating out and  travel,  more than half of those polled said they would sacrifice little luxuries, experiences and big-ticket items to get a foot on the property ladder.

The survey of more than 1700 people found that more than a quarter of millennial respondents  were even willing to sacrifice their independence to enter the housing market by living with parents or family for longer.

However, of those who said they had started saving for a deposit, just one in five said they knew exactly how much they needed to put down on a home, while a similar number said they had made a savings plan but failed to stick to it.

Our tax and superannuation policies have the effect of making it harder for our kids.

Tax schemes and the way the family home is exempt from the age pension assets test rewards those already on the property ladder as the expense of would-be first-time buyers.

Labor took a plan to the last federal election to abolish negative gearing on homes owned by investors and halve the capital-gains-tax discount. It lost.

Negative gearing is where investors are able to write off losses from their property against the tax they pay on their wages. Under Labor's plan, investors would have paid tax on 75 per cent of their gains, rather than the 50 per cent they do now.

Our kids are finding it tough, even when they have a good job, when bidding for property at auctions against investors, many of whom already own or partially own a house – and are being subsidised by tax breaks.

The Grattan Institute said that under Labor’s plan there likely would have been fewer investors going up against first-time buyers.

More parents who have done well out of the property market are helping their kids to scrape up a deposit to buy a home. However, it's too bad if you are born to less well-off parents.

Those looking to buy a house in Sydney or Melbourne need all the help they can get.

Given that the population is growing fast in both cites, property prices are likely to only go higher.

The share of first-home buyers taking out loans has increased over the past couple of years, following the introduction of more incentives by state governments for those buying new houses and a temporary drop in prices.  The federal government's First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, although limited in its scope by the number of places offered, is also rendering some assistance.

However, the Master Builders Association said Australia needs about 200,000 new homes to be built each year to meet future population growth. The association's latest forecast shows that we are set to fall considerably short of this requirement until at least 2024-25.

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