Working paper

Achievement of home ownership among post-war Australian cohorts

URP Working Paper No. 16
Household finance Housing prices Income Home ownership Australia
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apo-nid133476.pdf 8.99 MB

There has been concern for many years that it has been becoming more difficult for people to afford to buy a home. Despite this, the proportion of home owners among Australian households has remained much the same for some twenty years or more. In part, this is probably because the longterm rewards from being a home owner have increased at the same time as the costs of becoming an owner. This paper examines in some detail the factors which have affected the ability of people to become owners. It uses a unique set of data which were gathered in a survey which collected retrospective information about the experience of women and men aged 20 to 60 over their adult life. The paper shows that more recent cohorts of women have become owners at younger ages than earlier cohorts. There is limited evidence that, in recent years, women who worked for a longer time after marriage, and men with higher incomes and higher occupations, were able to become owners more quickly. This may point to home ownership becoming increasingly confined to those on higher incomes, whether from high individual incomes or from having two incomes in household.

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