Rising property prices and tales of disappointment have led to a significant shift in how Australians – particularly Millennials – now view “the Australian dream” and the goal and attainability of owning property, new research has found.
The new study – The Australian Dream Reimagined – was commissioned by Nine’s strategic client solutions division, 9Powered, and launched today at Nine’s The Big Ideas Store. It examines what the shifts in consumer perceptions around homes and property mean for marketers and brands.
The study found that, amid the ongoing housing affordability crisis, those aged 18-34 were 26 per cent more likely to expect to make a “significant compromise” on their standard of lifestyle in order to achieve the Australian dream.
It also found that 45 per cent of aspiring home buyers under the age of 40 reported that they were tired of older generations giving them financial advice on how to save and attain their purchase.
“We’ve seen the nation consumed by the avocado-on-toast debate,” said Melissa Mullins, Nine’s director of strategy. “This study shows how the Australia dream remains a powerful marketing construct for brands to tap into however, for some people – particularly those in younger generations – it is becoming attainable and this is an important consideration for marketers.
“The modern challenge for marketers is to help consumers reimagine the Australian dream. To recognise the compromises or challenges some Australians face when it come to the property market and look for the opportunities to help meet their aspirations.”
The study, conducted by research firm The Lab Insight & Strategy, included more than 500 respondents and found that two-thirds of home owners aged 35-49 were not happy with the long-term prospect of staying in their current home and would look to upgrade to something “bigger and better”.
A need for more space was a common theme across the research. Only around one-third of respondents (37 per cent) rated their current dwelling as “large and spacious”.
Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of respondents (58 per cent) were looking for a new home with “large” internal space and 56 per cent were seeking a home “where they can spread themselves”.
“The challenging property market gives us a sense of how people see their home space, so marketers need to recognise both the aspirations of consumers and the commercial opportunities these conditions create,” Mullins said.
Mullins cited two significant findings in the study: the fact that consumers are renting for a longer period of their life; and consumers are looking for brands to build products that move with them.
“If we think about the fact that consumers who are moving and renting as a percentage of the population is increasing, it’s the products that cater to this, like 3M removable hooks, that will do well. They are recognising and meeting the evolving consumer needs of our most transient lifestyle.”
A trend toward smart living in a variety of forms was also a key part of The Australian Dream Reimagined, with technology increasingly seen as a means of helping to make our homes a sanctuary.
“Four out of 10 new home buyers told us they wanted the latest tech in their homes,” said Mullins. “The rise of not only devices like smart fridges and lighting, but also the growing consumer take-up of digital assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, is fundamentally shifting our day-to-day existence in our homes.
“The ramifications of this for brands will be far-reaching as personalisation and ease of use become central to almost every part of the house.”