Study: Everything Is Happening Later In Aussies’ Lives

Study: Everything Is Happening Later In Aussies’ Lives

Analysis of long-running trends in Australia reveals key life-events are happening later in life than they did a decade ago. Key life-events highlighted include moving out from the family home, living in a shared household, renting, having a home loan, and owning one’s own home.

Australians are living at home with their parents for longer than they did a decade ago – today 58 per cent of 18-19yr olds live at home compared to 54 per cent in 2007 and over a quarter of 22-24yr olds live at home (28 per cent) – up from 24 per cent in 2007. Even 16 per cent of 25-29yr olds still live at home in 2017 compared to 12 per cent in 2007.

The trend to living at home for longer has directly contributed to other key indicators including living in a shared household, renting, and having a home loan being delayed until later in life.

Key Life Events (2007 v 2017)


The peak time to live in a shared household is unchanged from a decade ago and is still between the ages of 22-24, now at 31 per cent of the population, up significantly from 2007 (26 per cent) and this living arrangement is increasingly popular for older age groups; now 28 per cent of 25-29yr olds live in a shared household, up from 20 per cent in 2007.

As Australians delay moving out and put off buying a home, and getting a home loan, an increasing proportion of Australians are now renting – now the largest proportion of Australians aged 25-34.

Now 36 per cent of 25-29yr olds (virtually unchanged from a decade ago – 37 per cent in 2007) are renting, but it is older age groups where the proportion of renters has significantly increased. Whereas a decade ago more Australians aged 30-34 had a home loan than were renting, now 42 per cent of 30-34yr olds are renting, up significantly since 2007 (33 per cent) and now 38 per cent of 35-39yr olds are renting, up from 29 per cent in 2007.

Now more Australians aged 45-49 are renting (23 per cent) than own their own home (18 per cent) although a majority of this age group have a home loan (52 per cent). This is a huge social change from a decade ago when 28 per cent of this age group owned their own home and only 18 per cent were renting.

When do Australians buy a house?

An increasing proportion of home buyers are now in their 40s. Now just under a third of Australians aged 30-34 have a home loan (33 per cent), down from 43 per cent in 2007, and 43 per cent of 35-39yr olds have a home loan, down from 51 per cent in 2007. The figures for 40 something Australians are little changed from a decade ago with 51 per cent of 40-44 yr olds now having a home loan (virtually unchanged from a decade ago) and 52 per cent of 45-49yr olds (up from 50 per cent in 2007).

However, even though less Australians in their 30s now have home loans compared to a decade ago, the increasing proportion of Australians taking out home loans in their 40s means this is still the peak age group for Australians with mortgages.

Owning one’s own home

Clearly the later in life one takes out a home loan, the later in life it will be when one comes to own the home outright. Now only 12 per cent of 40-44yr olds own their home (down from 18 per cent in 2007), and just 18 per cent of 45-49yr olds own their home (28 per cent in 2007). This trend is evident through older age groups.

It now takes until Australians are aged 60-64yrs old, almost at retirement age, for a majority (60 per cent) to own their home whereas in 2007 55 per cent of 55-59yr olds owned their home.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research says that long-term employment trends and an increasingly expensive housing market are delaying the traditional Australian dream of owning one’s own home: “Important life-changing decisions are happening later in life than they used to – even compared to just a decade ago. Australians are living at home for longer, a significant proportion are now renting well into their 40s, and it is only near retirement that a majority of Australians are finally owning their own home after a lifetime of work.

“The changing shape of Australia is driven by two demographic trends – millennials are staying at school or in education longer and staying at home or in shared accommodation while they do that; Baby Boomers, rather than paying off homes as quickly as possible, are using the equity in their homes to renovate, upgrade, invest or finance whatever other activities that want to engage in.

“The increasing price of housing relative to incomes – especially among younger Australians, is only part of the story.”

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