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“Vast majority” of Australians say home ownership best path to financial security: Westpac

Home ownership is still fundamentally important to Australians, especially those with an Asian heritage, according to The Westpac Ipsos Housing Affordability Research Report.

The latest Westpac Ipsos survey reveals that most Australians still see home ownership as the best way to build financial security.key-96233_960_720

“Home ownership is still very important to the nation as a whole, with our research showing the vast majority – 92 per cent – believe owning your own home is one of the best ways to build financial security,” Andy Wright, Westpac’s home ownership spokesperson, told SCHWARTZWILLIAMS.

The Westpac Ipsos Housing Affordability Research Report says many Australians – 60 per cent – believe owning a home is important because the asset can be passed on to children, helping the next generation build their own financial security.

Australians with an Asian background place particular importance on home ownership and helping children with money

The survey of more than 2,000 Australian home owners and intending first-home buyers, showed that Australians with an Asian heritage place a particularly high importance on home ownership.

The survey found that 68 per cent of Australians with an Asian heritage say home ownership is important because the asset can be passed onto children, compared with 60 per cent for the population as a whole.

“Our research found that Australians with Asian heritage are more likely to believe they should share the wealth they’ve accumulated in the property boom with their kids (60 per cent vs 39 per cent of the total population),” said Wright.

“It’s very common for Asian Australian parents to provide financial support to their kids to help them buy their first home,” said Wright.

“Family members supporting each other, whether that is parents helping their children or adult children taking care of their elderly parents, is a deeply entrenched value of Asian culture and considered an important thread in the fabric of their family,” he said.

The survey also found that Australians with an Asian heritage believe home owners should help their children with money (65 per cent, compared with 47 per cent of the total population), said Wright.

First-home owners and the ‘bank of mum and dad’

“Our research showed that 73 per cent of Australians believe the next generation will rely on support from their parents to get into their first home, and this number is slightly higher among Australians with Asian heritage (76 per cent),” said Wright.

As growth in property prices across Australia, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, surpasses growth in incomes, more children across the board will be looking to their parents for support to get into the housing market, said Wright.

“The Ipsos report found around 1 in 5 baby boomers have already gifted or loaned their kids money to help them buy a home”, he said.

Parents can help their children get into the housing market in a number of ways, said Wright, including gifting money, acting as a loan guarantor, or letting children live at home rent free to make it easier for them to save a deposit sooner.

First-home buyers gaining presence in the housing market

Despite the difficulties for first-home buyers, home loans to first-home buyers rose to a five year high of 18 per cent in November 2017, said Wright.

Stamp duty concessions, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria​, are one of the factors helping first-home buyers.

The survey of more than 2,000 Australian home owners and intending first-home buyers describes Asian heritage as Australians born in Central and South East Asian countries, including the Indian subcontinent.


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