Gen Y’s willing to sacrifice for the sake of the great Australian dream

In the past Generation Y have been branded with a less than flattering reputation as selfish, spendthrifts. Perceived as wanting it all and wanting it yesterday, older generations tended to believe that this young demographic group were incapable of financial sensibilities and as such, would struggle to get a foot on the increasingly pricey property ladder.

However the days of carefree spending and sponging off their parents could be a thing of the past for many Gen Y’s according to the results of a recent housing affordability study.

The results of the Housing Affordability Sentiment Index, published in a Herald-Sunarticle, reveal that most Gen Y’s are prepared to forego many luxuries in order to achieve their own great Australian dream of home ownership.

More Gen Y’s are sacrificing their independence to live at home longer in an attempt to save for a deposit – a trend dubbed the “Famwich” and despite ongoing talk of affordability issues, they remain optimistic about their ability to get their foot in the property door in the future.

Social commentator David Chalke, says young Australians aged 18 to 31 have been unfairly labelled as non-committal and self-indulgent, but on the contrary, they’re actually focused on their future and determined to get ahead by budgeting and saving.

“Gen Ys are better educated, more connected and informed, active savers and smarter than previous generations,” he said.

In fact it would seem Gen Y’ have more in common with their baby boomer counterparts than this older generation would be prepared to admit, with a renewed focus on saving rather than spending among Australians today.

Economic uncertainty, rising interest rates and poor consumer confidence have taken their toll on Australians, with the “greed is good” attitude that saw many take on enormous consumer debt earlier this century being replaced with the financial conservatism displayed by our parents’ generation.

The report, which polled 2200 people nationally, said Gen Y’s are prepared to spend less on discretionary purchases such as brands and luxuries (91 per cent), entertainment and recreation (76 per cent) and car upgrades (76 per cent) to achieve their housing dreams and most are prepared to give up a swimming pool, extra space or multiple bathrooms.

Interestingly though more than half were not willing to sacrifice location, with an overwhelming desire to live within 10 kilometres of their ideal location. For some, this is the suburbs where they grew up, but for many upwardly mobile young Aussies, their money is on the inner city where employment opportunities and lifestyle are an undeniable drawcard.

Watch out for the Gen Y’s – they be shaping the future of our property markets.


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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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