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Age of entry into the housing market - changing demographics

Two out of every five first home buyers are now aged over 36, as cost of living pressures and lifestyle choices delay the entry of younger Australians into the housing market.

A new report by home loans business RAMS and CoreData Research says the proportion of older buyers has doubled in two years to 40.5%, while just 18.3% of today’s first home buyers are under 25.

Finding the savings for a deposit remains a key barrier, says the report, which notes a greater sense of urgency among buyers, a “fear of missing out”, before interest rates rise again.

RAMS chief executive officer Martine Jager said people in their 20s had a list of things — including study and travel — they wanted to achieve before investing in a home.

“We are seeing that some first home buyers are also waiting until they are in a better financial position to manage their mortgage,” she said.

“The demographics of people buying homes now is different to what it was two, five and ten years ago. We are seeing more women, more single people, more 30-somethings.”

Oracle Lending Solutions director Angelo Benedetti said the rising cost of living and the disappearance of thousands of dollars of government first homebuyer incentives in the past seven years were contributing to the age shift.

“People are struggling to meet cost of living demands and are putting home ownership off, which is probably to their detriment because they are missing out on the growth,” he said. “We are also seeing many long-term renters aged in their mid-30s moving into ownership. People are now buying because repayments on their loan are the same as the rent because interest rates are so low.”

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