When you think of property moguls with a portfolio of homes and investment properties, you might be forgiven for thinking of greying baby boomers.
But new research challenges this preconception, revealing that Gen Y is the generation taking the property market by storm.
Gen Y buying property early
It’s a common perception that younger people are locked out of property market, but more young people than ever before seem to be buying property.
The annual realestate.com.au Housing Affordability Sentiment Index (HASI) survey for 2014 shows that Generation Y – which includes those born between 1981 and 1994 – is buying property earlier than other generations.
And if this trend continues, Gen Y could possibly overtake the other generations in homeownership, despite any affordability issues.
In fact, 89% of Gen Y property owners surveyed bought their first property before they were 30 years old, and 9% purchased when they were less than 20 years old – a larger percentage than any of the other generations.
Given their younger age, Gen Y naturally has lower levels of property ownership experience overall compared with older generations.
However, more of them are buying property young, with 50% purchasing in the 25-29 year old age category, compared with 37% for Gen X, 31% for Baby Boomers and 29% for the Lucky Generation.
The HASI results show 53% of Gen Yers are already property owners, an increase of 5% on 2013’s figures, and 23% own investment properties. Of those who own their own home, 47% have ambitions to buy a second property in the next five years.
While one in two of those surveyed say they started saving towards their big property purchase between the ages of 15 and 24 years old, Gen Y was significantly more likely than any other generation to have had the foresight, means and dedication to start saving for property under the tender age of 15 years old.
And they’re not just good at saving, they’re also undeterred by changes to grants and other schemes that could give many cause to complain (but they’re not).
A whopping 57% (compared with a national average of 47%) say the Federal Government’s Budget decision to axe the First Home Saver Account has had no impact or a positive impact on their decision to buy or build.
Gen Y also feels that the changes to the First Home Owners Grants are not a major worry, with respondents answers revealing that the nett impact of the grant changes would be positive both for buying and building activity across the States and Territories.
Redefining the stereotype
Many people from Gen Y are still lucky enough to have family support and be receiving help from mum and dad for their big property purchase, with results showing 16% of have been offered financial assistance to buy their first, or next, property.
But they’re not relying solely on this assistance. To reach their property goals many are willing to make big sacrifices, with 66% saying they’d consider co-buying, 12% selling or considering selling valuables, and 23% considering – or already working – a second job.
So Gen Y is certainly not letting the well-documented challenges of getting a foot on the property ladder get in the way of their homeownership dreams.
The results of the HASI survey paint a picture of Gen Y as a highly driven, financially savvy group, willing to make sacrifices in order to reach their property goals.
And it goes some way to disproving the prevailing myths about Gen Y being less motivated that previous generations.