Thursday, 13 March 2008

Divorce stopping home ownership

Relationship woes rather than housing affordability is keeping younger Australians from home ownership, a new study has found.

Flinders University academics have found higher percentages of younger Australians are embarking upon home ownership than ever before.

Professor Andrew Beer surveyed 2,600 people to find the average age for first entry to home purchase had fallen over the last 30 years.

"(It's) because of the liberalisation of home lending, rising incomes and increasing aspirations," Prof Beer said.

His fellow researcher Debbie Faulkner said people at younger ages were also falling out of home ownership when divorce or separation ended their inability to maintain mortgage payments.

"Our research suggests that the real challenge for governments into the future is not to help more people become home purchasers, but to sustain home ownership," Dr Faulkner said.

The pair said their research showed it may be appropriate to redirect the First Home Owners Grant towards helping people at risk of losing their homes - rather than accelerating entry for would-be buyers.

No comments: