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Rising housing and living costs the key concern for Australians

Guest Analyst, Sophie Renton of McCrindle Research looks at November Catalyst survey of 1,222 Australians where we asked Australians about their views towards housing and living costs. 

A season of low interest rates, slow wages growth and rising housing prices are likely factors that contribute to Australians concerns about the rising cost of living.  More than half of Australians see rising house prices/rental prices (54%) and rising food and grocery prices (54%) as the biggest concerns about the economy. This is followed by slow wages growth (39%), unemployment (37%) and household debt levels (37%). 

Rising food and grocery prices are more likely to be a concern to Baby Boomers than their younger counterparts (63% Baby Boomers cf. 58% Gen X, 50% Millennials, 35% Gen Z). Baby Boomers (47%) are also twice as likely as Gen Z (24%) to be concerned about the levels of Government debt. Gen Z, however, are more likely to be concerned about unemployment (53% Gen Z cf. 34% Millennials, 43% Gen X, 32% Baby Boomers).

Biggest concerns about the economy for Australians

Purchasing a home is harder today than for previous generations

When Australians consider home prices, earnings and interest rates, four in five (81%) believe it is harder for young people today to buy their own home compared to their parents’ generation. Far from younger generations complaining about their lot in life, the generations are united in their perspective with older generations just as likely to believe it is harder for young people today to buy their own home (82% Baby Boomers, 78% Gen Z). 

Unsurprisingly with house prices as they are, only 7% of Australians think the housing market is affordable. The key factors creating housing unaffordability are believed to be overseas property investors (49%), Australian property investors (40%), poor government policies (34%).

Gen Z are the most likely to believe that not enough government support is a key factor that has created housing unaffordability (35% cf. 32% Millennials, 26% Gen X, 25% Baby Boomers). Older Australians, however, are more likely to believe that overseas property investors have created the housing unaffordability (65% Baby Boomers cf. 55% Gen X, 37% Millennials, 29% Gen Z).

“While some have debated whether housing affordability was worse a generation ago under double digit interest rates, this research confirms that the younger and older generations concur that it is much harder to buy a home today. For the generation of young people most affected, not only do they rate this as their key area of concern, but they believe the cause to be government policy rather than overseas buyers.” 

Mark McCrindle, Social Researcher
  McCrindle Research 

Main factors affecting housing affordability


About Catalyst:

The Catalyst survey is conducted monthly by leading research company Glow. It is an open-source research program designed to provide businesses with robust data on consumer sentiment towards social and environmental issues, in order to inform their product development, governance and sourcing strategies.

Get free access to the latest Catalyst data here


Sophie Renton is a social researcher, trends analyst and Managing Director at the internationally recognised McCrindle Research. As an experienced researcher, Sophie understands how evidence-based insights can inform strategy and help organisations to thrive amidst change.