Fewer young Aussies own a home now - how to beat the odds

Houses in the suburbs
Image: Getty

Owning a home in Australia remains an aspiration for many - the Great Australian Dream is still a dream. 

And yet, home ownership rates among younger generations have dropped in recent times. In 1996, the share of homeowners aged 25 to 29 years old was 44%. This stands at 36% today, as reported by Domain in its latest First-home Buyer Report. 

For 30-34 year olds, it has fallen 9 percentage points to 50%. 

Understanding both the property market and home loan costs might help beat the odds, at least.

Australia’s property market has changed over the last decade

Owner-occupiers are fewer in number, too. 

In 1996, 71% of Australian homes were owner-occupied, meaning the person(s) who lived there owned the property (with and without a mortgage). This proportion has slowly lowered to 66.7% in the recent census. 

Domain says the biggest shifts have occurred during periods of strong and sustained price booms - such as the one that occurred between 2013 and 2017 in Sydney. There was notably a more dramatic increase to the population during those years, as per data on Macrotrends.

With more people comes greater demand. And so the way into the property market also changes over time. 

Domain’s report sums up the changes: “It’s been a bumpy path, with periods of a rise, but overall the trajectory has been downwards, highlighting the rapidly changing nature of Australia’s property market over the last 30 years, both in terms of affordability and our lifestyles.” 

How to beat the market and find some affordability 

It’s not all bad news, however. There are still areas offering affordable options for younger buyers in 2024, and thus making it slightly easier to enter the market, says Domain.

For instance, a prospective buyer’s ability to get into the market usually improves outside of major city hubs. This might include areas such as Wyong on the NSW Central Coast, Melbourne’s Melton-Bacchus Marsh and Brisbane’s Cleveland-Stradbroke, says Domain. 

Units might be an even better option, even those within city limits. For example, a bit of research shows some affordability can be found on smaller properties in close proximity to the CBD, such as in Sydney’s Fairfield, Melbourne’s Essendon and Brisbane’s Springwood-Kingston, as per Domain.

So, if you’re looking for a home and excited to become a homeowner, there are ways. This type of suburb-based research is a good first step. Secondly, the home loan you choose will greatly impact your ongoing home costs. 

Chief among the factors you should consider are your home loan rate and this is where home loan comparison comes into play. 

A better home loan rate will give you a leg up

A lower home loan rate can greatly reduce your regular repayments over the long term. 

For example, on a $500,000 home loan over 25 years, a variable interest rate of 6.25% p.a. would equate to about $3,298 per month in repayments. But by going for a slightly lower rate, say 5.79% p.a., you could reduce your monthly repayment to $3,158. 

That’s $140 less per month, or $1,680 over a year! 

Doing a little bit of home loan research can go a long way, which is why our Mozo experts spend the time breaking down home loans and handpicking some of the best on offer. Start comparing some of the top home loans available below and get your home buying journey off on the right foot!

Compare top home loans - last updated 16 April 2024

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  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Express Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <90%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.01% p.a. variable
    6.14% p.a.

    Get fast online approval from the award-winning Bendigo Bank Express Home Loan. Multiple offset accounts and redraw available. 100% offset on variable rate loans and partial offset on fixed rate. Flexible repayment options. New home loans only.

  • Flex Home Loan

    Fixed, Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <60%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    5.99% p.a.
    fixed 3 years
    6.37% p.a.

    Competitive Fixed rate. Multiple offset accounts available. Borrowers can also make extra repayments. Redraw facility available. Simple online application process. 40% deposit required.

  • Discounted Home Value Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR 70-80%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.09% p.a. variable
    6.09% p.a.

    Enjoy competitive rates for owner occupiers. Enjoy unlimited free extra repayments. Flexibility to redraw additional payments for free. No ongoing monthly service fee. Settlement fee waived on new borrowings from $50,000 (T&Cs apply).

  • Neat Home Loan

    Owner Occupier, Principal & Interest, LVR <60%

    interest rate
    comparison rate
    Initial monthly repayment
    6.14% p.a. variable
    6.16% p.a.

    Competitively-priced variable rate loan. Ideal for owner occupiers and investors. No service fees to pay. Make free extra repayments and redraws. Flexible repayment schedule available.