Boomers, foreigners kill off the housing dream

One day ago, JPMorgan and Digital Financial Analytics produced a report on housing that raised some new questions about why first home buyers are being priced out of housing markets. The Principal at DFA, Martin North, has kindly provided the research that underpins the issues raised today. From The Australian:

House prices have surged this year, particularly in Sydney where median prices are up 11 per cent, but this had not translated into credit growth because of the changes in the types of buyers in the market.

First-home buyers, who are estimated to number 1.2 million, according to the JPMorgan Australian Mortgage Industry Report, were being priced out of the market by a combination of so-called “down-traders”, investors and foreign buyers who were competing for similar properties.

Report co-author Martin North, principal of Digital Financial Analytics, said the down-traders – those selling larger homes to free up capital for smaller homes, investment properties and retirement – were about equal in number to first-home buyers and becoming a significant force in the market.

They were one of the main reasons that credit was not growing strongly, despite higher house prices, Mr North said.

DFA’s demographic segments first include ‘property inactives”, “about 25 percent of households…which equates to about 2.3 million households and rising.

The “property actives” are a larger group with many more segments:

fbe

And the distribution among households is revealing:

bwf

The key finding is that first home buyers (FHBs) are completely balanced by “down-traders”. This has two immediate implications. It inflates the level of small entry level property as boomers move into smaller dwellings and it means FHBs are often competing with all cash buyers, which is putting a lid on credit growth and disguising more price bullish market internals for lower end property.

These findings certainly fit with the pattern of property price effects over the past twelve months. North’s view is that the solution lies with government. From the ABC:

MARK COLVIN: One of Australia’s top banking analysts is calling for an inquiry into the housing market.

A surge of people looking to trade in their big houses and buy smaller places, along with a wave of investors, is locking out first-time buyers, especially the young.

Martin North is one of the authors of a report that says well over a million people who want to get into the home ownership market can’t.

He says Australia has never had an official report looking across all aspects of housing policy, and one is long overdue.

Business reporter Michael Janda has more.

MICHAEL JANDA: We’ve all heard of “wannabes” but now in Australia there’s the “wannabuys”.

MARTIN NORTH: There are about 1.2 million households who I put in the “want to buy” category. Those are people who are looking at the property market, thinking, “I would love to be involved. I’d love to buy a property,” but just simply cannot get in.

Martin North is the principal of Digital Finance Analytics and he says high home prices are the biggest barrier.

MARTIN NORTH: More than half of them say, “I can’t afford because the prices are too high.” And another one third say, “I just cannot put together the savings for a deposit” or “I can’t potentially service the loan that I need.” So directly or indirectly, house prices are perhaps up to 80 per cent of “want to buys” are impacted by those high prices.

MICHAEL JANDA: The latest JP Morgan Mortgage Industry Report shows potential first-home buyers are facing competition on several fronts for the type of properties they might normally buy: firstly from their parents.

MARTIN NORTH: There are people who’ve already got their big properties and are looking potentially to sell those and to move into smaller places, so we call those “downtraders.” Some of those are older, perhaps Baby Boomer types, thinking about saving some money out of that transaction to put into superannuation, maybe going to investment property later. So they don’t need to borrow.

MICHAEL JANDA: There’s also competition from local investors who have the benefit of negative gearing and, finally, from overseas buyers.

MARTIN NORTH: There is definitely an influence from overseas, predominantly investors. A lot of those investors are looking at units and small properties in the major centres. And, interestingly, they are precisely the same properties that first-time buyers aspire to buy.

MICHAEL JANDA: That’s pushed up the price of these properties and that, in turn, has had two effects.

The first is that first-home buyers now make up the smallest proportion of the market on record at just 12.5 per cent of new loans. The second is those still buying are taking out bigger loans.

Scott Manning is JP Morgan’s Australian banking analyst.

SCOTT MANNING: First-time buyers need to increase their loan-to-valuation ratio to chase the house prices as they go up.

So if house prices move 10 per cent in one year, typically not a lot of people get 10 per cent income growth in one year and they haven’t increased their deposit by 10 per cent in one year. So the maths just tells you that they have to borrow more to still be able to enter the market.

MICHAEL JANDA: Even amongst the first-home buyers who bought at lower prices and with more government assistance in 2009 and 2010, Martin North says mortgage stress is running at 18 per cent.

MARTIN NORTH: We are seeing that some of those are still struggling to maintain the property that they own. They’re about four times more likely to be in mortgage stress.

MICHAEL JANDA: And while the financial regulator APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) says it believes banks are maintaining reasonable home lending standards, its chairman John Laker told an economics lecture at Sydney University last night that it’s watching the sector closely.

JOHN LAKER: The concern we’re focussed on quite specifically is lending standards. We’ve been working quite assertively with our banking institutions about their lending standards. We don’t want the memories of the earlier correction in housing prices in Australia a decade ago or the memories of what’s happened in housing markets in Spain, Ireland, the US – we don’t want those memories to be short. We don’t want those memories to be selective.

MICHAEL JANDA: But Martin North warns that a further rise in home prices risks more than a bank collapse. He says it’s already damaging Australia’s economy.

MARTIN NORTH: It’s probably, on average, twice as expensive now to house yourself than it was, say, 20 years ago, relative to income. What that means is that, for many households, they are effectively putting a greater proportion of their income towards just maintaining a roof over their head and paying the bills as they go.

That means that they have less discretionary income available for other things. So what it’s doing is it’s sucking some of the air out of the broader economy. That’s why I think retail is stagnating.

MICHAEL JANDA: The Federal Government’s planning to do another tax review and Scott Manning says property taxes – and tax breaks – should be on the agenda.

SCOTT MANNING: They’re looking to go to the next election with a platform of tax measures and, you know, within that you’d like to think that taxation of the housing sector would need to be considered given what we’re seeing at the moment.

MICHAEL JANDA: But Martin North says a comprehensive Federal inquiry into housing policy is needed.

MARTIN NORTH: Over the last 20 or 30 years, most of the interventions have been a point-in-time tactical intervention. It hasn’t really worked at all well – like first-time owner grants, for example. So I think the time now is right for a broad-based inquiry to think through strategically how we’re going to manage this for the greater good of all Australians.

MICHAEL JANDA: Without such a review, the number of “wannabuys” looks set to keep rising.

Yep.

Comments

  1. You’re joking ! “…many households..are effectively putting a greater proportion of their income towards just maintaining a roof over their head … That means that they have less discretionary income available for other things… it’s sucking some of the air out of the broader economy.”
    But what I want to know is “Who are all these ‘downsizers’ selling to? They can’t all have found a home with a buyer from offshore? The lower down the pyramid the downsizers are, the more of them there are. Once the guy at the top has sold and downsized, the layer below has more trying to do the same, and so it goes on at an ever increasing pace.

    • “But what I want to know is “Who are all these ‘downsizers’ selling to? They can’t all have found a home with a buyer from offshore? ”

      Yep – I have the same problem with this “downtrading” theory for why debt growth isn’t following price growth – someone has to borrow to buy the large old established house (foreigners aren’t allowed to).

      …unless perhaps the dynamic is that a developer buys it, puts 2 units on it and then flogs those to foreigners as ‘new’ housing… That would mute the aggregate debt growth, if it happened often enough…

      • “foreigners aren’t allowed to”

        But they still are buying existing dwellings. There is no FIRB enforcement.

        Inquiry?

        Here’s a novel idea.

        How about we start by enforcing the laws we already have!

        1. FIRB must immediately audit the most recent 1000 Sydney sales of existing dwellings for compliance.

        2. All non-complying sales be immediately voided by the FIRB and purchasers fined

        3. Registration of existing dwelling sales must require attached either proof of purchasers permanent residency status or FIRB approval

        Either the FIRB enforce compliance (as they are required to under their charter), or sack them and appoint board members that will.

      • Some areas now 50% sales of existing properties to Aus investors.
        Add in foreign buyers snapping up desirable homes at auctions.
        Add in foreign buyers with a local buyer connection to circumvent FIRB rules.
        Also, foreign buyers in the form of temporary residents (including students) can buy “large old established house” as long as they sell on departure.

      • someone has to borrow to buy the large old established house (foreigners aren’t allowed to).

        Please stop spreading this mistruth.
        Foreigners are buying many large old established houses. They are allowed to buy established if they demolish.
        They also immigrate here and then buy established houses.
        Some also buy established houses against the law, but no one checks up.

      • “someone has to borrow to buy the large old established house (foreigners aren’t allowed to)”.

        Technically this is correct, but in practice what happens (in many of the more desirable suburbs in Melbourne and Sydney) the old family home gets pushed over and a bigger swankier one takes its place. This is then sold to buyers overseas. With FIRB approval.

        RE agents are giving advise on design and appointments in new builds to best maximize returns. The bigger and fancier the home (and the smaller the garden), the better the profit. Nothing new in that, just the development of the property is targeted towards clients overseas.

        Buyers with much deeper pockets, who emerged from the GFC generally unscathed.

        There is a general lack of awareness as to the impact the global rich are having on our established RE markets, especially in prime suburbs. Parts of Melbourne and Sydney are becoming de-coupled from the national housing system as Government policy (changes to FIRB rules in 2008/9) is internationalizing parts of our major cities.

        Some think this is a good thing.

    • The downsizers are selling to the middle aged who are upsizing?

      There have always been upsizers but previously there was a shortage of places to upsize to as there were a lot more upsizers than downsizers – so everyone renovated their home instead (enter two decades of boring TV renovation shows).

      What we will probably see now is less renovation, more downsizing from the elderly, and more upsizing (by moving) of the middle aged. It was an inevitability as the boomers aged no?

  2. “…..(Martin North) says Australia has never had an official report looking across all aspects of housing policy, and one is long overdue…..”

    There was nothing wrong with the PM’s Task Force Report in 2003. The answers have been clear all along.

  3. From the PM’s Taskforce Report in 2003:

    “……our basic conclusion is straightforward: the high cost of home
    ownership in Australia appears to be a function of growth in the
    extrinsic value of land. Furthermore, this is a disease that is rapidly spreading throughout our largest urban centres. And unless radical action is taken, there seems to be no respite in sight……”

    “……The industry believes that the cost of Australian housing has been needlessly magnified by three factors:
    1. A 314 percent (420 percent) increase in land (dwelling) related taxes over the last decade, which have been levied at
    all levels of government
    2. Ad hoc, inconsistent and highly restrictive planning processes that prevent developers from boosting existing
    capacity; and,
    3. Reluctance on the part of municipalities and State Governments to release new greenfield and brownfield sites, and fund the essential infrastructure necessary to service such areas……”

    “…….there is an affordability problem, but it has nothing to do with the distribution of income or a dearth of
    exploitable land. Rather, it is the result of oppressive government regulations (often imposed with the enthusiastic support of proximate
    communities) that severely constrict the stock of low-cost properties.
    Combined with ever-growing demand, these artificial constraints on supply propagate price rises. And so, despite the fact that many Australians are increasingly concerned about the costs of home ownership, much more intellectual capital needs to be invested in fostering supply-side policies. The good news is that we can do so without spending a cent of public money…..”

    • You have nailed the reasons, well enough, but not one item of that will change while Australia’s vertical fiscal imbalance remains unaddressed.

      Why would State governments reduce their main tax base by dumping these land based revenue streams, and increase spending on increased infrastructure? More to the point, with vertical fiscal imbalance, how can they reduce land and housing based taxes and increase infrastructure maintenance expenditure?

      The last time I looked, all states were running deficits – so how are any of them going to afford lower taxes and higher expenditure?

      But no, it’s the boomers.

      • And great political time wasting:

        The states – “We can’t do anything because of the Feds”.

        The Feds – “Those profligate state premiers are always asking for money”.

        The time wasting aspect is important, because time wasted on the political theatre of mutual predictable blame could and should be spent on addressing other problems.

      • If my state government blames federal for something I VOTE AGAINST THAT STATE GOVT.

        If my federal government blames state for something I VOTE AGAINST THAT FEDERAL GOVT.

        I demand that these bastards work together to solve problems. If they don’t I vote against them.

        Vote them all out.

      • HnH: expenditures and taxes are constantly mismatched and drag on productivity.

        We have at least three misstructured aspects to land economics needing reform and repair: zoning, tax system and debt.

        My fear is our pollies may stumble forward adjusting one or two here and there to placate the populace then declaring reform exhaustion as the next election looms.

        We need a big reset. We can do this in calm seas or change the mainmast in the middle of a storm. Which would be better/

        Don’t Buy Now!

      • +1,000,000 David C.

        “We need a big reset.”

        when the US gets their reset, we will see ours. it’ll probably be bust/shale.

      • emess,

        You are absolutely correct.

        To get states on board the following is required.

        1. Bond financing of new land development infrastructure with the bonds repaid from rates on the developed land. State balance sheets stay lily white. Nice secure investment for SMSFs.

        2. Newly developed land is subject to a LVT but no stamp duty. Immediately states start building a new less volatile income stream, more land developed more income.

        All that is required is a bit of legislation and one state govt to have a go.

      • The state treasurers have far more important things to do like increasing the revenue losing gst on online sales.

      • “The state treasurers have far more important things to do like increasing the revenue losing gst on online sales.”

        Am I the only one that loves dripping sarcasm on a Friday morning… 🙂

    • Heaven help us if we allow proximate communities to have any say in preservation of neighbourhood amenity.

      I bought in a residential 1A street but there is no way I ought be allowed to complain about an over 55’s unit block or a low income housing project or a commercial child care centre, or rezoning the other side of the street for units or factory warehouses (which actually happened in the street in which I grew up). (sarc)

      Democracy is good until it gets in the way of what I want to do or my self interest.

  4. GunnamattaMEMBER

    ‘Over the last 20 or 30 years, most of the interventions have been a point-in-time tactical intervention. It hasn’t really worked at all well – like first-time owner grants, for example. So I think the time now is right for a broad-based inquiry to think through strategically how we’re going to manage this for the greater good of all Australians.’

    Amen brother. But the other side of that statement is that until such an inquiry is held there economy of Australia is becoming progressively more dysfunctional (and quite possibly the society too).

  5. Interesting bar chart.
    Each bar has a segment of investors, even FHBs.
    Remove Mum & Dad amatuer investors and the whole thing comes into balance.
    Take the honey pot off the table – Get rid of negative gearing and rejig CGT discounts.
    I really like the delaying tactic of holding out for another inquiry, not.
    What, the 2004 ‘First Home Ownership Inquiry’, the 2008 A Good Home is Hard to Find Report’ & 2010 Henry Taxreview, not enough?
    What, too much truth in their findings, too many good recommendations?
    It is up to the govt of the day + MSM to arrive at a functional & fair outcome.
    Dismissing the general public has a downside – a by and large dysfunctional society.

  6. Hill Billy 55MEMBER

    Is there a misreading of the data? The First timers cohort (approx. 200K) is those FHB ‘in the market’. The ‘want-to-be buyers are not yet in the market, so should be ignored – though they potentially will become buyers.

    The total of households (assume multiple IP’s at 3 to 5 per investor) is 6.5 to 7 mil., grossly under estimating total households of 11.5 to 12 mil., the bulk of which would probably be holders and /or refinanciers. This gives a skewed ‘demand’ implication to the data. Holders/refinanciers/waiters vastly outnumber movers at any one time.

    Presumably the downtraders are in the market to sell and downsize, otherwise they would be ‘holders’ in the lingo of the data. If this is the case, there is already a massive cohort of downsizers wanting to move but unable to because of their excessive price expectations. And this cohort will only get bigger as the Baby Boomers (of which I am one) seek to downsize/retire. I suspect BB households represent approx 2.5 to 3 Mil. homes, how many of these actually do make the move will be an interesting question. If the data is correct and already approx half of this cohort are looking to move maybe the glut of suburban property is about to happen.

    Therefore the data implies that a tipping point toward a house price crash is not that far away. Closer than I actually expected. The bottom line is, don’t buy now!!

    • Interesting point.

      If old people really DO want their inflated house value to fund their retirement, they really need to cash it out now and downsize massively plus shift to a lower cost area.

      Maybe more and more of them are realising this.

  7. A question I have is whether it is actually Boomers who are trying to downsize, or is it those from the previous cohort who are finding that garden and large house a little hard to manage?

    The importance of this question is that if it is the former, then one should have seen a previous and similar migration to smaller housing as the cohort pre-boomers retired. If it is the latter, then that has some pretty significant implications for a downsizing boom further down the track.

    Just assuming it is a boomers effect now, may be missing out on a rather nasty surprise down the track if that assumption is wrong.

    • I think even if it is a boomer effect now we’re still only seeing the beginnings of it – the early retirers and the early downsizers. Either way I think you’re right that the worst is yet to come when the bulk are doing the same thing. If it is the previous cohort now, the delay is just longer.

    • I would agree with you there emess.

      My folks are pre-boomer (just) – Dad is 70, Mum is 68. Dad retired at 62 (with a defined benefit from NSW public service).

      They’re in the family home still – two story, 4 bed/2 bath on 690sqm with multi-level backyard.

      It is only now they’re even considering downsizing. They have a lot of friends who are in similar circumstances.

      • Older people should be thinking seriously about cashing out that value to fund a good retirement by moving to a small home in a lower cost location. They then need to stick the money they get out of that, into a range of investments. Relying on your inflated value house to fund a comfortable retirement is having too many eggs in one basket, and having all your eggs in investment properties as well is even worse if that is the case.

      • And lose our pension benefits?!? Are you kidding?!

        And what about the size of the quarterly levies on a decent 3 bed unit? Who can afford to downsize? You need about $1/3M to get sufficient after tax return just to pay the levies of $3,000 a quarter. So there is no real spare cash thrown off by downwsizing.

        Whilever you can manage your housework, yard, pool and a bit of painting you are likely to be much better off staying put unless there are significant other considerations.

        And why would we want to move from our local friends, neighbourhoods, good services and way of life to go somewhere else? There is a potential huge social cost in moving to a new neighbourhood, even an attractive one. Ask people at Cabariat beach on NSW North Coast how many Victorians retire up their for the dream life, but move home in 3 years to be with their friends or family.

        As a ’52 PWW2BB tail ender I estimate only about 10 to 15% of my local cohort have downsized.

        It seems much more common in the “nearly 70’s”

  8. “That means that they have less discretionary income available for other things. So what it’s doing is it’s sucking some of the air out of the broader economy. That’s why I think retail is stagnating.”

    I wish more people in the media would say this. High housing costs mean less money for discretionary spending/retail.

    Its the elephant in the room that nobody in MSM wants to talk about and I don’t understand why – unless its vested interests and corruption and I live in hope that its not.

    • Absolutely correct. The several dozen cities in the USA with elastic supply of housing do not get a house price increase when interest rates fall or there are demand side subsidies applied. What THEY get, is more building, more re-financing at lower interest rates, and increased discretionary spending. And while the unaffordable housing cities get higher and higher house prices and everything else stagnating, businesses and households depart for the affordable and growing cities.

      I see the many “multiplier” and spin-off effects of this becoming clearer and clearer as time goes on.

      http://www.newgeography.com/content/004062-the-surprising-cities-creating-the-most-tech-jobs

      My conviction that heartland and Southern USA is the only part of the world now worth moving to or investing in, is strengthening to the extent of entering the Green Card lottery and watching for employment opportunities over there.

  9. Martin_DFAMEMBER

    As the author of the report, thought I would clarify a couple of points raised in the discussion. First, ABS data shows ~8.7m households in Australia, which aligns with the modelling I used in the research. Second, the 1.2m want-to-buys would like to become first time buyers, but they cannot get there because of high prices etc. (lets not do more first time buyer incentives which don’t work). Third, the down-traders are selling to up-traders mainly and investors (including overseas). The sleeper is the supply demand imbalance, as we will see more wanting to shed properties over the next few years. Their motivation is to release cash for later life and secure their futures. Finally I agree there are massive state and federal contentions, as well as multiple stakeholder groups, but this is why I think we do need a thorough look at the housing system, as my research suggests its broken at the moment!

    • Great research and thanks for coming here to clarify.

      Problem with predicting the timing of the coming supply from boomers is its tied to their retirement decisions, which are also tied to the sharemarket and the macro environment generally.

    • Thanks for the clarification. Much obliged.

      I would also suggest that if there is a thorough look at the system, it should also include the rental market. Specifically, I would suggest looking at the reasons why investors have such a large stock of vacant rental accommodation. Even if such investors were thinking that their main gains were from capital appreciation, one would wonder why they would turn up their noses at extra income from tenants – surely cash flow is not a bad thing? Are the rules fixed against landlords for example? If so, what is to be done about it if such rules are significantly impacting on the availability of rental housing.

      The reason for saying this is that if more rental housing were to be made available, and were to be therefore cheaper, one would have thought that the pressure on prices for owners would be less, and the numbers of people actually wanting to buy might go down.

      • The system in Germany and Switzerland has very odd effects. House prices are high (but stable) but most people rent, and rent controls do not seem to have resulted in a shortage of houses for rent.

        It is almost like, if the investor class corners the supply of houses for long enough and shuts FHB’s out, there might be a belated acceptance of renting on the part of the young, but rent controls will end up getting imposed by way of stopping the imbalance against the young from getting completely out of hand in rents as well as prices of houses to buy.

        The UK has the “empty investment properties” and unrenewed brownfields sites problem too and their actual shortage of houses is far worse than Aussie or probably anywhere else in the world.

        The urban planners over there say this is evidence of “no shortage” – but the many potential FHB’s locked out of the market, the overcrowding, the millions-long waiting lists for social housing, and the explosion in illegal accommodation, all suggest a shortage. The empty houses are merely like food going rotten and being dumped by an oligarchy that controls the supply of it to keep the prices high while the poorest people starve.

      • It’s funny you say that. I was actually looking at house prices in Austria recently and they seem to have shot up in a similar way to Australian prices. It makes you wonder if QE is behind a lot of this.

      • The urban planners over there say this is evidence of “no shortage”

        It sounds like the UK shortage deniers are an even lower form of life than their counterparts here.

      • I agree: “the investor class corners the supply of houses for long enough and shuts FHB’s out”.
        Would add that Germany & Swiss have much lower pop growth than here which is probably part of stablising factor on prices there. Also, read Germany is still affordable outside capital cites.
        UK looks like a total mess – overpriced and lacking personal space. No wonder they migrate. Same could be said of China I suppose.
        Aus is deliberately doing a UK, whereas looking at Germany as model would long run pay us better dividends as a country.
        Aus housing-politico complex has an agenda – and it does not include the next generation in any positive way.

      • “….Aus is deliberately doing a UK…..”

        Yes, that is exactly the point.

        “….whereas looking at Germany as a model would long run pay us better dividends as a country….”

        Or the affordable parts of the USA.

        http://www.movoto.com/blog/real-estate-and-more/most-affordable-suburbs/

        “The 10 Most Affordable Suburbs in America”

        In every single case, these suburbs are located in areas where not only is there no UGB, there is no “rural” zoning which acts as a de facto UGB. State laws in Texas actually forbid zoning against housing development. States that allow but not require counties to “zone” include Colorado, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oklahoma. ALL the above affordable suburbs are locations in which there is no presumption against housing development.

  10. Hill Billy 55MEMBER

    Thanks Martin, for your clarification and insight. One question, the USA saw multiple households as the biggest incremental cohort post GFC. Have we experienced anything along these lines? The increment in household size may point to this, and therefore some pent up demand, but I am unsure and not certain of how to access the information.

    Davel, may I add the unemployment conundrum, lost workers are the possible straw that will break the back of the BB’s retirement plans offloading their investments in a downturning economy.

  11. Martin_DFAMEMBER

    In response to Hill Billy 55, yes there are some interesting household trends linked with the affordability and supply issues. First, the average age of a first time buyer is now 32, was 28 5 years ago. Prospective purchasers are living at home longer, so these households are bigger. Some first time buyers are getting direct cash help from their parents to bridge the gap between mortgage availability and property price (paying them to leave home!), and some first time buyers are looking for joint buying opportunities. The average income to price ratio for first time buyers is now 8 times, a record. Also and of concern, some want-to-buys are attracted by the investment through super option instead of buying a home, as the tax breaks are more attractive, and loans are available. Do a search on SMSF property investment, and you will see the deals being offered. These insights come direct from my 26,000 household sample and focus group research.

    • Martin, it is really great that you are doing this sort of analysis – and taking the trouble to join the conversation here.

      Note what I am saying about the UK – it is an example of a nation that has had a similarly distorted housing market for much longer than Australia has. The average age of an FHB over there is apparently 39 now.

      They also have a scandal with illegal accommodation – some local Councils are flying aircraft around at night doing InfraRed mapping, that they then superimpose on a photograph to catch all the garages and garden sheds that have illegal lodgers in them.

      They also have a waitlist several million long for social housing, and a scandal with overcrowding among lower income households and young people flatting together.

      At the same time, they have empty investment properties, and unrenewed brownfields sites, which the local urban planners say is evidence that there is no shortage…..!

    • The other statistic we need besides the average age of an FHB; is the numbers of non-home-owners in each age cohort and how this has changed over time. Does someone have this data? I think I have seen some somewhere before. It is useful to know that the average age of an FHB has risen from 28 to 32, but it also would be useful to know something like, say, that the proportion of 40 – 50 year olds who do not own their own home has risen from 35% to 45% (just an illustration, I don’t know what the actual figure is). And so on.

  12. Martin_DFAMEMBER

    I have this data for 10 years from my survey by cohort (as I cover all households, not just those who are home owners). I will pull something together and share, though it may take a few days as I have a few other pressing commitments for clients. It is, as you say, an important piece of data. There is also data in the ABS census data cube which I use to baseline my samples. I am a great believer in facts as a basis for a discussion!!

  13. Even my overseas friends know our pollies both libs and labs are selling this country to China . Just wondering why people still voting for them ?