The Ins and Outs of Home Ownership


Forget the idea in Australia that when you investment in a home you have bought a secure future for yourself and your family.

New research shows that 23 percent of home owners under 50 sold up and returned to the rental market at some point between 2001 and 2009. The study compared the situation with the UK, where far fewer people slipping out of home ownership.

Why is this happening? Professor Gavin Wood, director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute at RMIT University, says there are a number of factors at play, including rising divorce rates, job losses and more interstate movement. But couldn’t it also be that housing is just too bloody expensive and so we’re borrowing to the hilt, not allowing for such circumstances.

One worrying aspect of Professor Wood’s research is that many who fall out of the market and so burnt by the experience that they become reliance on public housing. That’s a long way to fall. He suggests government policy needs to consider not only how to get young people into the market but also, how to keep them there.

First published on CBS News

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