Australians face paying rent until retirement

Home ownership among young Australians has rapidly declined and incomes have flatlined, meaning an increased likelihood of paying rent well into retirement.

New statistics from the University of Melbourne's long-term HILDA study show a growing wealth divide across generations, with more young people living at home than in 2001.

Home ownership among 18 to 39-year-olds has declined rapidly since 2001, from 36 per cent down to 25 per cent in 2015.

Home ownership among 18 to 39-year-olds has declined rapidly since 2001, from 36 per cent down to 25 per cent in 2015 (stock image) 

Home ownership among 18 to 39-year-olds has declined rapidly since 2001, from 36 per cent down to 25 per cent in 2015 (stock image) 

Professor Roger Wilkins authored the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey and says young people are being locked out of the housing market.

'It's creating a lot of negative sentiment among people in this age group,' he told said. 

'It seems aspirations for home ownership haven't really diminished a great deal.

'The attitude is they would like to be buying homes and they are finding it much more difficult.'

Every year HILDA surveys the same 17,000 people as part of Australia's longest-running population study.

Prof Wilkins said if the housing market stays unaffordable then young people may never live in their own property.

'We're looking at a large proportion of this cohort never owning a home and that will have implications for their wellbeing, particularly

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