Young Aussies’ brutal wake-up call to boomers: I earn a decent wage – but still can’t afford a house – here’s why you should be worried

A young professional’s powerful message about Australia’s worsening housing crisis has struck a chord with thousands of frustrated renters.

The Sydney resident wrote that despite earning a good salary, they were unable to buy a home because their parents had never owned property.

‘I am a professional in my 30s, living in Sydney.

‘My biggest mistake is that my parents never owned property and were never wealthy, so as a result, they’ve never been able to help me out.

A young professional’s powerful rant about Australia’s worsening housing crisis has struck a cord with thousands of frustrated renters (stock) 

The Sydney resident said that despite earning a good salary they were unable to ever buy a house because their parents had never owned property (pictured, an auction in Melbourne)

The Sydney resident said that despite earning a good salary they were unable to ever buy a house because their parents had never owned property (pictured, an auction in Melbourne)

‘I don’t begrudge them because I lived a happy and healthy childhood, but now I see all my friends and colleagues buying houses in middle-class suburbs, and I read a statistic that 60 per cent of Australians are getting help to purchase property.

‘It feels like increasingly birth is the biggest determinate on if you’ll succeed in this country.’

The young Aussie added the deepening housing crisis could lead to ‘significant civil unrest’ if ‘educated and essential people’ continued to miss out.

‘It’s all gone too far.’

The professional spoke out after a young sparkie shared his struggle, saying he genuinely felt young Aussies future was sold and he wants to give up.

‘I’m a 31-year-old sparky, and I consider myself a pretty simple man. I want to just have a family home, raise some rugrats, work till I’m 60 and hopefully see through a retirement.

‘I have no vices, don’t drink, don’t smoke and don’t gamble and don’t have any expensive hobbies. Despite all this, the basics of life have become so expensive to the point that I don’t think I’ll genuinely ever own a home. The clocks are ticking, and I’ll never be able to have kids because of a lack of financial security due to housing.

‘I just don’t understand how our society ended up like this. Some of the older sparkies in my crew (50+) have multiple houses, spend and drink like drunken sailors and have a more spendy lifestyle. For the exact same job they live like kings while I’m stuck forever as a pauper.

‘It feels to me what I imagine feudalism was like, and I’m just a serf. This whole situation is rotten to the core.

‘I just wanna live a simple life and be a good dad, but I feel I was robbed of the opportunity because of greed and speculation.

‘It feels like the only way to make it in my generation is if you have wealthy parents or earn money that most of us will never see.

‘How did we as a society make it so essential workers can’t afford the simple things in life like housing?

‘Not all of us can be lawyers or doctors. Society couldn’t function that way! And I’m sure we need sparkies around.

‘It certainly feels like a lucky country, for some but not all of us.’

Many Aussies agreed with the plight of the pair.

‘It’s a return to the time when birth determined everything,’ one said.

’34-year-old lawyer here. I absolutely relate. Have pretty much given up on ever owning a home,’ a second commented.

‘Same deal. 30s, making more money than I ever have, but the parent I got stuck (my mum) with didn’t own property.

‘I have no idea how much more money I would need to save for a deposit. It’s a monumental climb to do that while forking out the insane rents we’re paying.

‘I live nowhere near a city by the way. Regional. The price hike is Australia wide and it’s disgusting.’

A fourth shared: ‘Buying a house nowadays compared to just 20 years ago is way more difficult. The data shows this. It’s literally undeniable.”

Another said: ‘We’ve been raised by a narcissistic generation who’ve closed the doors fast and hard behind them.

‘You’ve been told that all you have to do is to work hard to be successful. It’s only the lazy and bludgers that miss out.

‘But what you need now (to have the life your parents had) is the bank of Mum and Dad or a time machine.’

A young professional has warned Australia's deepening housing crisis could lead to 'significant civil unrest' if people continued to miss out on 'basic needs' (pictured, a home in Canberra)

A young professional has warned Australia’s deepening housing crisis could lead to ‘significant civil unrest’ if people continued to miss out on ‘basic needs’ (pictured, a home in Canberra)

A fifth added: ‘I agree with you. The opportunities the older blokes had, many buying nice suburban blocks and even acreage outside Melbourne on a single income, all while just set and forget on their career is astounding.’

Another declared: ‘As long as this country keeps treating housing as an investment rather than a basic human right, it will only get worse. If we didn’t buy seven years ago there is no way we could buy today.’

However, not everyone agreed with the plight of the young pair.

A single woman in her 30s said she had bought a two-bedroom unit in Sydney’s inner west without any help from her parents.

Before she bought her first home, the woman had earned $65k-$80k for four years before she was bumped up to $110k for another three.

She had been renting one-bedroom homes in Parramatta and Homebush before she bought the inner-city apartment for under $600k last year.

‘And I have never felt like I needed to ‘starve myself’ to achieve this, as I wasn’t even planning to buy property at all until a month before I bought,’ she said.

Another said they had been able to purchase land to build their first home at the age of 29 without any help from their parents, who are both refugees.

‘Was it hard? Yeah. Impossible? No. I had to make a lot of sacrifices and work more hours and eat out less, but I chose to do the hard yards,’ they wrote.

As an increasing number of people compete for rental properties, there is a concern more and more people will be at risk of homelessness (pictured, residential properties in Melbourne)

As an increasing number of people compete for rental properties, there is a concern more and more people will be at risk of homelessness (pictured, residential properties in Melbourne)

‘I had to make some hard calls on the area/land size/upgrades to plan, etc, but it will be worth it in the end. The goalposts have definitely been moved a few times since the previous generations but I’m sure we can still score.’

National property prices are expected to increase by up to 5 per cent in 2023, having already lifted more than 2 per cent since the start of the year. 

‘The post-pandemic recovery in immigration is expected to add significant pressure to housing demand,’ explained KPMG economists Brendan Rynne and Brian Tran said.

‘Robust population growth and limited housing supply are poised to exert more pressure on the rental market.’

The strongest growth is expected to be in Perth with growth of between 4 and 7 per cent, according to a report by REA Group.

Melbourne prices are predicted to grow at a slower rate of up to 2 per cent, although they might record a small dip by the end of the year. 

Sydney and Adelaide property prices are forecast to increase by between 3 and 6 per cent, while Brisbane is heading for between 1 and 4 per cent growth.

The author of the REA Group report, Cameron Kusher, said a limited supply of properties for sale remained a key factor contributing to buyer competition and price growth.

‘We saw price increases despite rising interest rates and reduced borrowing capacities and anticipate moderate price increases to continue over the coming months,’ he said.

Kusher said the outlook for 2024 was less clear with a large cohort of fixed-rate borrowers’ mortgages set to expire from current interest rates of around 2 per cent and reset to around 6 per cent. 

‘Interest rate changes act with a lag and, as such, the possible impact of higher repayments on these borrowers won’t be seen until 2024,’ he said.

‘At this stage, we are forecasting modest price growth in 2024.’

Meanwhile, rental vacancy rates remain tight in Brisbane Melbourne and Sydney, according to new SQM Research data.

The national vacancy rate slipped to 1.1 per cent, with Sydney falling back to 1.3 per cent from 1.4 per cent in August.

Asking rents also ticked higher to reflect fierce competition for housing, moving 1.3 per cent higher in October.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said home building was not keeping up with population growth spurred by pent-up, post-pandemic migration.