In partnership with youth publishing group Pedestrian. TV, realestate.com.au has released the 2019 Renters Report which provides a snapshot of young Australian renters and the issues facing them.
The report highlights some surprising statistics around living conditions and rental stress in 18 to 39-year-old Australians.
It surveyed 3,500 respondents nationally through quantitative research methods, as well as taking a qualitative approach with ten Aussie renters based in Sydney and Melbourne. The report focuses on five key areas of a young Australian renter’s experience.
According to survey results, the average Australian renter (18-39) is more likely to be female, aged between 25 and 29, living in Melbourne or Sydney and with an income of around $50,000 per annum.
The report showed that about 40 per cent of those surveyed are currently in rental stress, defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as a situation where the housing costs are more than 30 per cent of the gross household income.
But the report found that the majority of respondents who were in rental stress either didn’t know or didn’t care. Around 72 per cent said they felt the price they paid was fair and that they would never question the figure.
Rental stress was found to be more prevalent in Sydney (64 per cent) over Melbourne (37 per cent).
The main draw-card for a property was, unsurprisingly, location; 51.7 per cent of the respondents said this was the most important factor in choosing a property, with price coming in second at 33.1 per cent.
The toughest part of the rental process for Generation Rent is finding the competition, according to 41 per cent of the respondents. Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales were the top states with competition issues. Finding the money for bond came in second.
The competition factor was supported by the fact over 30 per cent of respondents said they had been knocked back from more than three properties before finding a new home. A further 30 per cent had been knocked back once.
Interestingly, despite the high percentage of renters in rental stress, coming up with the cash each week isn’t their main issue. ‘Loud sex’ was listed as a higher issue than ‘unpaid rent’, especially from those living in Sydney.
This could be because of the number of renters living with housemates. In New South Wales, the ACT and Tasmania, over 40 per cent of respondents said they lived with three or more housemates.
Of those who did share, 44 per cent moved in with a friend they already knew, but 40 per cent lived to regret that decision. 14 per cent started a romantic relationship with a housemate while 33.25 per cent said the highest cause of housemate stress was dirty dishes.
Despite the prevailing thought that young Aussies will choose location over owning their own home, only 20 per cent of those surveyed said they would happily rent forever, and 50 per cent of those were based in Western Australia or Victoria. The majority said they eventually hoped to own their own home.
But saving for that dream home may take a while – only two in five respondents said they would consider moving home to save up for a deposit.