The idea of home ownership is so ingrained in our psyche that young Australians are seeking counselling over the prospect of never being able to afford a home.
Financial concerns are the leading cause of stress for Australians, according to the Australian Psychological Association, with nearly half of those surveyed (49%) saying they are worried about money.
Australia is now the third most expensive place to buy a home in the world, according to IMF global housing data. This means the dream of home ownership is dead for many young people, who have been renting for years with the goal of saving for a home of their own.
Twenty-somethings discuss their prospects of ever being able to afford to buy a home. Article continues after this video.
This saving itself, is tough. Because it’s not only housing prices that are ridiculously high, rental rates are also rising. Personal income, of course, is lagging behind.
It’s a real bummer (understatement), that concerns over housing affordability has lead young people to seek counselling to deal with the stress involved. This is the case for a number of reasons, including:
- Millennials are working harder than ever before and only just managing to make ends meet;
- Young people are forced to stay at home for longer due to a lack of affordable housing;
- Millennials are moving back in with their parents after a number of years living out of home. This is an adjustment for both the millennial and the parents involved.
Mental Health Australia says safe, stable and secure accommodation is "vital" to mental health and wellbeing.
“Poor housing and housing stress, together with other life stresses, reduces psychological wellbeing and exacerbates mental illness,” CEO of Mental Health Australia Frank Quinlan said.
Financial counsellors are particularly busy at the moment, trying to help Australians manage their finances (in particular high levels of personal debt) in an effort to get them on a path to home ownership.
I live and work in Canberra, and it's the highest income per capita city in the country. It's also the highest per capita indebtedness in the country. And we've seen a dramatic increase in numbers of mortgage foreclosures, but they're off a very low base. If you look to the western suburbs of Sydney, the rates at which people are failing in their home loans are quite terrifying.
It certainly is a new world when it comes to home ownership and it's only set to get worse as interest rates eventually, inevitably increase.
If you or someone you know is suffering from financial stress contact Financial Counselling Australia for free advice on 1800 007 007 or visit their website.