Australians are putting off having children as a result of concerns over house prices, a new OurGo.Co survey has found.
In a survey of 800 people aged in their 20s and 30s, 59 per cent said they were putting off having kids, or planning to have fewer, because of high house prices.
Over 90 per cent of people surveyed were “concerned” or ‘extremely concerned” about housing affordability.
The report authors are leading a campaign to help boost the economic security of young Australians, amid an election campaign.
Young couples are struggling to get into the housing market. Image via iStock.
Campaign Director David Liston said, “Housing affordability is a major cause of concern for young people, and what’s clear from this survey is that these concerns are having extreme real world impacts.
“The decision to put off having kids, or to have less kids, as a result of housing fear, will have major repercussions for the Australian economy, and society as a whole, " he said.
"This concern goes well beyond wanting the right house in the right suburb, for many young people it now means having kids a lot later, and having less of them once you start.”
OurGo.Co find out how people feel about housing affordability. Post continues after video.
In the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australia's fertility rates have been in decline for the past five years. Australia's total fertility rate is 1.8 babies per woman - and it is "insufficient to replace herself and her partner", according to the ABS. However, the birth rate data is not measured against housing affordability.
*Karen Jones, 27, is in her late twenties and has been fortunate enough to purchase a three-bedroom apartment in Sydney but she is scared to think about the future.
"I'm not really in the baby-making zone at the moment but having recently purchased a three-bedroom apartment, I've given how many kids we could have and when we could have them a lot of thought," she said.
"I've always wanted four kids but realistically, two is probably going to be more feasible financially (and that's how many would fit in our house) and we'd be able to give them a better life. I do worry that we need to get our savings up before I'd have to go on maternity leave as if anything came up, or my husband or I lost our jobs, we'd need a buffer zone to be able to continue to pay the mortgage," she added.
Housing affordability is a serious challenge to young families especially when the median house price in Australia's biggest city is just under $1 million. However, it isn't the only consideration that could impact on the decision to have children - or more children.
Susan Thomas, 38, says potential parents should "let a goat loose in your house for a few hours, and see how you deal with the aftermath" to see if you are ready.
Instead she prepared for her new arrival by purchasing a house as soon as she was pregnant because she didn't want to move with a small child.
Jackie Bell, 26, says she has to consider if her and her partner's gene mix will "make for a cute or weird looking baby".
Meanwhile, 36-year-old mother of two, Abby Palmer, says parents need whitegoods: "I wee-ed on a stick, got a positive result on Saturday morning. By 1:15pm, we were loading the dryer we just bought at Harvey Norman into the car, because there was no way I was doing this parenting-caper and hanging washing on the line."
*Names have been changed.