AHURI Brief

Do younger and older Australian households want the same kind of housing?

Aspirations of young and older Australians are framed around different experiences and goals

10 December 2019

The housing aspirations and desires of young adults (aged 25–34) and older Australians who have retired (aged 65–74) are framed around quite different housing and employment experiences and long-term goals. Two recent AHURI reports have  looked at the housing aspirations of younger and older Australians and found some similarity in housing preferences despite the large age gap between the groups.

In terms of similarities, both groups aspire to home ownership at 77 per cent (25–34 years old) and 81 per cent (65–74 years old) respectively. More than half of both groups want to live in a detached house and generally aim to have 3 or 4 bedrooms in that home.

Tenure and dwelling preferences

Tenure type25–3465–74
Ownership (full, joint, shared equity, shared with family/friends)77%81%
Rental (incl. in shared dwelling)15%4%
Social housing2%3%
Within a lifestyle or retirement village1%8%
Other/No preference5%4%
Dwelling type  
Separate (detached dwelling)56%69%
Attached dwelling (semi-detached/terrace/townhouse etc.)12%11%
Apartment (less than 4 storeys)10%8%
Apartment (more than 4 storeys)11%4%
Ancillary dwelling/granny flat3%2%
Caravan or other temporary structure1%0%
Other3%2%
No preference5%2%
Number of bedrooms  
14%2%
218%25%
333%52%
436%19%
5+8%2%
No preference1% 

There are, of course, also great differences in how these two age groups see their housing futures. The great majority of older Australians (75%) want to stay in their home in the short term (1–2 years), while, in contrast, only 41 per cent of 25–34 year old households wanted to live in their current home over the next one to two years.

Nevertheless, large proportions of both younger and older Australians want to stay living in the same or a nearby neighbourhood, with 73 per cent of younger and 87 per cent of older Australians wanting to stay where they are or live within 10 kilometres of their current home.

Intentions to move or stay in the short term

Intention to move or stay

24–35 years

65–74

Stay

41%

75%

Move within 10 km

32%

12%

Move within region further than 10 km

16%

4%

Move to a different part of current state/territory

5%

6%

Move to a different state/country

6%

3%

 

100%

100%

There are also noteworthy differences in where older Australians and 25–34 age groups want to live.

While the ‘middle/outer suburbs of a Capital City’ were the most popular location for both groups, the younger households are much more interested in living in the CBD or inner suburbs of a capital city—44 per cent of younger respondents said they would like to live there compared with 21 per cent of the older group. Indeed, the next most popular location for the older group (after the middle/outer suburbs of a capital city) was living in a small regional town—a location that was popular with only 10 per cent of the younger households.

What would be the ideal living location?

 

25–34

65–74

The CBD of a Capital City

16%

3%

The inner suburbs of a Capital City

28%

18%

The middle/outer suburbs of a Capital City

28%

36%

A large regional city or town

14%

16%

A small regional town

10%

21%

A remote community

2%

2%

Other

1%

1%

No preference

2%

2%

 

100%

100%

Understanding the housing aspirations of people at all ages can be important in guiding policy makers to implement innovative programs and policy solutions to help these aspirations be realised.

Find out more by viewing the two reports, which are part of an AHURI Inquiry into housing aspirations:

Younger Australians and the housing aspirations gap

Older Australians and the housing aspirations gap