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How governments have widened the gap between generations in home ownership

Rachel Ong writes in The Conversation (29.8.17) about government policies affecting the home buying market, pointing out that over a thirty year period the share of home owners among 25-34-year-olds shrunk by more than 20%. In the same time, the author notes, the share of home owners among those aged 65 years or over rose slightly.

'Various government policies have fuelled the demand for housing over time, expanding the wealth of older home owners and pushing it further and further beyond the reach of young would-be home buyers. A new study highlights this divide between millennials and their boomer parents.

'The study is part of a Committee of Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) report called Housing Australia. It compares trends in property ownership across age groups over a period of three decades.

'Between 1982 and 2013, the share of home owners among 25-34 year olds shrunk the most, by more than 20%. On the other hand, the share of home owners among those aged 65+ years has risen slightly.

'The rate of renting has spiralled among young people. By 2013, renting had outstripped home ownership among 25-34 year olds.

'There is undoubtedly a growing intergenerational divide in access to the housing market. The timing of policy reforms has been a major driver of this widening housing wealth gap.'

 

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