RENTING V BUYING
Earlier this year, Malcolm Turnbull dished out some much-derided advice for young people hoping to enter the property market: just borrow money from your (wealthy) parents. It came after former treasurer, Joe Hockey, took a swipe at those locked out of the market, claiming young Australians simply needed to “get a good job that pays good money”. Thanks for that, Joe. Ever since, debate on renting versus buying has been running hot. While traditionally we’ve been a bunch of reluctant renters – a life spent paying off someone else’s mortgage largely viewed as ‘European’, alongside afternoon siestas and blasé attitudes to sex – it’s now very much a reality for many. In fact, we’re quickly becoming a nation of non-homeowners, with 60 per cent of Melburnians and Sydneysiders now renting where they reside. And it’s understandable – young buyers are attempting to enter markets where average house prices are a staggering 10 to 12 times the average yearly salary. By comparison, our Baby Boomer parents bought when prices were straddling just two or three times their annual income. So, do you scrimp and live your best years on baked beans to save a deposit and purchase an asset that should set up the future? Or embrace life’s many moments, save for the hassle of the occasional move? To explore each option, we asked two Australians to weigh in with their experiences.