The New Australian Dream

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Owning your own four bedroom house on a decent block of land with a big backyard and outdoor swimming pool used to be the quintessential 'Great Australian Dream'. But with rising property prices and increased living costs, that dream is being redefined.

what is the Average Australian Profile?

The average full time annual income in Australia is $80,000, which is bumped up a bit because of high income earners. Even though we are living longer now than a generation ago, the average retirement age is little changed, at 61.5 years.

The cost of housing is up with average rent prices per week at $485/week and the average house price (capital city) is $765,730. In Melbourne it is well above this and in Sydney it is around $1 million. This is where the challenge is for Australians: 40 years ago the average house price was around 5 time’s average earnings and now you can see it is almost 10 times the average annual fulltime earnings.

Other than affordability, what else are Aussies looking for?

Lifestyle is key. People are opting to live in higher density areas for the sake of convenience and location- within close proximity to transport, restaurants – the café culture as it has been called. Our Urban Living Index shows a strong correlation between the most urban/densified suburbs and those with the highest liability ratings.

Australians are opting for a lifestyle of Minimalism - we are 'decluttering' our lives and putting more value on the intangibles like travel. Generation Y aren’t opting for a big home with garages to store all their stuff but more of a focus on the easy-livability of apartment living. Indeed many baby boomers are downsizing from their larger homes in the suburbs to this style of living too.

Renting, as opposed to buying, what some of the benefits?

The ability to change locations easily is well regarded – the average Australian renter stays just 1.8 years per home. Our research shows that 1 in 3 renters are actually 'choice renters' and they choose to rent for lifestyle reasons, not primarily for affordability reasons. These choice renters are twice more likely to be living in medium and high density housing than the average Australian and they are almost 10 years younger than the average Australian. The ability to upsize and downsize easily and the flexibility to travel for extended periods of time is a driver for them. ‘Rentvesting’ is also becoming a ‘thing’. This is where people choose to rent in an area they like, but buy somewhere more affordable and use this as an investment

Generation Y are struggling to attain the Great Australian Dream – are they going to be ok?

There is a challenge emerging of "generational inequity" as shown by this infographic:

Gen Y’s have the least wealth of the working generations and their proportion of Australia’s wealth is less than half their demographic share, while the Baby Boomers who are a quarter of the population, own more than half of Australia’s wealth. (More information on this topic can be found here)

This is why Gen Y is reinventing the Aussie Dream and while they do still like the idea of owning something of their own, it is not just the big home with the back yard in the suburbs. But many in this generation will be absolutely fine thanks to the massive intergenerational wealth transfer set to happen in the next 20 years as those aged over 65 transfer much of their total wealth of $2.5 trillion.

The Growing Need for 'Lazy Time' Amongst Aussie Men

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

We know our nation prides itself on our ‘mateship’ culture, however our recent research shows that over three-quarters of modern Aussie men are struggling to find time for their mates.

We were delighted to survey over 500 Australian males (aged 20 to 40 years) to find out how they spend their down time, for this study commissioned by Bundaberg Rum. Our research revealed that whilst nearly all men (97%) agree making time for their mates is essential, the majority (85%) of Aussie males are struggling to find enough time for much needed ‘man time’ with their friends.

Social demographer Mark McCrindle said: "Career driven, family focused and health conscious Aussie men are crowding their lives with commitments. As a result of these pressures and competing priorities, the time available for men to kick back and relax with their mates has begun to erode"

“Trends over the last three to five years highlight that men are losing the battle for the simple pleasures that bring Aussie men together. The study found that one in three (35%) are spending less quality time with their mates than three to five years ago, and revealed Aussie mates are sharing 30% less barbecues and watching 29% less sport.” - Mark McCrindle.

Men aren’t prioritising friendships

According to the report, men aren’t prioritising friendships as much as they should. Mates are pipped by family (77%), work (67%) and health and fitness (64%), with friendship (52%) coming in fourth place on their list of priorities.

Mark McCrindle said that for men, getting the balance right and making time for down time with mates is essential for their ‘social well-being’.

Lazy Time with mates might just be the best thing for Aussie men’s social WELL-BEING

“It’s a truth and permission that hard-working Aussie men might be delighted to hear, but watching sport and enjoying some lazy time with their mates might just be the best thing for their social well-being”

“Importantly, the research shows that men who have regular casual get-togethers with their friends are happier than those who don’t (83% compared to 70%), more productive (79% compared to 73%), and had lower stress levels (66% compared to 73%)." - Mark McCrindle

20 to 25 year-old men are chucking sickies to watch Netflix

In addition, almost one in five men (17%) have pulled a sickie and stayed at home instead of hanging out with their friends. 20 to 25 year-old males are the worst offenders with three in ten males (30%) admitting to it in the last six months.

One in five (19%) admitted to turning down a night with close friends to stay at home and watch Netflix or TV, and one in ten (11%) have turned down a night with their mates to spend time at home on social media instead.

Mark McCrindle said modern Aussie men needed to share more down time together to avoid the risk of becoming disconnected from their friends.

“It’s important that everyone makes time for their friends, but in this era of increased busyness – it means our social lives are becoming increasingly disconnected. Lazy time and casual get-togethers spent with mates are now more important than ever,”- Mark McCrindle.

View the full infographic here

Wealth and Income Distribution State V State

Monday, July 25, 2016

Australia has long been considered the land of the middle class, but in recent years the gap has been widening between the rich and the poor. When it comes to the battle of the states, which corner of Australia scores the highest and the lowest on the income and wealth report? Will the Baby Boomer generation continue their stronghold on our national wealth?

Is Australia still the land of the middle class?

It is hanging in there, but it’s under pressure. We have seen some hollowing out in the middle of the earnings and a bit of spread to either end. The average annual household earnings are around $107,000 however the lowest fifth of households earn 20% of this while the top fifth average almost three times this. That means that the top fifth of households are taking home about 12 times what the bottom fifth of households are earning.

Most Aussies have their wealth tied up in their homes, how does ownership compare with the top, middle and lower classes?

The average wealth (if you liquidate everything and pay off all your debts, what are you left with) is about $800,000. The bottom 1 in 5 have a net worth of just $35,000, the top 20% of all household have a net worth of about $2,500,000. That means that the top fifth of households have about 62% of Australia’s wealth, and the bottom fifth take less than 1% of Australia’s national private wealth. So that's a big difference in wealth across these households.

Which states are best and worst performers when we are looking just at income?

The mining boom in WA has really done a great thing over there and so they are leading the earnings chart, with the ACT not too far behind with public servant wages doing pretty well. At the bottom of the tree you have Tasmania, earning about $50,000 less per annum, per household, than what we have in the west.

What Makes a City the Most Liveable?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What makes a state or city liveable? Is it the low crime rate, affordability, ease of travel or is it simply the weather? We have compared some of the major factors and revealed what Aussies really think.


If you take the average weekly earnings, subtract the average weekly mortgage repayments based on house costs, you find that NSW doesn’t do too well, it is earning 20% above the average, but the houses are 64% above the average, so NSW works out to be the worst in terms of income after housing. But WA is on top of the charts, with the ACT doing pretty well also.

Ease of travel

We took the centre of population of each of our capital cities, the mid-point of the population sprawl where as many people live north, as south of this point, and as many east, as west. From this centre of living we measured the average, non-peak hour driving time to the centre of the CBD marked by the GPO of each capital. We found that as we would probably expect, Sydney was the longest drive, about 33 minutes to get from the centre of population to the centre of the city, but the quickest trip of all was Brisbane with just 8 minutes.

Crime rates

This is the number of offenders per annum, per 100 people and the Territories book end the data here, with the ACT with the lowest crime rate nationally and the Northern Territory as the highest crime rate and the other states right in the middle. As measured by crime rates, the ACT is Australia’s safest place to live.


We measured this by looking at the average number of sunny days - totally clear days in a year. Tasmania not doing too well with a lot of cloudy, overcast days, but WA takes the crown with the most number of sunny days in any given year.

Watch Mark McCrindle's full interview on The Daily Edition here

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