Are the rich getting richer?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Australia has long been considered the land of the fair go. It is a nation regarded as a classless society where the suburbs were the social equalisers- a melting pot of lawyers and labourers, teachers and tradies.

The ‘great Australian dream’ where people on average incomes near the start of their working life could afford a home is fading and the latest data reveals a widening wealth gap.

What are the drivers of this wealth stratification?

Property prices and ownership

The latest HILDA data from the University of Melbourne showed that two decades ago, one in three young people aged 18 - 39 owned a property, compared to today, where just one in four young people own a property.

The impact of growing demand on house prices is most evident when comparing prices to average earnings. Twenty years ago, the average Sydney house was 5.6 times average annual earnings while in Melbourne it was an affordable 3.4 times annual earnings.

Today, Sydney homes are more than 14 times average earnings, and in Melbourne more than 11 times annual earnings.

Generational challenge

The generational financial inequities are even more pronounced when analysing net wealth by generational cohort.

While Gen Y have a household net worth of $268,800, it is less than half that of the Gen Xers who are just a decade older. The highest net worth generation in Australia are the Boomers aged 55-64 who not only have a net wealth almost 5 times that of the generation of their children (Gen Y) but they still have a decade or more of earnings and wealth accumulating ahead of them.

How can we level the playing field?

Policy has partly created the rising house prices through migration settings and therefore population growth. Policy settings have also created the SMSF demand for property and tax settings such as negative gearing have been a boon for property investment. Therefore policy could also assist in bringing a solution such as assisting in intergenerational wealth transfer or allowing superannuation fund access for first-home buyers. For a generation finding it harder to get a foothold in property, further research into possible policy adjustments is a worthwhile approach.

About Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations. Download Mark's full speakers pack here.

Generation Y and Housing Affordability

Monday, October 24, 2016

As Australia’s leading social researchers, the senior research team at McCrindle are actively involved in media commentary. Last week our Principal, Mark McCrindle and Team Leader of Communications, Ashley McKenzie were featured in the media about Generation Y and their ability to access the housing market in Sydney.

Generation Y are today’s 22 – 36 year olds, and make up 22% of the Australian population (5.22 million). They also make up the largest cohort in the current workforce (34%). Gen Y’s are comprised of today’s parents, senior leaders, influencers, and increasingly wealth accumulators. With 1 in 3 being university educated (compared to 1 in 5 Baby Boomers), they have grown up in shifting times and are digital in nature, global in outlook and are living in accelerated demographic times.

While Generation Y are often accused of living a lavish lifestyle, which supposedly locks them out of the property market, it is important to remember that traditional expense categories such as food, transport, health and housing costs are higher for younger people today than that experienced by their parents at the same age. A generation ago the average house price was 5 times annual average earnings while today the average house price is 13 times the average annual full-time earnings.

Here is a quick snapshot of last week’s media coverage:

Housing Affordability Debate

"From the Baby Boomer perspective, they worked hard, they earned what they had but I can also see the Gen Y perspective. The reality is that it's a lot harder to buy a home, the costs have gone up. Gen Y do have to pay off the debt of their degree and there are new categories of spend; technology, internet and phone, costs that their parents didn’t have."  

Parental help becoming essential for young people trying to buy property

"Ms McKenzie, who works for social researcher Mark McCrindle, said borrowing from parents was becoming Sydney’s “new normal”. “Baby Boomers control about 50 per cent of the nation’s wealth so it makes sense young people look to their parents for help,” she said." 

For any media enquiries please email us at, or call our offices on +61 2 8824 3422. To arrange a media interview or if you are a journalist and would like to receive our media updates, please email

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


home owner social commentary goal tea online mccrindle tea Word Up WA crime 2016 census criminal future Macquarie University omnibus student recap ease of travel baby name predictions award winner etiquette Research Executive 2016 wellbeing poker master TAS builders Caregiver australian ashley mckenzie Western Australia resilience the great screenage Valentine’s Day future proof optus my business awards keynote speaker real year 7 personal growth youth click food faux-cilising high school royal influence high density apartments "know the times" forum wedding coffee brand experience Geoff Brailey ethnography NBRS Architecture trends of 2017 darwin English census 2016 infographics Financial Planning Association of Australia future-proof skills hornsby Education Future Forum spirituality google for education divorce rate couple baby experience cancel plans media release not for profit learner housing teacher changing face of sydney cold video report parenting SA statistics keynote ABS women leadership workshop Wodonga newspaper sydneycity national private wealth staff healthy future Aussie February 16 innovation the average aussie seasons post rationalism finance housing trends CBD Queensland conferences social research January 26th safe generation alpha cost of living domestic SMSF New Zealand wealth and income average aussie Scouts training capital cities population vegetarian trends analyst micro apartments education future report child care Financial Planning Week public speaker ultimo professional presenters analysis infographic wall mccrindle in the media baby boom spend young australians sydneysider list demography wealth distribution IT Specialists teleworking gen alpha narcissism social researcher TED NT housing market office millenials Sydney keynote speaker trend city Financial Planning Association belief workplace culture clothing insights goals land of the middle class men holidays professional litter relevant demographic award entrepreneurs of today grandparents innovative world outsourcing social analysis 40 million gender students professional development the hills shire chairty careers SRE Australian schools royal baby Sydney Hills Business Chamber neutral bay kate middleton small business Australian Communities Trends speakers car Channel Seven VET focus groups consumer bondi faith social enquiry educhat holiday long weekend Births religion environment World Water Day government James Ward 1980 lalor park The Daily Edition wolloomooloo gen z socialising sunny days social life global generations cultural diveristy Australian communities FPA dreaming dreams DESTEL brand the hills census results average Australian cancelling event Charlotte collaboration urban mythbusters ashley fell workforce school students politics alpha vegemite friends motivate public speaking socialites commuters dessert fears conference presentation engagement volunteer Channel 7 Hills Shire Council DIY rain baby name FOMO future of shopping networking hills shire sunburnt country 10 years baby names australia report weather anzac mining boom 2015 population milestone wages entertainment mythbusting social change Adelaide crows nest meetings balance Deaths JOMO emerging technologies stats house price Queensland: QLD digital ACF2017 divorce collaborative contiki McCrindle Speakers cloudy days mobile interactive visual Australian community trends System's Architect salary marriage workshop selfie norwest generations Mark McCrindle demographics australian social research data analyst state waverton ACF 2016 generation Z gold coast Northern beaches Event Christmas presents Australia street community event potts point NBRS care support personalities snapshot purpose travelling education future christianity repayments sydneysiders moderators guide research services future proofing medicine sports social New Zeland Research Director house 1975 schools students Merry Christmas father's day budget australian communities forum mccrindle Social Trend environmental scanning tips daily telegraph business growth local school engage ACT rental stress baby name trends Aussies gig economy 2014 tuesday aussie culture proactive earnings society school satisfaction follow case study brands national crime rates toys 2012 TEDx logan population growth optus investing marrickville presentations financial dreams research report Australian demographics renting insight online shopping Do It Yourself group customer employment debt cartodb leader Skilling area money baby names local communities winter sector wide wealth financial planning pharmacies wealth inequality greatness manly sydney hills education sector megatrends news communications train increasing densification education trends of 2016 VET sector trades identity Australians poor high density suburb educated owning a home Canberra summer in the media daily commute victoria participants cica cars media know the times publication product baby boomers residents emerging generations family moreton bay Tuesday Trend capital city learning styles business index world youth day culturally diverse christmas intern stay home sector emerging trends data equip high density living teach life Generation X children families leadership group session house prices NSW public holiday event non profit Andrew Duffin Australian Census professional services urban taskforce showreel authenticity paying to work 2013 research pack mccrindle research financial rule keeper shopper's pick Australian Home affordability tertiary education marriages sun social lives unemployment New South Wales travel 23 million Assistant Store Manager hello fresh offenders storytelling demographic trends media activity hopes new office work research data research focus group typical australian faux-ciliser ferry ACF Australian Bureau of Statistics Gen Y communication Australian Families australian real estate debate South Australia community community engagement PSI Real Estate Institute of Victoria monarchy program optimistic baby names report rent university social impact define average sydneysider village Engineering Manager unaffordable bus tableau language global tattoos sydney metro happiness Northern Beaches Christian School hobart Bathburst housing affordability 24,000,000 office space income Res Vis urban living internship results consumerism earning ageing Christmas season fresh annual income google cost suburban living commute cancelling plans tv deloitte brisbane census economy church retirement relational entrepreneurial screenage shopping centre teachers generation shopping learn plans australian community trends report Melbourne low density Tuesday Trends REIV National Conference futurist trend tuesday shifts meals impact TED talk technology youth unemployment Myth earn career new york times royal Wagga Wagga not-for-profit cash marketing wage infographic in depth interviews communicate #censusfail cultural diversity Real Estate presentation survey apartments Tasmania charities australians staying home more perth states Crime Rates 24 million social issues VIC financial future apartment Australian Dream sector wide study australian communities trends report volunteering speaker cooking conference sydney event mateship curiosity graphs shbc population map volunteers winter blues organisations census data communities NFP event resource internships culture Gen X jobs live the dream 1968 workplace pyrmont lifestyle GPO mover and shaker year 12 office opening bureau middle class census fail twentyseventeen mortgage living business performance thought leadership townhouses Royals global financial crisis acf15 1994 demographer university degree change Christmas lunch breakfast Territory staying in eliane Northern Territory Vocational education growing population HSC aged care puzzle housing growth young people sentiments work mates ipswich speakers pack The ABC of XYZ social trends demographic transformations generational trends supply and demand sustainable national wealth future of education financial fears conference speaker ideas blaxland Australian Trends Kirsten Brewer Australia Day 2017 dream grave decision mentor buildings Netflix EFF Northern Beaches parents trends water visualisation prince george affordable financial independence charity local community overcast christian teaching Sydney study australia education research internet suburbs nfp geomapping CPI property market media commentary SMART thrive ageing population forecasting property price society trends organisational culture Duchess of Cambridge social shifts forecast casual data visualisation household households story 2016 census results Wellington huffington post dare to dream the changing face of sydney speaker research visualisation market research schools 2017 quote challenge panel menai Population Clock investment entrepreneur house price rise gig home ownership friendship events social media rich economic social researchers royal family easter going out NEETs jobs of the future 2020 easy rider survey design Work place qualitative research slideshare rise of local celebration Generation Y pharmacy energy millennials hills REIV Conference rising house prices work-life choice workers mother's day Australian Population Australia Day the australian dream property names social commentator researcher future of work responsive facts investor ACF17 professional speaker faux-cilise micro Kiwi eliane miles urban living index Love woolworths millionth princess charlotte employers aged care Christchurch transport home priorities weekly earnings volunteering data wealth and income distribution TDE learning Hornsby Shire Council renter of the future