Property boom widens generational wealth gap - Australia

Friday 16 July 2004

This week Melbourne newspaper The Age reported the findings of a study it commissioned analysing the effect of Australia's property boom on the wealth of its citizens.

By The Landlord

The reports made interesting reading from a New Zealand perspective. Here there has been a similar, if not quite as long running and intense, property boom. We also share many of the same attitudes to home ownership.

"The great Australian dream has been founded on the humble premise of home ownership," The Age said in an editorial.

"Our egalitarian aspirations, our security and our sense of identity can all be traced, at least in part, to the national ambition to pay off a mortgage."

While The Age reported the boom for the most part benefited Australians, the survey also found it contributed to a widening gap between rich and poor.

Those who could afford to buy property during the boom reaped the rewards, while for those who couldn't, the dream of owning their own property slipped further out of reach as prices rose.

Another key finding of the study by Canberra University's National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling was this gap was widening along age lines.

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