One of the largest national surveys since the Australian Census, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) asked Australians about their future. It also examined attitudes towards the property market. 

Hello Clarity was created when Claire Madden and CBA joined forces. Hello Clarity is a strategy agency that focuses on research and Claire Madden is its founder and director. CommBank Connected Future Report.

“The remarkable insights emerging from the CommBank ATM data overall is the resilience and tenacity Aussies have in the face of economic uncertainty,” Madden said. “As a lead example, while the Australian property dream looks markedly different in 2017, the majority of Australians either fully own or are paying off their home. This has remained constant over the past five decades, so despite uncertainty, the Australian dream has clearly lived through time.”

The Australian Dream is changing

A three-bedroom home with enough space for a mower and a yard was once the ideal Aussie dream.

While the Baby Boomer generation placed a lot of emphasis upon homeownership because it was seen as a sign both of success and security, some are now asking: Are the Aussie dreams we know still feasible?

CBA found that nearly half of Australians (48.3%), still believe that the dream can be achieved. However, others are changing the definition of the Australian dream.

“While Gen Y (the Millennials) are delaying traditional life events such as marriage … and having fewer children, the average age of a first-home buyer has remained relatively constant over the last two decades, hovering around 32 years of age,” the report said.

It is still very important to have a home. Gen Y’s homes will be different from those of the Baby Boomers once they reach the milestone of getting a loan.

Dreams architecturally designed

The new dream house isn’t a traditional weatherboard-only home. It has become an architecturally-designed product. Over the years, homebuyers have no desire to compromise on the quality and design of their homes.  

“The quarter acre block is becoming a threatened species – whilst 74% of those living in cities and 81% of those outside capital cities currently live in a stand-alone house, 48% of new residential approvals over the past year have been for medium- or high-density housing,” the report said.

CBA’s data reveals that while 68% of first-home buyers bought a house in the last year, 16% want to build their architectural dream home after purchasing vacant land.

Australians are moving into larger homes and smaller blocks with a growing push for medium- and high density housing, particularly in the capital cities. According to the CBA report backyards are being sold for bathroom facilities and alfresco dining spaces.