For many people in Australia, owning a home isn’t a question, it’s simply something you do. Australia has one of the highest levels of homeownership in the world, sitting at around 70 per cent since 1966 when records first began.
Twenty years ago, nearly all houses on the market in our capital cities sold for less than $400,000 (95.6 per cent), while today the sheer majority are between $400,000 and $1million (52 per cent).
Essentially, buying a home is becoming more expensive, albeit more rewarding capital gains-wise. Meanwhile renting is becoming more affordable, yet it’s not getting you anywhere near the property ladder. Therefore, should you rent or buy?
THE BENEFITS OF RENTING
While rent money can sometimes be referred to as ‘dead money’ as it’s going straight to your landlords pockets, generally it will cost you less. As a homeowner, you will have to stump up for mortgage repayments, council rates, bills, repairs and any general maintenance that is required. Meanwhile as a tenant, you will be responsible for the weekly rent payments and your utility bills – that’s it.
If you need or want to move house, as a renter it is quite easy to do so. Simply choose from a range of rental properties, give your landlord some notice, pack up your things and go!
The process of selling your home, finding a new place, potentially securing a bridging loan and competing with other buyers can be arduous when compared to the freedom that renting offers.
THE BENEFITS OF OWNING
A major issue with renting is that you can never have any real security of tenure. Long-term leases can be hard to come by, the owner may decide to sell or your rent could skyrocket suddenly.
Financial issues are one of the biggest causes of stress among people in Australia. Knowing the roof above your head is your own can certainly help you relax.
While owning a home may be more expensive than renting, in the long term your money is working for you, going into an investment, as the value of your property should increase over time.