Gen Z Aussies half as likely to own a home as Baby Boomers at the same age
The Coming of Age Report by Afterpay reveals how young Aussies are setting social boundaries and letting go of societal norms like never before
Coming of Age in Australia is changing. Gone are the days where being married with kids before the age of 30, or owning a home in your 20’s, is considered the norm, with a new report from Afterpay revealing 1 in 5 Gen Z Aussies (21%) believing they’ll never be able to afford their own home.
From navigating the housing market, to prioritising mental health over their career, and changing the ways they make and maintain relationships, the Coming of Age Report by Afterpay reveals how Gen Z Aussies are managing their finances, optimising their work/life balance, and actively planning for their future. The report also explores how young Australians are fairing as they enter adulthood compared to the generations that came before them.
In my adult era
From the rising cost of living to the lingering effects of the pandemic, Gen Z have been hit by multiple crises as they’ve entered adulthood. Today, only 1 in 6 (16%) of Gen Z’s own their own home, compared with a quarter (24%) of Baby Boomers at the same age.
The knock on effect of this can be seen through changing home and work lives, with 20% of young Aussies saying that getting engaged or married isn’t on the cards for them right now, a drop of 50% from previous generations. Becoming parents has also been deprioritised, with only 1 in 3 (34%) Gen Z Aussies already having kids, compared to almost half (43%) of over 30’s at the same age.
All about the vibes
Gen Z started their careers during a major shift in workplace expectations and culture. As bosses look to revert back to the old-school, in-person office grind, young Aussies are all about that work/life balance, with 35% saying that flexible working is a top consideration when job hunting. While over half (52%) of young Aussies identify their career as a main priority, career loyalty isn’t a high priority, with three quarters (77%) willing to job hop for a better opportunity, and 80% believing it’s important to have a side hustle to supplement their income – a growth of almost half (45%) compared to their over 30’s counterparts.
Going out out
Gen Z are flipping the script on how they make new friends. Gone is the drinking scene, with over half (56%) drinking less than once a week, and the popularity of going out for dinner dropping by over a third (36%) from previous generations.
When it comes to dating, 1 in 3 (31%) Gen Z’s prefer to grab a coffee, deprioritising the previous generations preference for a lunch/dinner date (47%). It’s not only romantic relationships that have changed, young Aussies are also redefining how they maintain relationships. While almost half (49%) of older Aussies are likely to catch up with their mates on the phone (rising to 58% of Baby Boomers), less than a third (31%) of Gen Z’s list this as their preferred mode, opting for digital communication (39%) instead.
State of savings
With constant news reports on the rental crisis and rising interest rates, Gen Z aren’t playing around, taking control of their future by saving for the long term more than previous generations. Over a third (65%) of Gen Z are actively saving for their retirement in addition to their superannuation, compared with 2 in 5 (43%) of their older counterparts at the same age. Additionally, the perceived ‘ideal’ retirement package has increased in the eyes of younger Aussies, with Gen Z’s believing they will need $1 – $1.5M, up 25% on Millennials who considered $750k – $1.25M the amount to aim for.
While Gen Z Aussies are prioritising their future, their current savings aren’t as fruitful, with almost half (42%) admitting they have $10,000 or less in their bank account, and a third (31%) having $5,000 or less.
Home is where the heart is
The Australian property scene has been a wild ride lately, with rental prices soaring by a whooping 13.2% in just a year*. As such, confidence in the Australian property market is at a low, with over half (56%) of young Aussies believing the current rental crisis will stay the same or worsen, and almost a quarter (22%) concerned they’ll never be able to afford a property of their own.
While a similar amount of Gen Z Aussies already own their own home compared to older generations at the same age (28% vs 30%), Gen Z is more likely to own and live on their own (11% vs 5%), whereas older generations were more likely to live with a spouse or partner (7% vs 18%).
Katrina Konstas, Country Manager ANZ at Afterpay, said, “The world is changing at a fast pace, and Gen Z’s have had to adapt to that like no generation before them. Whether it’s starting their careers in lockdown and not adapting to hybrid or office working, growing up in a completely digital world, or having to navigate the ever-changing housing market.
“The Afterpay Coming of Age Report reveals exactly how much has changed since the older generations were in the 20’s – from the Baby Boomers who came of age in a post-depression world, through the Millennials who navigated the analogue to digital change. The findings show Gen Z’s priorities have shifted greatly, choosing to focus on themselves more than any generation before them, and are maturing in ways that will reshape the next generation’s relationship with life’s fundamental aspects”
Further key findings include:
- (Don’t) put a ring on it – 25% of Gen Z’s are not in a relationship or actively dating, and only 24% are married or engaged, compared with 50% of Millennials and 62% of Boomers at the same age
- Focus on health – Over three-quarters (78%) of Gen Z Aussies have taken a day off work due to work-related stress, a huge leap compared to Gen X (38%) and Baby Boomers (17%) at the same age
- Super for superannuation – Younger Aussies are also more savvy when it comes to superannuation, with 3 in 4 (77%) of both Gen Z’s and Millennials understanding how superannuation works, compared with almost a third (60%) of Gen X and 2 in 5 (43%) of Baby Boomers at the same age.
The full report can be read here.
Afterpay is available where you wouldn’t believe, both in-store and online, to help Aussies budget for everything in their life from fashion and health, to homewares and appliances, to travel and experiences. Customers can pay off purchases in four, fortnightly instalments without incurring interest ever. Customers can head to the Afterpay website (www.afterpay.com.au) or the Afterpay app to see where Afterpay is accepted.
About the Afterpay Coming of Age report
The Afterpay Coming of Age report is based on a collation of quantitative data gained through an online survey of 1,000 Australians conducted by McCrindle Research representative by age, gender and location. The survey was in field from 18th September to 25th of September 2023. A second survey was deployed to gain additional responses from 28th September to 4th of October 2023.
Afterpay is transforming the way we pay by allowing anyone to buy products immediately and pay over time – enabling simple, transparent and responsible spending. We are on a mission to power an economy in which everyone wins. Afterpay is offered by thousands of the world’s favorite retailers and used by millions of active global customers. Afterpay is currently available in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom, where it is known as Clearpay. Afterpay is a wholly owned subsidiary of Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ)