The great Aussie dream or renting?

HOME ownership to some extent still remains the great Australian dream, but it may be time to rethink this as fewer of us manage to buy up and settle down.

There have been significant drops in the percentage of people who own their home outright over the past decade, according to a recent report issued by the National Housing Supply Council.

Unsurprisingly there has also increase in the percentage of renters across most age groups between 2001 and 2011.

More than half of the country's 25 to 34 year olds rent, as opposed to 45.2% a decade ago.

The number of renters aged between 35 and 44 also increased from 28.4-33.5%, while renting among 45-54 year olds increased from 20.2-24.5%.

Despite these figures, the dream of home ownership remains - hand in hand with the stigma attached to renting.

I may be the minority, but I don't think there is anything wrong with renting a home.

And in honour of the nation's renters, and as some consolation for those still failing to reach their dream of home ownership, I've compiled a list of benefits of living life from one apartment to the next.

First of all, renters don't have to worry about rates, mortgage repayments or increasingly threatening letters from the bank.

Though I do like the idea of owning a home, I like the fact that my university bills are the debt I'm facing much more.

Almost as good as having no mortgage is the fact that every time you break something as a renter, it's someone else's responsibility to fix it. If I had to pay a plumber each time I broke something in my laundry, I would have to take a second mortgage out on my home just to pay their bill.

You're also not stuck with your neighbours. This may be a disadvantage for some renters, but I have certainly lived next to some people I've been glad to see the back of (or, more accurately, hear an end to).

And finally, apartment renters don't have to deal with body corporate meetings. Admittedly, I can only go off rumours for this one, but I'm imagining something very similar to local council meetings - complete with overly officious appointed representatives and meticulous note taking. Of course, a lot of the demographics who would usually gravitate towards home ownership are the ones that are missing out, according to the National Housing Supply Council.

"Couple families with children and couple families without children are the groups that have experienced the largest falls in home ownership," it states.

"Many of these changes are likely to have been at least partly driven by the increase in house prices over the decade, making it harder for people to get into the housing ladder and having to take out proportionally larger mortgages when they do."

It may be time to rethink the country's affordable housing policies as well.



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