HIGH PRICE TO PAY: Anna Chamberlain (left), 16, of Caniaba and Sarah Hort, 16, of Lismore contemplate their future.
HIGH PRICE TO PAY: Anna Chamberlain (left), 16, of Caniaba and Sarah Hort, 16, of Lismore contemplate their future. Jacklyn Wagner

House prices soon out of reach

THEY are barely half-way through their teens, but Sarah Hort and Anna Chamberlain are already thinking about buying their first home.

However, thinking about it might be all the high-achieving 16-year-olds ever get to do if price forecasts from Australian Property Monitors hold true.

Those predictions put the median price of a home in the girls’ home town, Lismore, at more than $765,000 by 2020. That’s about 10 times average annual earnings, assuming a fairly generous yearly pay rise of four per cent each year from now.

“I guess I’ll be renting for the next few years,” Sarah, of Lismore, said.

“I had been thinking about buying property in a capital city or overseas, but — wow!”

Anna, of Caniaba, was equally gobsmacked.

“It’s gone to crap, because it’s so expensive but you still need somewhere to live and eat,” she said.

Anna said the rising prices might mean she has to substitute her dream of a big house for a small unit. However, having grown up on a farm, that shift might be too much for her to adjust too.

Sarah suggested the price rise could create a cultural shift, particularly if the price rise was replicated across the country, by forcing extended family groups to band together to save on housing costs.

“It may be that becomes more common when people can’t afford it,” she said.



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