Once upon a time everyone started off by living at the family home until they could save for a home of their own. There was a very clear line when I was growing up, of the home owners and the renters and the latter were typically looked down upon. It was considered even worse if you grew up in public housing.
The dream for everyone was to save a deposit as soon as possible to buy a first home which was expected to be upgraded at some point to the family home. This was usually a bigger home with a yard for the kids and was positioned closer to schools.
As children moved out and the parents aged, home owners then downsized again to a smaller home or unit. Nursing homes were not so common and children usually took on the responsibility when Mum and Dad could no longer live by themselves in their own home.
As time progressed and the finances changed, as well as wanting everything sooner, the attitude changed as well. Young people started moving out and renting either with a partner or with friends until they settled down and could afford to buy a house.
It would not be unusual for three or four people to rent together in a share house until in their 20’s or 30’s when everyone paired off. They would typically move in with their new found love and start a family in their own home. Careers took priority over family for a little while. People seemed to be buying a bit later, however the dream was still very real; to own your own home and have a family.
The new trend that I am seeing is that we are back to two types of families. The first is the traditional home owner. The new, second type is the ‘lifestyle renters’. These new type of families no longer want a home of their own.
Some lifestyle renters want to live in an area such as the Gold Coast that they could never afford to buy and want the prestige that a higher class area can offer. While they can afford the rent, they don’t want to, or cannot commit to the mortgage and maintenance of a home.
Others can afford to buy, however they like the flexibility and freedom to move every few years for work or for a change of scenery. They live comfortably and enjoy life.
Then there are the investors. Some investors have multiple properties and use that income (rent) to pay for the rent in their higher priced rental property. We have clients who own multiple properties and choose to rent for many reasons.
The interesting thing for me, is that renters are no longer looked down upon like they once were. It is fair to say that there are still lower income areas, that are unfortunately judged differently. However, I feel that overall people are accepting that some people will just never own a home by choice or design. Without people renting, a whole industry of Property Managers would not exist, so I love our tenants and I am glad that others in society do to!
I predict that Lifestyle Renters will grow as we want better lifestyles with more flexibility.
Brenda Mitchell is a Head of Department for Property Management at Harcourts Ashmore. In her 6th year of real estate, Brenda is passionate about the industry and strives to find innovate ways to support her investors to increase their return on investment. Contact Brenda at [email protected] for more information.