The “Great Australian Dream” of home ownership is alive and well, with almost 80 per cent of people regarding home ownership as “extremely” or “very” important, according to research commissioned by Aussie.
The origin of the Great Australian Dream dates back to the period of reconstruction following the end of World War II in 1945. During this period, the country grew quickly, aided by a wave of manufacturing and a strong rural economy.
The Dream was typified by a red-brick suburban home on a quarter-acre block, with a patch of grass that Dad would mow with his Victa on the weekend, and maybe even a swimming pool.
It was a measure of affluence, and if the family was doing really well, they might even have a beach house or take an annual holiday.
That idea has been immortalised in Australian film and television in films like The Castle or the satirical series Kath and Kim.
But thanks to the scarcity of affordable housing available to the growing population, it’s harder to buy a property, so the modern definition of the “Great Australian Dream” is any house (or apartment) which the owner can call their own, and provides a home.
For many respondents to Aussie’s survey¹, which was conducted online by market research firm Brandmanagement, home ownership provides them with control over their lives, financial security for the future and an “investment for my child”.
One respondent said: “It is a dream realised.” Another added: “I consider it an emotional investment before a financial investment. I also look at it as a way to save money in the future and assist with my retirement.”
And according to the Productivity Commission’s report into housing, home ownership continues to have a broader effect on society.
It concluded that: “Access to affordable and quality housing is central to community wellbeing. Apart from meeting the basic need for shelter, it provides a foundation for family and social stability, and contributes to improved health and educational outcomes and a productive workforce.”
“Given its importance in promoting and maintaining a functional, stable and just society, housing should not be considered just another commodity.”