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1/4 of Australians considering buying property with ‘non-traditional partners’

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Sam Nichols 6 minute read

A quarter of Australians are pondering whether to co-invest with their parents or friends, according to new data published by CBA.

A new study published by Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has revealed that a quarter of Australians are weighing up the prospect of investing with their parents, siblings or friends to break into the housing market. 

The study, which was conducted over a week in September among a sample of 1,000 respondents – 49 per cent of which owned at least one property while 37 per cent owned none – found that 26 per cent expressed that they had considered buying property with a “non-traditional partner”. 

As for why, the major bank survey found that affordability was the most common response, accounting for roughly two-thirds of respondents (65 per cent). 


Buying a bigger, or better, property (37 per cent) and spreading the financial risk were also noted as common responses (37 per cent). 

The data also found that over 60 per cent of potential property buyers felt concerns about being priced out of the housing market, while 35 per cent holding a fear of missing out altogether.

One of the most common reasons to want to buy, however, was external and internal pressure, with almost half of respondents (44 per cent) admitting that they felt an urge to purchase a house from either seeing their peers do so or from being compelled by their family. 

Furthermore, 37 per cent said they had considered moving interstate or to a regional town in search of more affordable options that require less compromise on proximity to work or size of property.

According to the data, 45 per cent of respondents under the age of 40 stated that working from home during the pandemic had changed how they think about property.


Data published earlier this week by another big four bank, National Australia Bank (NAB), reported similar findings, revealing that roughly one in 10 Australians had either permanently relocated within their own state or territory, or another state or territory, due to COVID-19.

Last month, Regional Australia Institute (RAI) and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) published its Regional Movers Index that also noted this relocation trend, finding that Australia’s overall population flow from capital cities to regional areas increased by 3 per cent over 12 months.

However, CBA’s latest research also looked at potential barriers for this non-traditional form of ownership, with a significant number of respondents raising concerns over the experience. For example, 43 per cent of respondents stated the complications of co-buying and co-owning a property as preventing them from doing so.

But while there is a clear divide over who would and who wouldn’t enter a non-traditional partnership, the consideration of Co-buying echoes how property prices are becoming increasingly unaffordable for many throughout the country. 

Bluestone Home Loans’ latest Home Loan Affordability Index, published earlier this week (22 November), noted that over the past 12 months to September, national home loan affordability fell by 15.6 per cent

An analysis published by CoreLogic in late October also noted that the difference of value between a unit and a house throughout Australia’s capital cities is growing at such a disparity; owners of the former are looking to be unlikely to transition into the latter. 

However research published by Australian and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) last week predicts that this level of unaffordability, combined with macroprudential regulations and increasing fixed rates, will effectively see house price growth begin to decline by 2023

CBA’s latest update to its house dwelling forecast reflects this prediction, with the major bank stating this week (22 November) that price growth in late 2022 will be 7 per cent higher than end-2021 levels, before stabilising to around 10 per cent – a speculation tied to the assumption that the Reserve Bank of Australia will increase the cash rate to 1.25 per cent by Q3 2023. 

[Related: 7/10 brokers unconvinced buffer changes will cool housing market]

1/4 of Australians considering buying property with ‘non-traditional partners’
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Sam Nichols

Sam Nichols is a journalist at The Adviser and Mortgage Business. His reporting has featured in a range of outlets including ABC News, SBS' The Feed, and VICE.


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