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Senior renters feel the squeeze

Senior renters feel the squeeze

A new report released by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) has found that older renters may be worse off than those who buy their own homes.

It is a fact of Australian life that home ownership is tougher than ever before, and we are facing a future of retirees who do not have the security of their own bricks and mortar. 

Lead author of the report, Rafal Chomik, a CEPAR senior research fellow at UNSW Sydney, says people are “settling down” later in life and buying houses later. “This trend toward home purchase delay takes on a new complexion when placed in a broader demographic context,” Chomik said.

In a wide-ranging analysis of the links between housing and demographic ageing, the report, “Housing in an ageing Australia: Nest and nest egg?” concludes that those at greatest disadvantage in retirement are renters.

“Homeownership serves multiple purposes and housing outcomes affect financial and personal health and wellbeing over the lifecycle. It acts as a home – the nest – as well as a store of wealth – the nest egg – to guarantee financial security in retirement,” Chomik said.

Centre director, John Piggott, Scientia Professor of Economics at UNSW Business School, said the research brief, which features and synthesises research outcomes from more than 20 CEPAR researchers, is timely. It helps to make clear the importance of housing in broader policies directed towards social support over the life course.

“Housing has long been a critical pillar in wellbeing and social support,” he said.

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