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Auctioneer's grim warning for young Aussies wanting a home: 'Parents, OnlyFans or rare wins'

Tom Panos said it can take people with little savings up to 20 years to afford a deposit these days.

Young Aussies wanting to get their foot on the property ladder have been given a brutal reminder of how bleak the real estate sector is right now. There have been loads of statistics recently that highlight how bad the housing crisis has become with rents reaching record highs in some cities and mortgage repayments costing people as much as half their salary.

Real estate auctioneer Tom Panos told Mark Bouris' Yellow Brick Road podcast a young person with very little in the bank will take around two decades to "comfortably" afford a deposit for a Sydney apartment. Let that sink in for a moment.

If they keep up with the cost of living and rental market, they will be 40 years old by the time they can put down a deposit for a unit in the NSW capital. And that's just based on figures today, let alone what happens with prices and wages down the track.

Auctioneer Tom Panos next to young person holding a box
Auctioneer Tom Panos explained how long young Aussies will have to save to afford a deposit. (Source: TikTok/Getty)

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It's even worse for people wanting something larger.


"A house, if you’re age 20. It will take you until the age of 60 to get a deposit," Panos said.

“Back in the old days, that was the goal to have your home paid off by then, not to be saving for a deposit.”

Bouris added that 15 years ago the average Aussie could afford a deposit at just 23 years old. That's now jumped to 32 years old.

In addition to inflation and wages impacting the housing crisis, it also doesn't help that new home starts have dropped to their lowest level in more than a decade due to a combination of constrained conditions in the building industry and elevated interest rates.

Panos said very few young people managing to get their foot in the door were doing it the old-fashioned way.

“It’s uncomfortable for me to say, but the young people buying properties have their parents helping them, or if they’ve been really lucky with some sort of business that’s gone off," he said.

He added: “OnlyFans, believe it or not! I know a few people who have sold property and the agent has said to me ‘Mate, she’s got an OnlyFans account and she’s putting it into property’.

“Isn’t it interesting, where we are as a society now, to achieve the dream we’ve always been told?”

When you're buying a home, you might hear the term 'mortgage stress'. That kicks in when you have to pay more than 30 per cent of your salary to your home loan.

According to recent data from Redbridge, nearly half of respondents in Australia are experiencing this and one-third are spending more than 40 per cent of their salary.

For those wanting to buy in Sydney - where the median house price is $1.36 million and median unit price is $767,250 - a person, couple or household would have to be earning at least $293,578 a year to afford a house without having mortgage stress. A salary of $165,623 would be required to buy a unit ‘stress-free’.

The average income of people living in Sydney is $98,218.

Darwin was the most affordable in the data set, with residents needing to earn $124,339 to stay below the 30 per cent limit, which is 1.3 times the average salary in the city.

Greens Housing spokesman Max Chandler-Mather said this data showed the government needed to do more to help Aussies wanting to own a home.

“The only way we are going to fix this crisis is if Labor finally works with the Greens to phase out the massive tax handouts for property investors, like negative gearing, that are denying millions of renters the chance to buy a home,” he said.

“Owning a home has become an ‘impossible dream’ for millions of Australians.”

  • Sydney: $293,578

  • Melbourne: $189,962

  • Adelaide: $163,627

  • Brisbane: $178,090

  • Canberra: $205,073

  • Hobart: $148,948

  • Perth: $140,313

  • Darwin: $124,339

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