It is not surprising to read that one in five people in the 25 to 29 age group are still living with their parents, many of whom had left and returned after getting into financial difficulties through no fault of their own. There were so many reasons, a marriage breakdown caused by a partner wanting to maintain a life style beyond their means, those who became addicted to drugs, alcohol or gambling or had lost their savings on poor quality “dead end” real estate products such as high rise units.

Reasons For living at home
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By Carolyn. Rosenblatt

People keep living longer. Longevity usually leads to expensive costs of care.  Parents spend their savings and eventually need to sell the family home because one elder (sometimes both) needs cash to cover assisted living, home care workers or other care  giving arrangements.  By the time one parent needs full time care in or outside the home, there may be no other choice and the parents want to put that house on the market.  As they age they elect not to be homeowners any longer, or they want to move closer to other family members. In numerous parts of the country it’s a good time to sell with low interest rates and rising home values. Their dependent live-in adult children are unwilling to leave the parents’ home.  It’s our observation after seeing many of these situations that there is typically something

not quite right with the adult child who cannot support himself .

Home ownership decline
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He wants his parents to give him  free rent indefinitely. For most young people, leaving home is a process occurring over time rather than a single event, and is a decision rarely made on the spur of the moment. Planning, imagining and fantasising about the experience before taking the step is often valuable preparation for the real thing. Complaints about chores, however, pale in comparison to those about lack of privacy in the family home. This is the result of a combination of family members not respecting personal boundaries but also of many contemporary housing designs (open-plan living, for instance) that are not suitable for multigenerational needs.

Susie O’Brien, Heraldsun, Wrote: PARENTS should declare “Independence Day” and turn their children out of the nest by the time they turn 20. Life skills coach Michele Jones thinks a failure to “set a date for kids to vacate the premises” can lead to major problems down the track. Ms Jones said a growing number of parents were seeking professional help to persuade their adult children to leave home. She said children should live independently by age 20. “Parents convince themselves the child staying at home longer will help them save for the purchase of their own home, some even going as far as building a granny flat to accommodate their child, keeping them safe and tending to their every need,” Ms Jones said.


“In reality, parents are simply sending the message to their child that they are not resourceful or capable to live out in the world on their own, and they won’t be successful enough to afford a house without their help.”

“A recent Household, Income and Labour Dynamics survey of 17,000 found those who left home after the age of 25 earned $6000 less than those who fled the nest earlier,” Ms Jones said. “Men end up $20,779 worse off and women $95,676, leading to further welfare benefit blowouts by 2020.” Nearly 25 per cent of people aged 20 to 34 continue to live in the parental home. In Sydney and Melbourne, this figure is 27 per cent. Ms Jones said parents cited cost of living, university fees, and safety concerns as reasons why their children hadn’t left home. Multigenerational Family Living, a new book by University of New South Wales academics Edgar Liu and Hazel Easthope, said financial problems were the main reason children did not leave home. This reflected increasing tertiary qualifications, workforce casualisation and the unaffordability of housing. However, some adult children helped to pay off their parents’ mortgages, the authors found.

Anthea Szemeti, 19, who is just about to move out of her parents’ comfortable home in Donvale into a college at the University of Melbourne, said: “Twenty is before most people have finished uni, so it could put a lot of extra pressure on them. It seems unnecessary to say they should move out by then regardless of circumstances.” Her mother, Eleni Szemeti, said 25 was a “more reasonable” age

Live-at-home kidults take advantage of parents

Not Happy With Long Stayers
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One of the bigger gripes about multigenerational living is that not everyone pitches in.

Lyn Craig and Abigail Powell found that while adult children do pitch in and help out with chores, these efforts don’t really help their parents all that much, particularly their mothers.

The reasons are a mix of adult children doing chores for themselves (such as doing their own laundry or cooking their own meals), instead of communal sharing, and of culturally imbued ideas about who should be responsible for groceries, cooking and gardening.


  1. Phillip says:

    It is getting to the stage where very few first home buyers will be able to purchase a detached house.
    They will have to be satisfied with 50m2 apartment on the tenth floor of a high rise somewhere that will probably be encased in flammable cladding. Your term “dead end” is fitting because their is no capital gain which means, to improve their living standards, they must save more money otherwise they are stuck there forever. Why has this situation been allowed to happen?
    Granny flats might help where mum and dad agree to one at the rear of their detached house at the children’s expense.

  2. East of Whittens says:

    Empty nesters prefer to age in place and still want a space for their adult children to live at home until they get on their feet. They like the familiarity of the area where they live and the garden they spent years creating and there is little financial benefit from trading down to a small dwelling.
    I would like to know the method used to select Doncaster Hill as an Activity Centre, it would be interesting, it is so dependent on car it makes you wonder if it was picked using the pin and blindfold method rather than being considered on its location and the potential for it to be serviced by proper public transport.
    They anticipated that empty nesters from established areas would sell up and relocate in smaller dwellings such as apartments. It has not happened so they got the Federal Investment Review Board (FIRB) to lift restrictions to allow overseas investors to purchase them.

  3. Martino Malvaso says:

    My uncle arrived in Australia in 1958 with just enough money for a deposit on a house. He had a family of ten which included two sons, one daughter, their partners and two grand children who all lived together and chipped into to pay off the mortgage. They grew their own vegetables and made their own wine etc.. and when one house was paid for they would buy another. Within 10 years everyone owned a home.
    It is different today with all the greed of those who profit by just having their name on a contract. Investors have stuffed up the housing market we have today but the crash will come shortly. They have no expertise that would produce anything of any benefit to the community.

  4. Digby says:

    The Malvaso family lived in a different era which can’t be compared with what is happening today. The young people are our future yet we are making it so difficult for them to buy a home.
    What concerns me is the number who have given up on marriage and raising s family because it is all to hard. If it were not for immigration our population growth would probably be zero. It is up to the our senior bureaucrats to get their snouts out of the trough and do something about it.

  5. Dave says:

    High ratio loans , generous first home buyer grants and lack of scrutiny by our lending authorities may not have helped the first home buyer in the long run. In fact they may well be the reason why the home buyer is so disadvantaged today because it has only served to increase demand and drive up prices. Improving the means to purchase is welcomed providing there is a balance between supply and demand.

    1. Jaquinet says:

      Prices more than doubled during the 70’s thanks to the housing loan insurance scheme which enabled Banks and Building Societies etc.. to lend up to 95% of property valuation. This fueled the housing boom which lasted right up to the early 90’s. Those who happened to own one or two properties beforehand became millionaires overnight.

  6. No Name says:

    The increase in housing prices over one year are often more than a young couple can save in that period so it is no wonder that they choose to rent or live at home. This is why home ownership is on the decline. Meanwhile existing home owners can relax because any increase in property values only adds to their equity.

  7. Richard says:

    Sooner or later this situation will have to change because if there are no first home buyers there will be no second home buyers and the wheel will stop turning.

  8. Pennie says:

    According to the REIV weekend sales report (24/2/18) a two bedroom apartment on Doncaster Hill, directly opposite Westfield, with a living area of only 71 sqm, sold for $580,000. This was $46,500 (less costs) more than what it was purchased for back in 2011 at $533,500. In the same period established detached house prices in the surrounding had risen by at least 33%. If this apartment was to match the same percentage of capital gain it would have to have sold for $711.000!

    1. Royal Centaur says:

      This has been a disaster for the owner after seven years of going backwards.The seller will clear about $40, 000 towards a new purchase after agents and solicitors fees are paid. The owner would have been better to have rented somewhere closer to the city where there would have been a better quality of life, more employment and access to proper public transport rather than purchasing an apartment on remote Doncaster Hill.

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