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David Koch delivers a wake up call to young Australians

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Former Sunrise host David Koch has claimed baby boomers also didn’t have it easy, despite vastly cheaper home prices. 

Koch, who is now economic director for Compare the Market, said his generation also struggled when they were trying to get on the property ladder and that it was a ‘right of passage’. 

‘Did boomers have it as hard as the younger generations?’ The Briefing podcast host Sacha Barbour-Gatt asked the 68-year-old this week.

‘My verdict is that it depends when you bought your house,’ Koch replied.

House prices in Australia have risen on average about 382 per cent over the previous three decades, according to property research firm CoreLogic.

According to the data the median house price in Sydney in 1992 was $221,771 and in 2022 that had ballooned to $1,346,193, fuelled by population growth and an undersupply of new housing.

‘You know, I’m gonna sound like your grumpy old father or uncle or whatever but I went through through 17 per cent mortgages.

‘Yes, it was a much lower loan by comparison.

‘Certainly today’s home buyers and first home buyers need a bigger deposit and the size of their loan is a lot higher.

‘But when interest rates were, you know, mortgages were 2 per cent not long ago, then my 17 per cent was much harder.

‘Now that home loan rates have gone up to 6 per cent, today’s home loan borrower is doing it tougher than a boomer did back in the 17 per cent days.’

Former Sunrise host and finance journalist David Koch said baby boomers had it tough when buying homes too and that it was a 'right of  passage'

Former Sunrise host and finance journalist David Koch said baby boomers had it tough when buying homes too and that it was a ‘right of  passage’

Koch said the argument of who has it tougher on the property market was nothing new.

‘In my twenties, I felt the same thing about my parents ”Oh, you’re making it harder for us to get into the market”,’ Koch said.

‘I saw a clip recently from the ABC archives of a house and land package sale back in the late 1960s and they interviewed a couple who’d missed out on the auction.

They had exactly the same arguments – it was the older generation, we got outbid by them, how can our age afford a home loan?

‘And they were selling land packages for $2000 at that stage.

‘So it’s all pretty relative.

‘That that’s not diminishing how hard it is, when you make a big ticket item like a home purchase it is gonna be hard unless you know you come from a really wealthy family or you’ve inherited wealth.’

Koch also questioned whether the younger generation had a cost of living crisis or a ‘cost of lifestyle’ crisis. 

‘Everybody wants to live the lifestyle of their parents,’ he said.

‘But they started out struggling and and built up over the years.

‘You can’t rush it. You’ve gotta work for it. Build career, save up.

‘Look at your lifestyle, which people don’t want to hear, but are you finding it tough because it’s a cost of lifestyle issue rather than a cost of living issue?’

The average Australian home price has surged 382 per cent over the last three decades

The average Australian home price has surged 382 per cent over the last three decades

Many young Aussies are struggling to get on the property ladder. (Stock image)

Many young Aussies are struggling to get on the property ladder. (Stock image) 

Ms Barbour-Gatt also quizzed Koch and whether in his view the younger generation were just opting out of even trying to be homeowners.

‘There’s been talk a lot of younger people waiting for an inheritance so they can buy a house, maybe choosing not to save and instead going well, ‘I know I’ll be able to buy one day”,’ she said.

‘Well parents are living longer,’ Koch replied.  

‘My mum turns 90 in August, her older brother turns 100 next weekend.

‘So the age profile is changing and you’re gonna have to be waiting a lot longer.

‘Bt a lot of parents are helping the kids along the way … either financially or in kind, you know, doing two days of childcare a week.

So families are pulling together.’

Koch also said that in his view the housing market would remain tough for ‘a number of years’.

Kochie is the former host of Sunrise

Kochie is the former host of Sunrise  

‘The government used to build 50 or 60 thousand affordable homes a year, and now they build nothing.’

‘It‘s about demand and supply, and we need 250,000 new properties per year just to keep that demand and supply in balance.

‘Last year we built 160,000 and next year, only 170,000.

‘Building approvals, which is approvals from councils, are at 10 year lows.

‘Government used to build between 50,000 and 60,000 houses per year. They build nothing today. So don’t blame the landlords because they’re the ones actually providing the rental properties at the moment.

‘They’re suffering from the high interest rates and high costs as well.’



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