Property in Australia has never been more desirable, or more expensive.
This means that for new couples trying to get a leg up into the property market, some sacrifices have had to be made.
For many, it has meant postponing, or all together dumping some of life’s big moments and milestones to save money for that deposit and to get ahead on the mortgage. New research that has just been released from Me Bank shows that a whopping 69% of millennials (aged between 18 and 34) were putting off life goals to get their mortgage together. This number is much higher than the 46% of Gen Xs and the 41% of baby boomers who said the same thing. And weddings are in the firing line with 23% of millennials claiming they were delaying, or downsizing, their big day to save the cash.
Newlyweds Keola Westcott and Chris Davey,aged 32, made the decision to prioritise real estate before thinking about their wedding, and now they own four properties together.
“We were engaged for two years but chose to buy properties and get all that sorted first before getting married,” Keola Westcott told news.com.au. “I just figured that whether you spend $50,000 or $5000 on a wedding the result is the same. The reason you get married is the same,” she said.
However, Keola Westcott admitted that as both she and her new husband are accountants, their financially responsible approach to getting married might not be the same as other people.
“We’re both accountants so we really took a pragmatic approach. When you look at a wedding day it kind of is a depreciating asset. Like a sports car that you lose value on as soon as you drive it. You’re still legally married, but the investment should be an emotional one, not a financial one,” she said.
So, instead of splashing out with a big wedding in Australia attended by all their family and friends, the two lovebirds decided to go to Mexico by themselves with just a GoPro to record the moment.
When you take away the societal expectation of the wedding, it’s easy to see why it’s a smart idea. The average Australian wedding costs around $36,200 according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which is a big chunk of a home deposit making the trend not so surprising after all.
Consumer advocate at finder.com.au– Bessie Hassan said according to the statistics many couples are putting off getting married in order to be more financially stable and get set up first. Indeed, she notes, the number of marriages are going down, but despite record breaking property prices the desire to own a home has not decreased.
“When the cost of a wedding is potentially the same price as a home loan deposit, we can see why so many Australians are choosing to set themselves up for life and worry about marriage later,” she said.
The same study also found that millennials were prone to delaying having children and going on their honeymoon as well until they had purchased a home, which makes them much more forward thinking than other generations.