The home ownership dream is not dead but deferred for many round the world according to HSBC’s first Beyond the Bricks study, with slow salary growth and house price inflation the greatest barriers to millennials buying a home.

Released today, the study of more than 9,000 people in nine countries finds that 40% of millennials currently own their own home. Among millennials who don’t own, more than four in five (83%) intend to buy in the next five years.

Average 40 83
Australia 28 83
Canada 34 82
China* 70 91
France 41 69
Malaysia 35 94
Mexico 46 94
United Arab Emirates 26 80
United Kingdom 31 74
United States 35

However, millennials still face significant challenges when it comes to housing affordability. Sixty-nine percent of those intending to buy have not yet saved enough for a deposit, and 34% are being held back because they cannot afford the type of property they would like. Property prices in eight of the nine countries increased in 2016.

GROWTH 2016 (%)1
GROWTH 2017 (%)2
Australia 5.4 1.6
Canada 7.4 0.9
China 3.6 4.0
France 0.6 1.5
Malaysia 3.2 3.9
Mexico 5.2 1.9
United Arab Emirates -5.4 0.5
United Kingdom 7.5 1.9
United States 4.8 1.9


With 64% of millennials who don’t own a home saying they need a higher salary to be able to buy, not all millennials are likely to achieve their goal of home ownership.

Seven of the nine countries are projected to experience real salary growth of less than two percent in 2017.

According to Louisa Cheang, HSBC’s Global Head of Retail Banking: “This study challenges the myth that the home ownership dream is dead for millennials around the world. With four in ten already owning their home, the dream of home ownership for millennials is definitely alive and kicking. The greatest challenges are in those countries where there is a perfect storm of stagnating salaries and rising house prices – for millennials in those countries, the dream, while not dead, looks set to be deferred.”

The report also finds that many millennials do not have their house in order when it comes to financial planning for their home purchase. Among non-owners intending to buy a home in the next two years, nearly one in three (31%) have no overall budget in mind and a further 54% have only set an approximate budget.

Therefore it is not surprising that 56% of millennials who bought a home in the last two years ended up overspending their budget.

On the other hand, the millennial generation is willing to consider making big sacrifices to afford their own home. Fifty-five percent of non-owners intending to buy would consider spending less on leisure and going out, 33% would consider buying a smaller than ideal place and 21% would even be prepared to delay having children.

Financial support from parents can make all the difference when saving for a home, and 36% of millennials who bought their own home turned to the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ as a source of funding.

Source: HSBC

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.