Bloomberg Australia: Locked out


G’day from Sydney. In this week’s dispatch, we examine how soaring property prices are locking an entire generation out of the housing market, and look at the extraordinary steps some people are taking to avoid hotel quarantine.

You know the property market is running red hot when not even a doctor can get a foot on the ladder.

Alex Fagarasan, 28, works at a major metropolitan hospital and would prefer to stay in Melbourne. Instead, he’s facing the reality that he’ll have to move to a regional town to get a foothold in the housing market.

“My generation will be the first one in Australia that will be renting for the rest of their lives,” said Fagarasan, who shares a two-bedroom townhouse with two others. A study nook has been turned into a make-shift bedroom to keep down costs, but still about 30% of his salary goes on rent.

In cities across the world, soaring prices are forcing people to abandon all hope of owning a home. It’s a phenomenon stoked by the pandemic, with prices globally driven to fresh records through a confluence of ultra-low interest rates, a dearth of construction, shifts in family spending, and fewer homes being put up for sale.

The fallout is shaking governments of all political persuasions, from Germany to South Korea, China and Canada.

My colleague Alan Crawford takes a closer look at the widening generational gap between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials alongside Gen Z, who are watching their dreams of buying a home evaporate.—Edward Johnson