Survey reveals Aussies torn between dream job and buying a home

By Zarah Mae Torrazo 10 December 2021 | 1 minute read

Despite the growing buzz around the Great Resignation hitting Australia’s labour market, a new survey has revealed that most Aussies are not ready to jump ship yet, believing that doing so will hurt their chances of buying a home.

A new survey by Bluestone Home Loans of over 1,000 home loan borrowers and savers showed that 67 per cent of savers and 55 per cent of borrowers feel pressured to stay in their current job or career instead of chasing after their dream job in order to boost their chances of being greenlit for a home loan. 

Among the different generations surveyed, 72 per cent of millennials said they are more likely to remain in their job. The percentage is significantly higher compared to 54 per cent among Gen X, 24 per cent of baby boomers, and 13 per cent of the silent generation stating that they feel this way. 

This feeling of being trapped in their current job or career is also more common among those with children under 18 still living in their family homes, with 72 per cent concurring that they feel they are unable to leave their current careers.

This percentage is almost halved among those without the same family scenario, with only 40 per cent stating they feel they cannot pursue their dream jobs. 

From a geographical perspective, 59 per cent of NSW borrowers and savers are more likely to feel marooned in their current jobs, significantly higher compared to the 49 per cent of Victorians, 43 per cent of South Australians, 42 per cent of Queenslanders, and 38 percent of those in Tasmania, Northern Territory and ACT who feel they are not  capable of jumping ship. 

Interestingly, those with higher incomes are just as likely, if not more likely, to feel compelled to stay in their current job or career, with 60 per cent of those with a household income between $100,000 and $149,000 stating they feel obligated to stay their current course.

The percentage of Aussies that feel tied to their jobs are observed to decline proportionately with the average income, the survey showed, with those earning above $150,000 at 57 per cent, those earning $50,000 and $99,000 at 49 per cent and those earning less than $50,000 at 42 per cent. 

Can chasing a dream job hurt your home buying prospects? 

Delving further into the results, more than one in three – or 36 per cent – of surveyed borrowers believe that chasing after their dream job was detrimental to their chances of purchasing a home or being approved for a home loan. 

Meanwhile, more than half of savers believe that doing this move will hurt their chances when it’s time to buy their houses.

The survey found that Gen Z and millennials are more likely than the older generations to have been or be in this position, with 64 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively, stating a career switch has affected their chances of securing a home. This is significantly higher than the 40 per cent of Gen X, 15 per cent of baby boomers and 9 per cent of the silent generation that stated that a search for a dream job had hurt their homebuying prospects. 

This sentiment is also more common among those with children under 18 at home (57 per cent) than among those without (28 per cent). 

Around 42 per cent of NSW residents believe that pursuing their dream job has or will hurt their chances of being approved for a home loan compared to 32 per cent of Queenslanders. 

Meanwhile, 47 per cent of those with $100,000 to $149,000 household income have been or are in this position. This percentage is seen to decline proportionately with the average income, falling to 38 percent of those earning $50,000 to $99,000, thirty-three per cent of those earning $150,000 and up, and 28 per cent of those earning less than $50,000. 

For those borrowers who are not already in their dream job, around 40 per cent were planning to pursue their preferred career path within five years of buying their home, with 25 per cent planning to change jobs/careers within the next two years. 

Around 10 per cent said they were planning to wait more than five years, while 50 per cent had no plans to pursue their dream career.

Lending criteria needs to be “more human” 

Despite the increasing talks of a Great Resignation shaking up Australia’s labour market, this phenomenon is not translating into actual figures, according to James Angus, chief customer officer at Bluestone Home Loans. 

Speaking on the matter, he said: “There’s much talk at the moment about The Great Resignation as people reassess their priorities in the wake of COVID-19. And yet, in Australia, the number of workers resigning has fallen to an all-time low.”

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, just 7.6 per cent of employed Australians changed jobs in the year to February 2021, a number that has been steadily declining since the peak of 19.5 per cent in 1988-89.

He explained that with home loan affordability sharply declining over the past few years and with lending restrictions tighter, borrowers were forced to choose between pursuing their dream job and buying a house.

Citing the survey results and the recent data available on the market, he said more people are choosing to march towards their financial goal of owning their own home ahead of pursuing their career goals. 

But the expert warned that the current labour dynamics need to change. “Ultimately, feeling trapped in a job isn’t good for individuals and it’s not good for the health and innovation of the Australian economy,” Mr Angus said. 

He’s calling on lenders to take on a  more holistic and human approach to their lending criteria, especially at a time when many Aussies don’t fit in with the conventional characteristics of what makes for a good borrower.

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RELATED TERMS

Survey

A survey is a document that determines the position of boundaries or property lines which shows the land, structures and features that are legally owned.

Survey

A survey is a document that determines the position of boundaries or property lines which shows the land, structures, and features that are legally owned.

Survey

A survey is a document that determines the position of boundaries or property lines which shows the land, structures, and features that are legally owned.

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Survey reveals Aussies torn between dream job and buying a home
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