Property: the great Australian dream?
Neos Kosmos examines how young Greek Australians need the helping hand of their families to buy property, and what happens to the ones left behind
New figures out this month have shown that property still dominates private wealth in Australia. The figures, from Rismark RP-Data, estimate that a massive $3.6 trillion of Australia's wealth is in the property market.
Within the Greek culture, property ownership represents affluence, and a sense of having 'made it' in Australia. While it was a buyers market for first generation Greeks who worked hard to enter the property market and eventually were able to buy investment properties, for their children today it's a different story.
Young Greek Australians are finding it harder and harder to enter the property market for a number of reasons. Whether it's a case of property prices being too high, their wages not being representative of what they can afford, the first home owners grant not being available or them not being eligible for a home loan, the younger generation are having to think laterally to be able to start a property portfolio.
Debbie Mantzaris stayed at home until she was 35-years-old and with the help of her family got her deposit for her first home. Due to her career choice, Mantzaris had to remain at university for ten years so she joined the workforce later in life. "Without my parents' help I don't think I would have been a homeowner so early in life," she says matter-of-factly.
Kon Lazogas, sales director and auctioneer, Lazogas Real Estate, says that a number of Greek Australian people are "buying something to make a start".
"They will continue to live at mum and dad's house and hopefully there would be some growth in that property so in a year or two years time they can flip it and purchase something that is more to their taste," he explains Without help from their family, and without the support of their parents, many of these first home owners wouldn't get off the ground.
Athos Christou, head of business banking, Beirut Hellenic Bank tells Neos Kosmos that "a large number of borrowers need the assistance of their parents when buying their first home". "Parents would use the equity in their home to assist their children with their house deposit. There are NCCP implications but it is possible." Lazogas has noticed various ways in which parents provide financial support for their children.
"Sometimes they sign the investment property over to the kids so they can get an identity within the home lending arena or borrow against their own property. I have also seen a number of house sales where the parents will sell a property that they bought for $30,000 to distribute the money amongst their kids so they can buy property," he tells Neos Kosmos.
And it's not just being there to provide money for the house deposit; family support comes in all forms. Lazogas said it's a cultural thing with Greeks when it comes to property and they always have one thing in mind - creating growth and saving money. "The family want to get involved [with the purchase of the property], work together and help each other," says Lazogas on Greek property purchasing culture in Australia.
For Mantzaris, her time in the property market has been closely connected to her family. She was ineligible for the first home owners grant because her father had put her as part owner in an investment property. Her and her brother own the house next door and plan to knock down the two houses and build townhouses. After all, her father is a builder. But for those who don't have the financial support of their family, they tend to fall off the property wagon. In most cases, they've had to rely on financial lenders to get the deposit for their house. But for some, the great Australian dream is unattainable.
A way their family can provide support is to allow them to stay at home until their financial situation changes so they can save for that property. But for those who no longer want to live at home, and who can't afford to buy, renting is their only option.
Joanne Mananis has been a renter for over ten years and says that this is a better alternative for her. A previous homeowner, Mananis likes the freedom that comes with rental properties.
"There is no hassle in renting," explains Mananis. "I found owning a house, while it has its positives - as in you can do whatever you want to it - there are a lot of fees associated with it. It's a big responsibly; a big commitment financially."
However, Lazogas feels it is more common for Greeks to stay at home and live with their parents than rent. He says that his office, which is in the prominent Greek area of Oakleigh, Victoria, doesn't have a huge database of Greek tenants.
"This confirms the cultural trend that there is a subconscious understanding that your parents would be disappointed if you decided to rent because they don't like the fact that you are paying someone else's mortgage," says Lazogas.
Mananis says another reason she rents is because the property prices in Melbourne are too expensive to get a decent property in a nice suburb and that you would need to move to the outer suburbs or move to another city to buy a nice house. "House affordability is a real issue for first home buyers," adds Christou.
As the head of business banking at Beirut Hellenic Bank, Christou says "the days of easy credit are in the past". "The borrower needs to have permanent employment with consistent employment history, demonstrate a good savings record and have clear credit history," to be considered for a personal home loan.
The average price for a house in New South Wales is $500,000, that's up 0.5 per cent from last year, according to RP-Data, with Melbourne close behind on $475,000.
- Register Now
- Court orders Greek broadcaster ERT back on air
- Community condemns ERT closure
- Modern Greek tragedy
- Abusive crackdown on migrants
- Outstanding Greek Australians honoured
- Xenophon warns of data sweep danger
- ERT's demise impacts SBS
- ERT suspension 'sinful', says Megrelis
- The thief strikes back
- Memories of an Egyptian multicultural society
- 22 May 2013 | 16 Votes
- 10 Jun 2013 | 16 Votes
- 28 May 2013 | 15 Votes
- 30 May 2013 | 12 Votes
- 7 Jun 2013 | 7 Votes
- 27 May 2013 | 7 Votes
More from this Section
- Putting the Dura in Mildura
- An academic UN reporter
- Abusive crackdown on migrants
- Stars don't talk
- Lesvos - Memories of Asia Minor
- When water is for sale
- The sensitive eye
- Stanford scholar sheds light on Greek immigrant's rags-to-riches story
- Greek choreographer continues Cretan dance 'quest'
- Brave new world
Shadow Minister for Children and Young Adults, Jenny Mikakos, gave a speech in Parliament on the events organised to commemorate Battles of Greece and Crete.
The club will reportedly gain almost $200,000 for the transfer
Former Ajax and Roda JC central defender Rob Wielaert will join Melbourne Heart for the 2013-14 season
Two brave teachers set the path to allow then high school student Eugenia Fragos to pursue her talent for acting
Greece's coalition are in talks to compromise with the Greek PM Antonis Samaras on the future of public broadcaster ERT
Jari-Matti Latvala victorious in his Volkswagen Polo R for the Acropolis Rally
The announcement from Ford Australia to cease its vehicle and engine manufacturing operations in Australia, was extremely disappointing, Maria Vamvakinou,
Adviser to PM Jean Chretien in the 1990s David Zussman on the North American country's economic turnaround.
Three Greek Australian taxi industry heavyweights have bought the rights to the Greek taxi booking app 'Taxiplon' and plan to launch it in the next month
Neofascist Golden Dawn is third with 13 percent, according to Pulse survey
Record crowds are expected to converge in Darwin this weekend for the 25th Darwin Greek Glendi
Visiting troika inspectors have expressed frustration over the delayed overhaul of Greece’s dysfunctional tax system
Beachfront lots purchased in the 1960s that were never given building permits has the Wellington Council in hot water.
Humble beginnings paved the way for Greek Australian Fashion Star Nikki Poulos
Seven Greek Australians received Queen's Birthday Honours List awards, celebrating their commitment to philanthropy and the community
The world's most preeminent coffee competition, World's Best Barista and Best Brewer, finished last week, with Greek mission taking home the 11 and 14 ranking
From 1 June 2013, the Australian High Commission in Cyprus has stopped accepting all visa applications and enquiries
Tonight, high-profile Sydney FC players Peter Triantis, Mitchell Mallia and Matt Jurman will the Earlwood Wanderers Football Club at Earlwood Oval