Australians no longer relate to ‘Aussie family’ advertising stereotypes as housing crisis bites

Major shifts to family structures and the housing affordability crisis are among the key trends shaping the world post-COVID, according to a new report from Pureprofile Limited and Insights Exchange.

According to the report, in the next five to ten years, the traditional household structure is going to be surpassed by more fluid definitions of family, due to couples having children at a later age and millennials being unable to afford to buy property.

The report, based on a representative sample of over 1,600 Australians between the 9th and 21st February 2022, found that one-third of Australians do not relate to the portrayal of family/households by advertisers and media.

Housing affordability is now one of the main concerns for young Australians, coupled with economic insecurity, earning enough to maintain their lifestyle and saving for a house deposit. Of those renting aged between 18 to 39 years – one in four (25%) claim they are not likely to buy in the next five years. Their house deposit savings is now going toward post-COVID travelling, new experiences, new furniture for their rental or a new car.

For those “kidults” (+18yrs) still living with their parents, 55% are there ‘to save money’ while 47% stated they ‘cannot afford to live elsewhere’, but are also seemingly happy to live at home with 52% still being financially supported by their parents.

Insights Exchange founder and CEO, Nichola Quail, said: The “kidult” phenomenon of children not leaving the nest also has major implications for the grocery customer journey, buying appliances, planning travel and managing multiple streaming services and devices.

“Only one in four (24%) people define themselves as being a family with dependent children, yet this remains the dominant portrayal of households in advertising. Australian households are becoming much more fluid, with adult children living in the family home well into their thirties. 14% of 25-29 year olds and 12% of 30-34 year old’s still live with their parents. You essentially have four adults living under one roof operating more like flat-mates with economic benefits,” said Quail.

Post-COVID we are also now seeing the lowest fertility rate in Australia’s history, with figures also showing 51% of 18 to 34-year-olds saying they’re unlikely to have a baby in the next five years.

Major shifts in travel, leisure and shopping

Working from home and COVID restrictions have shaped the way Australians now shop. Compared to three years ago, women are more active online than men with 54% of women shopping online. In contrast, only 35% of retirees are likely to shop online.

Along with an increase in online shopping, Australians have needed to adapt the way they see their GP or keep up with their studies. COVID restrictions and social distancing has increased the use of Telehealth, especially for females by 25%, while there was a 33% increase of online learning in the 18-24 year old group.

With borders reopening and COVID restrictions easing, only one in four Australians are not planning to travel in the next 12 months, with their destination either in their own state or interstate. Overseas travel is more likely in the next three years than the next 12 months with many people likely waiting and watching how things settle before embarking on broader, usually more costlier adventure.

Concerns keeping Australians up at night

The rising cost of living (70%) and climate change (39%) are the top concerns for Australians. The impact of climate change on the environment and their way of life, as well as slow progress in reducing carbon emissions are the main concerns.

Finances loomed large, with over one in five people unable to afford to retire (23%), find affordable rental property (22%) and being able to save enough for a home deposit (21%). Conversely, career progress, affordable higher education and workplace diversity and inclusion were much lower concerns.

Despite 87% of Australians agreeing that the country is ethnically diverse, a large proportion of Australians don’t agree that the nation is “racially tolerant” (45%) or that there is a “sense of fairness and equality” (43%).

Pureprofile CEO, Martin Filz, added: “Four in ten people in Australia today are either non-Australian-born (born overseas) or first generation Australians. However, when we asked them how they identify themselves, the vast majority (93%) said Australian. Even though typically viewed as multicultural, there’s less belief that Australia is a racially tolerant country. This is problematic given the essential role that overseas migrants are anticipated to play in Australia’s post-pandemic recovery and future population profile.” .


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