Comment: Housing inequality threatens fabric of society

More than half of Australian first-home buyers now receive help from their parents to get a toehold in the property market.

And why not? Many Australians aged 55 to 75 have built up large amounts of personal wealth thanks to the rapid rise of house prices in the decades since they first entered the property market.

But the trend raises the possibility that we will live in an increasingly divided society, where economic inequality is passed down through the generations.

The rise in property prices that has boosted homeowners’ wealth has also put home ownership out of reach for their children. What parent wouldn’t want to tap into the equity in their own homes by way of a loan, a gift or a mortgage guarantee to help their children on the path to financial security?

Data collected by Digital Finance Analytics shows the extent to which parents are helping.

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