Written on the 9 November 2016 by Chelsey Landford

MEET the millennials: they can't hold down a job, flee from financial responsibility and choose fun over stability - or so the world would have you believe. But a new report by CBRE reveals the stereotype may be a far cry from reality, with results showing the generation shares the same long-term lifestyle priorities as its older counterparts.

Based on responses from 5,000 Asia Pacific adults aged between 22 and 29 years, CBRE says society's "problem child" generation is in fact saving to buy a home, spending cautiously and looking for a stable, long-term career.

CBRE Asia Pacific CEO Steve Swerdlow says the millennial demographic is a game-changer for businesses across the board and must be taken seriously.

"[Millenials] live, work and play priorities and habits will shape economics, redefine opinions on workplace design and functionality, and drive new attitudes towards consumption and experience for the foreseeable future," he says.

The report found almost 61 per cent of Australian millennials expects to work for the same company, or for a small number of companies, during their career, with only six per cent aspiring to a life of job-hopping.

However, it says their loyalty hinges on the condition that employers provide a stimulating workplace and opportunities for personal growth.

"Millennials view their office and its immediate surrounding as not just a place of work, but as a community where they can relax, socialise and engage in other activities," it says.

"Inspiration, responsibility and career progression are prerequisites to attract and retain the talent of millennials.

"People-centric workplace strategies that embrace diversity, choice and community are major draw cards for Asia Pacific millennials in career choice can keep talent happier, more engaged and productive."

The survey also found that Asia Pacific millennials save almost 20% of their income, compared to 11% in Europe and North America, and are willing to cut their discretionary spending, particularly on "going out and sporting activities", to save for their first home.

It says that in Australia, 76 per cent want to buy a property, but 66 per cent believe they won't ever be able to afford it because wages are not keeping up with rising housing prices.

The results come in stark contrast to Baby Boomer and News Corp columnist Bernard Salt's argument in The Australian last month that millennials can't afford a house deposit because they recklessly splash their cash on Bali holidays and "$22 smashed avocado on toast".

CBRE Asia Pacific Head of Research Dr Henry Chin says the housing industry must evolve to accommodate the new generation of buyers and the challenges facing them.

"Millennials represent the fastest source of spending power regionally and serve as the most influential demographic framing future trends in real estate through their lifestyle behaviour, requirements and priorities of living, working and play," he says.

"Developers and city administrators should take heed of these trends by constructing more affordable housing for rent and sale.

"In response to the challenges for millennials to accumulate capital for down payments, there needs to be innovation in structuring mortgages for young first-time homebuyers."

Author: Chelsey Landford





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