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Media Release

First home buyers shacking up with parents to achieve home ownership dream

16 December 2017

  • 2.2 million Aussies intend to buy their first home in the next five years
  • 56% of adult Aussies have experienced an awkward situation living with their parents
  • 4 in 10 admit to being caught in compromising or ‘socially sensitive’ situations with their parents
  • 47% of parents have also experienced cringe-worthy encounters while sharing a roof with their adult children
  • A third of parents put up with their adult kids advice on superfoods or healthy living


With 2.2 million Aussies intending to purchase their first home in the next five years, more than one third (35%) of first home buyers are turning to their family or friends to help them get a foot in the door.

New findings from the 2017 St.George Home Buying Survey found that 15% (approximately 320,000) of prospective first home buyers, and a quarter (25%) of those who bought their first home within the last two years, live with their parents to help them save1.

Not surprisingly, this phenomenon of adult kids shacking up with their parents doesn’t come without its challenges, with the research revealing both kids and parents are suffering through various sacrifices of privacy and freedom. More than half (56%) of Aussies have experienced an awkward or funny situation while living with their parents as an adult.

The survey found that adult children were most likely to experience situations that impeded on their privacy or social lives when living with parents – including being caught in embarrassing ‘socially sensitive’ situations (40%), having to hang out with their parents’ friends (22%) and having their parents try to enforce a curfew on them (22%).

In addition, 27 per cent have endured awkward fights at the dinner table and 24 per cent had their private phone calls overheard.

For parents, the research suggests having their adult child live with them could be a test to their nerves, with their top grievances including arguments about the ‘best way’ to do something (45%), and having to listen to their kids’ advice on superfoods or healthy living (31%).

Awkward moments were also keenly felt by co-habiting parents, including 29 per cent who reported having to sit through uncomfortable TV or movie scenes with their adult child and their partner, and 27 per cent feeling unable to enjoy private time with their own partner.

St.George’s General Manager for Retail Banking Ross Miller said: “Buying a home is no easy feat and saving for a deposit in the current market can be difficult, so it’s no surprise that buyers are making sacrifices in order to help them save – including moving back in with the parents.

“A lot of people will be able to relate to these challenges, especially as we head into the holiday season where many families reunite under the one roof. However in spite of this it’s positive to see there’s a willingness from parents to help their adult kids out when it comes to achieving their home ownership goals.”

The survey confirmed that parents2 are eager to help their adult children out with 79 per cent indicating they would make some kind of sacrifice or compromise to help their kids get a foot on the property ladder, such as letting their kids live with them (42%), foregoing luxuries (20%), not going on holidays (19%), or living a less comfortable life (15%) in order to assist them financially.

Thinking ahead, a quarter (25%) of parents with young kids3 agreed they’d be willing to adapt their home so their kids can live with them as adults, and 13 per cent would buy a home with a granny flat or alternative living option to help prepare their child for first home ownership.

“We’re passionate about supporting families in the moments that matter to them and offer a variety of products and solutions to help first home buyers get into the market, like Family Pledge which allows a family member to use their home’s equity to guarantee part of a home loan.

“We want to help first home buyers leave the family nest and achieve their home ownership goals sooner, but we also understand this option might not be right for everyone. I encourage all Aussies to conduct thorough research, come into their local St.George branch and start a conversation to learn more about what options might be available to them,” added Ross.

For more information, contact us on 13 33 30 or head to


Media enquiries:         

Emalie McPherson – 0481 915 557


1. Living with parents/in-laws as a compromise to afford the purchase of their first home

2. Parents and intending parents

3. Parents of dependent children and intending parents