Love is great, but saving for a house is better, most Australians say

Saving for a mortgage is more important to Australians than finding love, according to a new survey commissioned by Westpac.

The survey found that people were prioritising saving as they felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, placing things like homeownership ahead of relationships. The survey found that 52% of respondents planned to build their savings and 35% intended to buy new property. About 15% of survey respondents said they were saving for a first home, and intended to bank about $27,000 in 2021 to put toward a mortgage deposit.

The economic impact of COVID-19 has prompted a shift in consumer spending habits and promoted an increase in savings. Sixty-two percen t of Australians have accessed some type of financial support during the pandemic, according to Westpac.

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Westpac’s Kathryn Carpenter told The Australian that this heightened attention to financial security wasn’t going anywhere for the time being.

“Everyone’s excited to leave 2020 and its challenges behind, and as we face into the new year, we’re seeing many Australians determined to start off on the right foot and get on top of their finances,” she said. “This builds on the shift we saw from our own customers during the pandemic towards building positive savings habits, with use of savings goals increasing from the year prior where saving for a rainy day ranked as one of the most common aspirations.”

The bank said that younger Australians were driving this shift in attitudes, with many millennial respondents saying they had cut back on discretional spending for things like streaming subscriptions and food delivery.

Many respondents also said they were intending to save for a wedding, The Australian reported. For the younger generation, however, homeownership was the top priority, followed by saving for a future holiday and paying for education.