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Cash-strapped workers start skipping cities for cheaper lifestyles

10 April 2019 1 minute readShare

Lifestyle costs and housing affordability is prompting an exodus of “key workers” from their usual homes and jobs in Australia’s capital cities.

A new report from accounting and advisory giant PwC has found that just under 80 per cent of “key workers” in Sydney and Melbourne believed that they’ll never be able to afford to own a home. Almost one-quarter of those workers are therefore looking to relocate or change their careers. 

“Key workers” include nurses, paramedics, ambulance officers and other emergency services personnel. 

The survey of 1,084 Australians found that saving for a deposit was amongst the biggest barriers for these workers. This applied even in cases where workers would have the ability to service a loan. 

In fact, some of these workers are making massive personal sacrifices to try and get ahead. These include:

• 47 per cent working overtime, which is nearly twice the national average

• 23 per cent moving in with family or friends to save a deposit

• 29 per cent delaying starting a family

“We are potentially looking at a drain of key workers from Australia’s two largest cities, when demand for their services is growing and at a time when 57 per cent of the general public believe a shortage already exists,” said Steve James, chief executive of Teachers Mutual Bank. Teachers Mutual Bank, along with Genworth Mortgage Insurance, commissioned the report. 

“If our key workers can’t find homes, our cities can’t function,” Mr James said.

Cash-strapped workers start skipping cities for cheaper lifestyles
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