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Rent or buy, an Aussie dilemma

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Because of rising property prices, the great Australian dream of owning a property seems out of reach for many Aussies. Even though having your own home is a great long-term investment, choosing to invest in real estate can also have great financial rewards, according to A&AT CEO Melissa Browne.

"There is a great Australian dream of owning your own home and what I'm suggesting is not to reject home ownership entirely, but to think of doing something other than owning your family home – such as buying an investment property instead," she said.

According to Browne, many of her clients have mortgages as high as six or seven figures, stripping them of the ability to invest in a business or send their children to private school.

"There are statistics out at the moment which show that it is taking more than two average wages to buy an average home in our capital cities," Browne said.

However, Colliers International managing director Peter Chittenden believes that the financial rewards of renting are short-lived, leaving non-property-owning Aussies without a long-term retirement plan.

"Over the last couple of decades, property has been one of those assets that you can purchase, live, and form great history," he said. "(Owning property) gives you choice. We have clearance rates in most capital cities of over 80 per cent at auction so they can sell if they need to and it also gives you comfort."

Still, Browne maintains that renting your own home and investing in property instead can help Aussies spread their financial risk.

"By renting your own home and investing in other asset classes, you are diversifying rather than just putting all your eggs in one basket," she said.

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