Landlords have never had it better, with an increase in people delaying marriage and clocking up more time renting.

An analysis of research by Matthew Lovering of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute found that because people are marrying later they are also buying their first property later in life.

Mr Lovering found that between 1981 and 2012, the percentage of people owning or buying their home in the 25 to 34-year-old age group, which was the age when traditionally most households bought their first home, dropped by nearly 20 percentage points.

In contrast, between 2005 and 2012 the number of renters increased by 78 per cent.

Mr Lovering’s report said despite the number of people aged between 15 and 24 increasing by almost 380,000 people during that period, the number of home buyers and owners actually dropped.

“Instead, these young adults seem to have decided to stay in the family home or live in group households,” he stated.

Mr Lovering also found the number of households that have rented for more than 10 years also increased.

“While we can’t say the precise reasons why young adults are renting for longer or not forming households, we can show that young adults are marrying later and delaying having children,” he said

“People getting married later does relate to people renting for longer, as research shows that married couples are more likely to buy a house together than unmarried couples,” he added.

Mr Lovering’s report said couples also stop renting and buy a home when planning for the birth of their first child.

“As the median age of first-time mothers has risen, this has influenced the trend for households to rent longer and buy later,” he said.

Residential Property Manager – 8 July 2014