overseas travel

Australians save $60 billion a year on overseas travel, spend part of it on buying property

PHOTO: Buyers are using savings from cancelled holidays to buy holiday homes. Photo: Supplied

Australians have saved some $60 billion a year in cancelled overseas travel because of the pandemic, figures show, with part of that cash flowing into the property market.

Buyers lucky enough to keep their jobs have been taking the opportunity to use their extra savings to get into the rising property market for the first time, move to a lifestyle destination, or purchase a holiday house or investment property.

In the year to June 2019, Australians 15 years and over spent $62.3 billion on international travel, or an average of $3115 per person, Finder analysis of Tourism Research Australia figures found.

Separate figures from the Tourism and Transport Forum put the average outbound spend at $59.3 billion a year from 2016 to 2019.

Although a $3115 travel budget may seem modest when compared to property prices, the average figure masks larger international trips, as not everyone was holidaying overseas.

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“The real difference is people who were planning a big, $30,000 trip around Europe and it’s been off the table for a year now, two years,” Finder home loans expert Sarah Megginson said. “Every dollar we earn, we have to spend it in Australia.”

The Agency general manager of Victoria Peter Kakos said locked-down first-home buyers had saved money on holidays or other discretionary spending to put towards a deposit, while upgraders were also taking advantage of their savings.