The 2016 Australian Census results have recently been released and it highlighted some demographic trends that may have implications for investors.
The most notable trend is the decline in housing affordability, more specifically in Sydney, NSW or Melbourne, Victoria. The government, however, has already put some measures to address this problem. It is expected to have positive effects for some retirees because of the tax benefits afforded to them to downsize their homes.
Another notable trend is the aging of the Australian population. The average Australian’s median age is rising to 38 from 37 in 2011. Australians aged 65 and above now make up 17% of the population. This trend will likely continue for the next few years with the significant proportion of the population still in the baby boomer age. This means health care businesses will continue to benefit, as seen by its job growth in the last two years.
There are 9.9 million private dwellings in Australia and one million of these were not being used during the latest 2016 Australian Census. In 2011, there were 934,000 dwellings that were unoccupied, which means Australians are using their dwellings less. The number of occupied detached houses have dropped to 71% from 75% 10 years ago. 1.265 million new homes were also built in the last 10 years in the country, half of which were detached houses, with a third being duplexes, terraces, townhouses or the likes.
The townhouse market has tremendously grown since 2006 while the new apartment market has slightly increased in the past 10 years and remains at 14%. However, older apartments have been knocked down for taller new apartments despite the census results suggesting that the nation should maintain its suburban setting. While most people look for compact homes, many are still reluctant to live in an apartment unless there is a strong local market match and the higher density is compensated by the amenities.
Townhouses are now the new house, driven by position and affordability and providing owners with their own space. I have noted this trend for the last 4 years. Townhouses resell well and hold up exceptionally well compared to the resale of apartments, and sometimes acquired for not much more than an apartment price.
Property investors could learn a thing or two from the latest census. For more information about property investment in Australia, contact a Specialist to discuss your particular circumstances.
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Chan & Naylor Group has national offices in Brisbane and Capalaba in Queensland, Melbourne and Moonee Ponds in Victoria, East Perth in Western Australia, and Bankstown, Parramatta, Pymble, North Sydney, and Sydney in New South Wales.
Source: Matusik Missive