The Future of Housing in Australia

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  • Mark McCrindle, social researcher and demographer, talks about the future of housing in Australia and how our CBDs are changing.

    About Mark McCrindle

    Mark McCrindle is a social researcher with an international following. He is recognised as a thought leader in tracking emerging issues and researching social trends. Having developed his reputation across two decades as an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author and social commentator, Mark has appeared across all major television networks, radio and print media, and been twice invited to speak at TEDx. He has presented thousands of keynotes and workshops in all major industries including finance, technology, health, mining, energy and education for top global brands and organisations. His advisory, communications and research company, McCrindle, count among its clients more than 100 of the largest companies and leading international brands.

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    One thing that we came to appreciate during the pandemic were our household members, friends and family with whom we were living and we reprioritised our life and values as a result. Moving out of it, I think that will remain core.

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    In this conversation, Mark McCrindle and Ludwina Dautovic discuss the future of housing in Australia. There have been multiple changes in our country as a result of Covid which has changed our housing landscape and the future of housing.

    Population growth has reduced

    Population growth is foundational to housing, and we’ve had a slowdown in population growth due to the pandemic. We've seen a slow down in immigration and arrivals from overseas. We’ve also seen a slowdown in birth rate in fact it’s been the slowest birth rate recorded. Considering the property market has been geared on population growth, this has caused issues. There’s also been an internal migration. Growth in regional areas and secondary capitals are growing faster and it’s creating a rebalancing of our population. But with the shift in population and more people working from home, these trends have changed.

    Life changes are moving the housing market

    The single person household is the fastest growing household category with both young people and the elderly. Delayed family forming, living at home phenomena, more investment over a longer period into education and career, have defined the life stages and therefore the demand for property across those age groups.

    Boomerang Generation

    There’s a big trend with the kids boomeranging back home. Covid has meant that they no longer have to go into the city to work, students were learning from home. During this time property prices increased which has also increased rents which is pricing young people out of the market having to rely on their parents for longer. A knock on affect is that it impacts their parents superannuation. It also prevents parents from downsizing and opening up the family properties to young families.

    Our cities are the places that the tourists come to. They're the places that new arrivals love and connect with. If they have a bit more life outside of business hours that will be better. If people are heading into the city less, like two or three days a week, it's a bit more of a novelty and they're going to want to make the most of it. 

    Housing use has changed

    Pre pandemic we were on a trend towards smaller homes. The extra space now is being put to good use. We’re spending some of those days working or learning from home. More entertainment has cocooned back to home.

    Greater appreciation for the people we live with

    The Covid pandemic helped us to appreciate the people we have in our homes. There has been a growth in multi-generational living during Covid from cultures outside of the norm. This may increase as the cost of living rises.

    CBD's becoming CLD's

    Our CBD’s will shit towards a CLD – Central lifestyle district. With 60% of people choosing a more hybrid work environment with part work from home and only go to the office when it's needed, the need to go into the city will decrease. The large office buildings with cubical style set ups will change and move towards more co-working, meeting rooms and innovation hubs. There'll be more residential apartments, entertainment zones, 24/7 economy and an increase in the vibrancy our our cities.. It will take a little time, but it will happen.

    Satellite cities

    Satellite cities that are only about 20 - 30 minutes to get to will become more of a trend. People will live, play, work and shop more locally.  Connecting locally will become more important therefore local infrastructure will improve as will people's lifestyles.

    Mark McCrindle - Social researcher and demographer at McCrindle

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