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Our changing housing landscape.

JULY 2010
¬†As our nation evolves over time, so too does the infrastructure and housing required to accommodate changing trends. The Australian housing landscape is changing and those with an interest in property, whether homebuyer, homeowner, vendor or investor, are well advised to keep abreast of the shifts for the most effective planning and decision-making. So, what’s happening and why?

Australia’s population has surged to around 22.3 million and, with a growth rate of 2.1%, is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. The subsequent sharp increase in housing demand is further exacerbated by changes in household demographics and lifestyle trends, such as higher numbers of single person households, according to RP Data. With housing demand in and around capital cities remaining high, but with rising prices and delays in the necessary development and progression of infrastructure, more people are being pressured to buy properties further from city centres.

In addition, while the ‘Great Australian Dream’ once comprised a home on a quarter-acre block, this is becoming a rarer commodity, with 91% of homes recently sold within 20 kilometres of capital cities positioned on smaller blocks. New green field development sites, driven by attempts to provide more affordable housing and gain greater yields, are also increasingly based on small land lot areas. While the diminishing availability of land area is certainly a factor, so too is the growing public’s preference for the lower levels of maintenance required on smaller blocks.

As a result of this combination of factors, the nation, particularly in capital cities and less so in regional areas, is experiencing a shift towards apartments, units and townhouses, or basically, higher-density housing options, whose prices have generally risen steadily. It is expected that land areas will continue to decrease across metropolitan areas, and that remaining larger blocks of land will increase in value.