Census: Dwelling trends


Two minute read

Over the next couple of weeks, we will try to make some sense of the 2016 Census results.

This evening, let’s cover private occupied dwellings.


TypeNo. Ten year change20062016

*Townhouses, terraces and ‘plexes.  **Other dwellings like caravans.  Includes ‘not stated’.

Some observations:

  • There are 9.9m private dwellings across Australia. Some one million or 11.2% were unoccupied at the time of the latest census. Five years ago, about 934,000 dwellings were not being used, which was 10.7% of the total.  So, it seems that we are using our dwellings less. More on this soon. property
  • Of the 8.861m private occupied dwellings counted at the time of the 2016 Census, most (71%) were detached houses. This market share has dropped from 75% share, ten years ago.
  • Overall, some 1.265m new homes have been built over the past ten years across Australia; half were detached houses, with another third being townhouses, terraces, duplexes or something similar.
  • This ‘townhouse’ market has grown a big 61% in size since 2006. The new apartment market – whilst getting a lion’s share of the property promotional space – has only increased by some 138,000 new digs over the past ten years. Overall, this market hasn’t gained market share.  It remains at 14%.
  • However, there is some devil in the detail here, with walk-up units actually falling by 56,000 dwellings since 2006, whilst the number of mid-to-high rise apartments has lifted by 194,000 new homes. In short, the older six packs have been knocked down to make way for bigger, taller and shinier new apartments. 
  • Yet, the 2016 Census results strongly suggest that we remain a nation holding onto our suburban setting. We seem to like a strong nexus with the ground.  We want our own bit of dirt.
  • A lot of us are looking towards more compact housing solutions, but living in an apartment seems a step too far for many. It seems to work if there is a strong local market match and the higher density is ‘offset’ by the appropriate local amenity.
  • And of course, it works if you are an overseas buyer, especially from Asia, and/or you wish to lock the joint up. The recent FIRB change back to a 50% overseas sales limit on new housing is a step in the right direction.  But I think more still needs to be done. For mine, housing should be for Australian citizens first.

Subscribe & don’t miss a single episode of Michael Yardney’s podcast

Hear Michael & a select panel of guest experts discuss property investment, success & money related topics. Subscribe now, whether you're on an Apple or Android handset.

Need help listening to Michael Yardney’s podcast from your phone or tablet?

We have created easy to follow instructions for you whether you're on iPhone / iPad or an Android device.


Prefer to subscribe via email?

Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers and get into the head of Australia's best property investment advisor and a wide team of leading property researchers and commentators.


Michael is director of independent property advisory Matusik Property Insights. He is independent, perceptive and to the point; has helped over 550 new residential developments come to fruition and writes his insightful Matusik Missive

'Census: Dwelling trends' have no comments

Be the first to comment this post!

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.


Copyright © Michael Yardney’s Property Investment Update Important Information
Content Marketing by GridConcepts