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.
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|Type||No.||Ten year change||2006||2016|
*Townhouses, terraces and ‘plexes. **Other dwellings like caravans. Includes ‘not stated’.
- 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.
- 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.