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More Census Information | Bedroom Trends

More information from the Census for you in a two minute read

Following on from my census commentary last week, in this post we continue with bedroom trends.

Here, we are looking at what has been happening in our townhouse type stock and high-rise apartments.

Australia, townhouse, terrace homes and semi-detached

Bedrooms No. Five year change 2011 2016
None or one 78k 22,000 39% 8% 8%
Two 387k 101,000 35% 38% 38%
Three 459k 119,000 35% 46% 45%
Four 87k 31,000 56% 7% 8%
Five or more 13k 3,000 35% 1% 1%
Total* 1.06m 289,000 38% 100% 100%

*Includes not stated.  Compares 2011 to 2016, as results for 2006 are not available.

Australia, high-rise apartments

Bedrooms No. Five year change 2011 2016
None or one 115k 40,000 54% 27% 29%
Two 220k 69,000 46% 55% 55%
Three 61k 14,000 29% 17% 15%
Four 3k 850 42% 1% 1%
Five or more 750 150 30% 0% 0%
Total* 410k 128,000 46% 100% 100%

*Includes not stated.  Compares 2011 to 2016, as results for 2006 are not available.

Some observations

  •  Australia is facing numerous changes - one of which is our housing stock.
    Over the past five years, as opposed to the ten year trend and despite a fall in low-rise units, overall more attached dwellings have been built than detached ones.
    There has also been a big increase in the number of smaller high-rise apartments since 2011. graph of the housing
  • The trend towards attached dwellings is most likely to accelerate in coming decades….but with several kinks.
    Forcing much of this change will be our aging population.
    We have a growing downsizer market, many of whom have strong equity in their homes (mostly detached), but not enough savings or other investments to live (not just survive) into retirement.
  • Some may choose to ‘re-tread’ and not retire, to quote Neil Young, and continue working well into old age in order to make ends meet.
    Others may reverse mortgage, whilst many will start to look to sell their existing detached home and downsize in the local area, using the balance to improve their financial situation.
  • This makes sense, but there are several roadblocks that stand in the way.
    These include a lack of affordable choice - as this downsize doesn’t happen, for most, unless there is a 20%+ jingle in their pocket – and also, often, a lack of knowledge about how best to go about it.
    Many, and understandably so, cannot afford to make a financial mistake.

And what are the kinks?

  • A reversal in the decline of low-rise apartments, with strong growth in low-rise infill product across our middle-ring and especially outer city suburbs
  • The outer suburbs will also see a lot more townhouse-type development in coming years
  • Limited growth of high-rise apartments due to oversupply, limited local market demand and rising (direct and indirect) costs
  • More three and even four bedroom attached product, as opposed to one and two bedroom dwellings, in the future
  • Much of our detached housing morphing into semi and fully attached homes - think terraces, zero-lot lines and granny/fonzi flats
  • Older detached housing being recycled into something more – multi-tenanted and/or multi-generational owner occupied homes.

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About 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
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