Results of 2011 census will help developers find the most suitable project for the market

Results of 2011 census will help developers find the most suitable project for the market
Results of 2011 census will help developers find the most suitable project for the market

I have to admit that I am excited. Excited about the release of the results of the 2011 census. I have always seen reliable demographics as the foundation of successful project marketing. We are very lucky to have the ABS as a resource; the organisation is a world leader.

I am also sure that no one would disagree that demographics are important and that access to current statistics even more so.

Most new developments are often being built in areas where rapid change is taking place. Populations are never really static, and change can include areas that are being gentrified as old industrial sites give way to residential projects.

Green-field developments will pose a slightly different hurdle, as the current population mix clearly has very little in common with the potential new community.

These are straightforward examples, however change is not always this easily defined. With each new census we usually see the big-ticket raw figures grab the headlines. But I see the changes that are not always visible as being the real keys to advancing many project marketing issues. Keeping track of demographic shifts and trends will help us all make sure the most suitable product is delivered to the market.

So the 2011 census figures are very welcome, but not only for the immediate headlines about this or that boom or surprising social trend. The longer-term value comes from a blending of the key social and economic trends that impact the demand for housing. 

How, for example, will the big changes in family formation impact demand and where people might choose to live? There are more older people and more singles, but where are the pressure points for population growth, and is growth being fuelled by new births or immigration?

The facts behind the growth and population trends always demand much closer scrutiny and it is vital to have up to date information on every local market you deal with.

These are key facts we can now look at in almost real time because of the delivery of the census. One area to briefly highlight is the changes taking place in some key age brackets. A quick review of the 30-44 age bracket shows they now represent just over 21% of the population. This is important because this group is more likely than any other to be the next immediate generation of home buyers. The 70-plus age bracket is also creeping up from 9.4% in 2006 to be 9.7% in 2011.

Australia’s housing stock has increased from 8,446,726 to 9,140,231 a jump of 693,505 new homes, with Sydney, Darwin and Canberra now sharing the highest median household mortgage repayments at $2,167.

I hope your share my enthusiasm for census 2011, and I am sure we will be sharing some of the many key results and their impact over coming months.

Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of ;Colliers International

Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International.

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