A landmark report commissioned by the Property Council of Australia in June, the Australia on the move: Population Growth & Dwelling Demand 2001-2031, has been strongly supported by a forecast of national slowdowns in population growth issued on Tuesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The Executive Director of the Property Council (ACT), Catherine Carter, said today (Wednesday, 30 November) that she welcomed the first steps announced by the ACT Government to counter the forecast slowdown in population growth and availability of skilled workers in Canberra by encouraging people to move from Sydney and other cities.
The ACT Government has announced a month-long trial which will involve advertising and a pack with details about living in Canberra, focussing on Sydney, to target both families and skilled workers, and attract them to make the move to Canberra. The trial will commence early in the new year.
“The Property Council realised very early on that these changing demographics will carry profound implications for Canberra’s future and for its economy as well as for the residential property sector,” Ms Carter said.
“In June, the Council launched its new Residential Council of Australia and we have continued to lobby strongly for the ACT Government to factor in the demographic projections into its forward planning for the revitalisation of Civic, new transport and accommodation projects and sustainable town centres.
“We expect to see demand continue for commercial and residential development and we support the ACT Government’s moves to attract new residents. However, it is only a first step. Thanks to the Australia on the Move
report by KPMG partner Bernard Salt we have had very early warnings that demand for residential accommodation will become an increasingly important issue over the coming decades to 2031.”
The Salt Report, based on a study of 41 major Australian cities, has given strong early forecasts of projected declines in population growth in Canberra and most major cities and urban centres. The report concludes, however, that while population growth is expected to slow in most cities, there will be strong continuing strong demand for residential housing due to a projected decline in the traditional nuclear family.
The report said the nuclear family comprised 41 per cent of all households in Australia in 1991 (and a much higher proportion in the 1960s) but by 2001 this proportion had sunk to 33 per cent. It is projected to shrink to 24 per cent by 2031. With more people living alone and a greater emphasis on single-parent families the demand for accommodation would rise accordingly.
The Salt Report found that the number of people per occupied dwelling in Sydney in 1981 was 3.08; this number steadily and consistently diminished over 20 years to reach 2.87 by 2001. If the recent actual trend of household-shrinkage in Sydney continues then by 2031 there would be 2.52 persons per occupied dwelling across the city.
The Canberra-Queanbeyan region could expect net growth of 56,000 net new dwellings by 2031. However, taking obsolescence and replacement of ageing dwellings into account, total demand for dwellings across Canberra-Queanbeyan could be as high as 71,000.
Selected details from the Australia on the Move
report can be made available to media outlets on request.
Catherine Carter, Executive Director, 02 6248 6902 or 0412 330 079