First Census Release and Bearings on the Property Industry


First Census Release and Bearings on the Property Industry




Planning Urban Design

First Census Release & Bearings on the Property Industry

Following the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) June 28 Census release with an overwhelming COVID-19 driven 96.1% response rate, the data reveals avenues for exploration for Australia’s 25,422,788 residents.

First Census Release & Bearings on the Property Industry

Healthcare Services

The Census provides valuable data to several service providers including the Royal Flying Doctor Service (the third largest airline in Australia after Qantas and Virgin). With this data, the RFDS can ascertain where there are critical gaps in healthcare, noting in particular that 65,000 Australians are not within an hour’s drive of a GP clinic and 142,000 Australians are not within an hour’s drive of a dental clinic.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service accommodates this shortfall by attending close to 1,000 patients every day, which indicates there is an opportunity for future investment in healthcare, especially as the data shows that 27.7% of Australians have reported having at least one long-term health condition.

Population Shifts

The ACT (at 14.4%) followed by Victoria (9.7%) and Queensland (9.6%) have experienced the largest proportionate growth in population.

The percentage of Australian residents living in capital cities fell for the first time in a century as Melbourne lost 85,000 people ‒ with Melbourne CBD alone losing 6,600 residents ‒ in 12 months during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, regional centres such as Geelong experience a 6,114 population growth (with a total population of 289,400), while Ballarat saw a 2,000 increase in residence.

Income and Mortgage

For the first time, millennials (aged 25-39) have overtaken baby boomers (aged 55-77) as the largest generational demographic. This signals a shift in dwelling tenure as, while more than 50% of baby boomers own their residence outright, millennials are by necessity renters or mortgaged with less than 10% owning their home outright.

With median household income sitting at $1,746 a week and median mortgage repayments at $1,863, this offers an insight into the ongoing demand for affordable housing opportunities.

Aged Care

The national generational shift also carries implications for the property industry in terms of emerging cultural trends, with the now dominant demographic of Australia’s population being third generation (48.5%).

The top countries of birth for baby boomers in Australia are England (6.7%), New Zealand (2.7%), China (2.3%) and Vietnam (1.4%) while, amongst millennials, a cultural shift can be observed as India (6.1%), China (3.6%), New Zealand (2.3%) and England (2.3%) are now top places of birth.

This insight into the ethnicity of our ageing cohort offers implications for how we think about the aged care space. Currently, our aged care offerings are aimed at an Anglo-Saxon mindset where ageing residents are housed in nursing homes and aged care facilities. With the strong Asian presence emerging, it will be a real challenge for the industry to grapple with this cultural shift and attitudes towards ageing.

In Conclusion

As the population in Australian capital cities falls, regional centres expand and demographic shifts signal the need for new housing, healthcare and aged care offerings. We will continue to track the second (October 2022) and third (early to mid-2023) ABS data release.