Housing Preferences

February 23, 2012

Housing preferences across the Australian population

In September 2011, the Grattan Institute produced their research findings on housing preferences across the Australian population in a working paper entitled "What Happens Most?"  The authors, Ben Weidmann and Jane-Frances Kelly consider that the data suggests there are real differences in priorities across the population.  In particular, while young families were focused on house size and type, older and single-person households were much more likely to think that characteristics of where they live are more important.
 
Affordability was not an issue for this particular research, and the researchers wanted to understand which aspects of housing and location made attractive living, rather than the aspects which people made for sound investments.
 
It is well documented that the Australian population is ageing, and according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2010, the fastest growing household type is a single person aged over 65.  The ABS expects that by as early as 2013, couples without children could outnumber couples with children as Australia's most common household.  Additionally, the ABS predicts that the size of households will continue to shrink and estimate that by 2030 the average household will be 2.4 to 2.5 people, compared with 2.6 people today.
 
Some of the findings in the Working Paper include that:
  • The number of bedrooms and safety for people and property was the most important variable for people with children irrespective of age, and also for couples without children in the 18-44 age group.
  • Safety for people and property was also important for all people with children, as well as for couples without children in the age group 45-64.
 
The aggregate ranking of the top 20 variables (out of 56) and which group most prefers are:
 

Rank

Variable

Most preferred by

1

The number of bedrooms

Couple aged 18-44 with children

2

Safety for people and property

Lone person aged 65+

3

Near family and friends

Couple aged 65+ without children

4

The number of living spaces (lounge/living rooms)

Couple aged 18-44 with children aged; Couple aged 45+ with children

5

Whether the house is detached

Couple aged 45-64 without children

6

Near local shops

Couple aged 65+ without children

7

Near a shopping centre

Lone person aged 45-64 and 65+

8

Near a bus, tram or ferry stop

Lone person aged 45-64

9

Has a garage

Couple aged 65+ without children

10

Little traffic congestion in the area

Sole parent all ages

11

A natural environment you find attractive

Couple aged 65+ without children

12

Has air-conditioning

Lone person aged 65+

13

Is in a particularly clean/unpolluted area

Couple aged 45-64 without children

14

The number of bathrooms/ensuites

Couple aged 45+ with children

15

Near general health services

Lone person aged 65+

16

Near a railway station

Lone person aged 18-44

17

Near your work

Lone person aged 18-44

18

Has secure parking

Lone person 18-44, and 65+; Couple aged 18-44 and 45-64 without children

19

A neighbourhood design you find attractive

Couple aged 18-44 without children

20

Has a big garden (eg. for children to play in)

Couple aged 18-44 with children

 
 
For financial advice please call Newcastle Financial Planners Leenane Templeton on 02 4926 2300
 
 

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