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Demand for houses set to jump

By Staff Reporter
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The trend towards apartment living could slow in the next decade as young adults are expected to upsize, pushing up the demand for houses, a recent report has found.

According to BIS Shrapnel’s Emerging Trends in Residential Market Demand report, the building industry will see greater demand for houses as Generation Y enters the next stage of life. 

BIS Shrapnel’s Angie Zigomanis attributes the strong demand for apartments to the growth of 20 to 34 year-olds over the past decade seeking to rent in the inner and middle suburbs of capital cities. 

However, as this group moves into their late 30s and early 40s in the coming decade, and are also more likely to start a family, there could be a shift towards detached houses.

“Assuming the current 20 to 34 year-olds in multi-unit dwellings move on to separate houses, as has already been evident among 35 to 49 year-old households, then this will translate to higher demand for new detached houses,” Mr Zigomanis said. 

Data from the 2011 Census revealed that 63 per cent of 20 to 34 year-olds lived in detached houses, which increased to 80 per cent for 35 to 49 year-olds. 

Pointing to an alternate scenario, where the demand will continue to move towards apartments due to preference for location, lifestyle and affordability, Mr Zigomanis said the design of the apartments would need to change. 

“Dwellings would need to be designed to be more appropriate to their next life stage involving young and growing children, offering more space, both indoor and some outdoor, or located adjacent to public outdoor spaces,” he said. 

The scenarios are expected to vary across the states. 

While the alternate scenario is more likely in New South Wales, where the trend to apartments is expected to continue, the shift towards apartments is likely to slow in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia. 

Increasing population and new house affordability issues in Melbourne could also see the city travel down the same path as Sydney. 

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