Last year, Australia witnessed its first annual population decline since World War I. If demographics are destiny, what does this mean for property? Demographer Simon Kuestenmacher and urban designer and social entrepreneur Jessica Christiansen-Franks had a few ideas…
1. Market to Millennials: Australia was looked towards 2030 with a population of 29.9 million people pre-pandemic, Kuestenmacher, director of research with The Demographics Group, said. Every age group was expected to grow – “a dream come true for any business”. We can now expect the population to hit 28.8 million by 2030. But by “sheer demographic dumb luck” the largest cohort, Millennials, will be reaching the stage of life where they build their own families, changing the patterns of housing and reshaping our cities.
2. Create ‘hyperlocal’ experiences and “authentic” lifestyle precincts: The neighbourhoods that provided a “whole-of-life experience” were those that fared best during waves of Covid-19, said Neighbourlytics’ founding director Christiansen-Franks. People now expect walkable and connected communities, and are looking for “authentic” local places. “If you are not leading with an understanding of lifestyle you are missing the whole picture,” she said.
3. Get ready for the new wave of migrants: Scaling up migration will restrengthen our city centres, Simon said. New migrants don’t won’t move to the suburbs and work remotely; they will come for jobs in city centres and then they’ll look for work close to home. This will bring new opportunities to reinvigorate our CBDs.