Redefining Sydney’s urban lifestyles

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It was a pleasure to partner with Urban Taskforce Australia to produce the “Sydney Lifestyle Study”, launched to a room of urban developers, government representatives, and industry stakeholders this week.

The 2017 Sydney Lifestyle Study is a first-ever research study on Sydney’s apartment dwellers. Insights from the ABS and a new survey of 1,503 Sydney residents shed light on the different demographic segments in Sydney apartments and their lifestyle choices, habits, motivations and reasons for choosing apartment living.

Click here to download the full report.

Sydney’s changing lifestyles

Australia in the 1990s

A lot has changed in Australia over a very short period of time. Over a quarter of a century ago, in the year 1991, the population of Australia had just surpassed 16 million.

  • The median age was 32 years old and median individual income was just $13,950 per annum.
  • More than one in three (36%) Australians lived in New South Wales where individual income was slightly higher at $14,395.
  • Home owners in New South Wales paid a median monthly mortgage repayment of $627 while renters paid just $128 per week.

Modern Sydney

Fast-forward to today and the Australian population is on track to reach 25 million persons in early 2018.

  • That’s more than 50% higher than in 1991.
  • Our population has increased our median age to 38, both nationally and in New South Wales.
  • Today, median personal income in New South Wales has reached $34,528 per year while median mortgage repayments have more than doubled at $1,986 per month.
  • Median rent has nearly tripled to $380 per week.

Sydney’s urban lifestyles

Such population growth is changing the housing stock in Sydney. Sydneysiders have been trading traditional detached homes for apartments at an increasing rate. Currently, 30% of all households in Sydney’s urban area now live in apartments.

Sydney’s growing apartment market is comprised of nearly half a million households, representing many diverse cultures, languages and backgrounds.

McCrindle has identified four emerging urban family household types within Sydney’s apartment market. These are Vertical Families, Cosmo Couples, Solo Metropolites and One-Parent Households.

Vertical Families

Vertical families make up one in five apartment households (20%).

They are most likely to be young Gen Ys as nearly two in three (64%) are aged between 23 and 37.


Cosmo Couples

The second emerging family type who are increasingly adopting the apartment lifestyle are urban couples.

The number of couples with no children living in apartments has increased by 21% since 2011 and now represents over one quarter (27%) of apartment households.

Solo Metropolites

Sydney’s largest apartment segment is made up of lone persons (34%).

Three in five are renters (63%) and the largest generation represented are Baby Boomers aged between 53 and 71 (37%).


One-parent families

The fourth urban segment is one of the smallest but by no means insignificant. Single parents with children comprise one in 12 apartment dwellers (8%) in Sydney.

Single parents living in apartments are most likely aged between 38 and 52 (49%).


Sydney’s future forecast

Sydney in 2024

If the current trends observed across Sydney over the past five years continue, the number of traditional detached houses could drop to 49% by as early as 2024.

Filling the gap apartments would then make up 34% of Sydney’s total housing stock. The remaining housing stock (17%) would be made up of semi-detached or terrace housing.

These insights and more can be found in the Sydney Lifestyle Study Report.


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