A Snapshot of Australia's Housing Market

Monday, August 01, 2016

Owning a home is the great Australian dream, but with 30% of Australians renting, could our love affair with bricks and mortar be turning sour? Our Aussie states go head to head as we compare affordability for buyers and renters.

How many Australians own their home outright and how many have a mortgage?

2 in 5 (40%) Australians are trying to own their own home and slowly pay it off, with the smallest category of all, 28%, being lucky enough to have paid off their home in full.

How do the capital cities compare when it comes to renting an apartment?

As you would expect, Sydney ranks as the most expensive city, costed at about $500 per week for your average apartment. Amazingly, Darwin is up there as well due to more more demand than supply and with not the same investment in stock. Meanwhile, if you move down to Hobart, it is almost half that, paying about $270 per week, and Adelaide not much beyond that at $370.

What if you are looking to buy a home, how much is that?

Sydney is still leading Australia by a long way with almost a $1,000,000 median house price. A distant second is Melbourne, at over $800,000. If you look down to Hobart, the median house price is $357,000, so that means using the money spent on a home in Sydney, you could buy about 3 homes in Hobart – and a pretty good lifestyle down there as well.

Looking at Australia as a whole, what is the percentage of apartments to houses?

About 3 in 4 Australians live in a detached home, so that’s traditionally been the Aussie dream. Then you have about 14% who live in apartments and 10% in townhouses. We are starting to see a change though, with a quarter of Australians now living in medium to high density housing. At the moment if you look at new housing approvals, it's 1 in 3, so it has gone up. If you look at Sydney and Melbourne, 2 in 3 new housing approvals are in medium to high density living. So we are starting to get more densified, with an increase in vertical communities compared to the more traditional horizontal ones, and that’s where we are headed in the future.

Watch Mark's full interview on The Daily Edition here

Australia and the First Australians

Monday, September 28, 2015

Currently there are more than 720,000 indigenous Australians – around 3% of the total population. The indigenous population is increasing at 2.3% per annum- significantly faster than national population growth of around 1.4%. By 2026 the number of indigenous Australians will be almost 940,000 and in 2030 the number will exceed 1,000,000.

The proportion of the population that is indigenous varies significantly from less than 1% in some areas of the larger cities, to more than 70% in the Northern Territory- in Arnhem Land.

The largest proportion of Australia’s indigenous population lives in NSW (31%) followed by Queensland (28%) and then Western Australia (13%). While the Northern Territory has a higher proportion of indigenous people than any other state or territory, it is home to just 10% of the total indigenous population.

Based on the faster growth trends of the Queensland indigenous population (2.5%) compared to that of NSW (2.1%), by 2037, the state with the largest indigenous population will be Queensland (356,000). While all states and territories are experiencing natural increase of indigenous Australians through births, NSW is experiencing an annual net loss of more than 500 indigenous persons per year to other states while Queensland is experiencing an interstate net gain of around 300. Additionally the remote and very remote areas of Australia are losing almost 900 indigenous Australians each year as they move to the larger regional areas (600 person gain) and major cities (300 person gain).

For an in-depth visual look at Australia’s indigenous population simply click on this interactive map, zoom in to look at specific regions across Australia, or hover over an area to read the data.

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Utilising the right tools and methods and analysing the data is just half of the research process. Because the goal is implementation, the findings need the skills of visualisation and communication. As researchers we understand the methods, but we’re also designers and communicators so we know how to present the findings in ways that will best engage.

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Australia's Capital Cities

Thursday, July 09, 2015



Over 66% of Australians live in the greater metropolitan area of Australia’s 8 capital cities with Sydney being the largest (around 4.9 million), followed by Melbourne (4.5 million). Darwin is Australia’s smallest capital city, with a current population of around 144,000. The nation’s capital, Canberra, has a population of 394,000, larger than Darwin and Hobart combined.

The title of fastest growing city is held by Perth which has recorded 3.05% per year for the past 5 years whilst Hobart has the lowest rate of growth of only 0.67% per year over the same period. Sydney and Melbourne recorded growth of 1.5% and 1.95% per year over respectively.

In terms of population increase, Melbourne comes up on top with an increase of 95,655 people in the last year while Hobart only had an increase of 1,247 people in the same period. In fact Melbourne is growing by more people every 5 days than Hobart adds in an entire year. Sydney recorded an increase of 84,230 people in the last year and based on this increase will be Australia’s first city to reach 5 million, a milestone it will achieve by the middle of 2016.

However, at a state level there have been significant changes over the last 3 years in the population growth rate across Australia. Western Australia, which was the fastest growing state has seen this annual growth rate more than halve from a peak of 3.68% in 2012 to just 1.58% currently. Over the same period of time, Queensland’s growth has also declined significantly from 2.0% to 1.37% now, while Victoria’s consistent population growth rate of 1.75% makes it the fastest growing of any Australian state or territory.

Sydney has a population approximately 400,000 larger than Melbourne’s but Melbourne is growing by over 10,000 more people than Sydney year on year. Assuming medium levels of fertility, overseas migration, life expectancy, and interstate migration flows, Melbourne will take Sydney’s title of Australia’s largest city in 2053 with both cities expected to reach a population of 8 million in 2055.

Perth’s rate of growth will see it overtake Brisbane in 2029 when they both have a population of just over 3 million. They currently have a population of 2.1 million and 2.3 million respectively.


The Gold Coast – Tweed Heads area has the largest population outside of the capital cities (almost 630,000) and also registered the largest increase in number of residents in 2009 to 2014. The 2nd largest urban area is the Newcastle – Maitland area but the Sunshine Coast had the 2nd largest increase in population even though they are ranked 4th in terms of population size. The City of Dubbo, with a population of 36,622 is the smallest of Australia’s significant urban areas.

Launceston recorded the lowest smallest rate of population increase between 2009 and 2014, growing by only 0.35% per year but they are ranked 13th in overall population, out of 32 significant urban areas. The Traralgon – Morwell area was the only area to experience a population decline with a decrease in population of 28 between 2013 and 2014.

On the other end of the scale, Ellenbrook is the fastest growing urban area by far, recorded growth of 8.35% per year between 2009 and 2014 followed by Melton which recorded growth of 5.32% per year over the same period.



  • Reach 5m in 2016, 6m in 2029, 7m in 2042, 8m in 2055
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 1.23%


  • Reach 5m in 2021, 6m in 2032, 7m in 2043, 8m in 2055
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 1.44%


  • Reach 3m in 2028, 4m in 2047
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 1.6%


  • Reach 1.5m in 2027
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 0.83%


  • Reach 3m in 2028, 4m in 2042, 5m in 2055
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 2.14%


  • Reach 250,000 in 2034
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 0.47%


  • Reach 200,000 in 2048
  • Average annual growth from 2016-2056 = 1.08%

Sydney vs Melbourne

  • Melbourne will overtake Sydney for the title of largest Australian city in 2053

Brisbane vs Perth

  • Perth will overtake Brisbane for the title of 3rd largest Australian city in 2029

*Data assuming medium levels of fertility, overseas migration, life expectancy, and interstate migration flows.

Sources: ABS, McCrindle

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