The Top 5 Trends for 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Rise of Local

As our cities grow, Australians are adopting approaches we see in other mega cities where a local rather than a citywide identity emerges. Australia’s capitals are becoming cities of villages or regions where residents live, work and interact in a part of their city rather than the traditional commuter approach of suburb living but CBD working. The year ahead will see the rise of the walkable community, the ongoing gathering at the local shopping strip and the growth in local entertainment precincts rather than the city-centre destinations that used to dominate. As unit living increases along with population growth, Australians are looking to meet the timeless human needs of relational health and community connection in their geographical context. From knowing the local barista to supporting the local grocer, increased events in local parks, increased patronage at local clubs and venues and growth in volunteering to support community groups, 2017 will see the rise of local.

Growth of Lifestyle Cities

Last year Sydney hit the population milestone of 5 million and Melbourne is not only growing faster but it is seeing house price increases exceed that of Sydney. The size and associated costs of living in Australia’s global cities is bringing to the fore the benefits of Australia’s lifestyle cities. These are the regional cities that have the employment, shopping and housing options of the big cities but populations not in the millions but the more sustainable hundred thousand or so. In NSW, cities like Newcastle and Wollongong have reinvented themselves from the industrial cities of the 20th Century to be innovation hubs, university towns, and small business friendly 21st Century lifestyle cities. With property prices a third less than Sydney, it is little surprise that these cities are growing at twice the national population growth rate and are seeing recent house price growth exceed that of Sydney. Beyond these cities, regional centres like Wagga Wagga, Bathurst and Albury Wodonga are also growing faster than the national average. In Victoria the lifestyle cities include Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat and are the state’s fastest growing regions while in Queensland the lifestyle cities include the very fast growing Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast as well as the inland city of Toowoomba and in the West the cities of Bunbury and Busselton make the list.

DIY Everything

Australia has always had a strong can-do attitude and a weekend DIY project in a property-obsessed nation is part of the suburban life. However with tips and tutorials just a few clicks away, and a how-to YouTube video on everything, Australians are extending the DIY approach beyond just handyman skills. From DIY legal processes like property conveyancing, to arranging complex holidays once the domain of travel agents, to the increased consulting of “Dr Google”, Australians are doing their own research and planning in an effort to save money and solve their own problems. In an era where there is an app for everything from instrument tuning to wedding invitation designing, Australians feel more empowered through technology, more informed through online resources and more motivated to save money and so 2017 will see the ongoing rise of DIY everything.

The Gig-Economy

In the span of a generation, the proportion of Australians working on a part-time or casual basis has tripled from 1 in 10 to more than 3 in 10 today. However in the last year or so, online services like Uber, Airtasker, Freelancer and Deliveroo have ushered in the “gig-economy” and more of this generation will end up being freelancers, contractors or contingent workers than ever before. Recent research shows that a third of the national workforce currently participates in contingent work, and more than 3 in 4 employers believe that it will be the norm for people to pick up extra work through job related websites or apps. Technology and new employment options have made it possible, businesses looking to manage their staff costs and liabilities are driving it and Generations Y and Z who value variety, flexibility and opportunity over job security will make the gig economy mainstream in 2017.

Post rationalism

Last year the electorates of the UK and the US showed the political class not to take their votes for granted and that bombarding people with information and expert opinion will not in itself change minds. 2017 will see the continued rise of the post rational era where it is the heart- not just the head that influences customers, staff members and voters. The 2016 Word of the Year was “post-truth” showing that the power to influence is not in the data and statistics but in the story and social validation. Note that this is not an era of “irrationalism” in that society has more knowledge available and Australians are increasingly more formally educated- rather, it is an era where the rationale alone does not alone decide the matter. Those who can communicate with an emotional, visual and relational connection will do better than those who just have a rational connection.

Watch Mark's full interview on The Daily Edition here

Generation Y and Housing Affordability

Monday, October 24, 2016

As Australia’s leading social researchers, the senior research team at McCrindle are actively involved in media commentary. Last week our Principal, Mark McCrindle and Team Leader of Communications, Ashley McKenzie were featured in the media about Generation Y and their ability to access the housing market in Sydney.

Generation Y are today’s 22 – 36 year olds, and make up 22% of the Australian population (5.22 million). They also make up the largest cohort in the current workforce (34%). Gen Y’s are comprised of today’s parents, senior leaders, influencers, and increasingly wealth accumulators. With 1 in 3 being university educated (compared to 1 in 5 Baby Boomers), they have grown up in shifting times and are digital in nature, global in outlook and are living in accelerated demographic times.

While Generation Y are often accused of living a lavish lifestyle, which supposedly locks them out of the property market, it is important to remember that traditional expense categories such as food, transport, health and housing costs are higher for younger people today than that experienced by their parents at the same age. A generation ago the average house price was 5 times annual average earnings while today the average house price is 13 times the average annual full-time earnings.

Here is a quick snapshot of last week’s media coverage:

Housing Affordability Debate

"From the Baby Boomer perspective, they worked hard, they earned what they had but I can also see the Gen Y perspective. The reality is that it's a lot harder to buy a home, the costs have gone up. Gen Y do have to pay off the debt of their degree and there are new categories of spend; technology, internet and phone, costs that their parents didn’t have."  

Parental help becoming essential for young people trying to buy property

"Ms McKenzie, who works for social researcher Mark McCrindle, said borrowing from parents was becoming Sydney’s “new normal”. “Baby Boomers control about 50 per cent of the nation’s wealth so it makes sense young people look to their parents for help,” she said." 

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McCrindle in the Media

Thursday, August 25, 2016

As Australia’s leading social researchers, we regularly assist our clients in identifying newsworthy angles in their research to help communicate the insights effectively with the broader public. Our senior research team at McCrindle are actively involved in media commentary, and the communication of key research findings. At McCrindle we are passionate about communicating insights in clear, accessible and useable ways.

Our recent research commissioned by the Financial Planning Association found that one in two of us dream more about our future now than we did five years ago. Check out our latest media activity that we have been cited in just in time for Financial Planning Week (August 22 - 28).


Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the mega trends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways.

From the key demographic transformations such as population growth and the ageing workforce to social trends such as changing household structures and emerging lifestyle expectations, from generational change to the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends.

With academic qualifications in community engagement and postgraduate studies in international development and global health, Eliane brings robust, research-based content to her engaging presentations and consulting. As a social researcher, she has been interviewed on these topics on prominent television programs such as National Nine News and Today, as well as on radio and in online media.


To have Eliane present at your next event, please feel free to get in touch via email to or call through to 02 8824 3422

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