The Fading Australian Dream

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Housing affordability is currently a key issue of discussion in Australia and while there are a number of factors at play, the main price driver is that demand for houses is exceeding supply. Population growth, a trend to smaller households (and so more homes needed relative to the population), and demand for homes not only from first home buyers but also from downsizers, overseas buyers, local investors, and self-managed super funds and trusts are all fuelling price rises.

While Australia’s current annual population growth of 1.4% may seem modest, this adds almost 340,000 to our population each year- which is one new Darwin every 20 weeks or a new Tasmania every 18 months.

Where population growth is strongest, house price rises are the highest

Sydney is growing much faster than this having averaged 1.8% per annum for the last five years. It will add almost two million to its population by 2037 – which is the equivalent of adding a new Perth into Sydney. Melbourne is currently Australia’s fastest growing city and based on the current growth trends, it will overtake Sydney to become the nation’s largest city around the middle of this century. Unsurprisingly where population growth is strongest, house price rises are the highest.

Earnings growth has not kept up with house price growth

In just twenty years, the average Sydney house price has increased more than five-fold from $233,250 in 1997 to $1,190,390 today while in Melbourne prices over the same period have increased by more than six times from $142,000 to $943,100 today. While it is true that wages have increased over this time, earnings growth has not kept up with house price growth. In 20 years, average annual full-time earnings have not quite doubled from $42,010 in 1997 to $82,784 today.

The impact of growing demand on house prices is most evident when comparing prices to average earnings. Twenty years ago, the average Sydney house was 5.6 times average annual earnings while in Melbourne it was an affordable 3.4 times annual earnings. Today Sydney homes are more than 14 times average earnings, and in Melbourne more than 11 times annual earnings. While the maxim that house prices double every 10 years is not always the case and growth fluctuates, since 1997 Sydney prices have in effect doubled every 8 years while Melbourne has managed this every 6 years.

If the growth metrics over the last two decades play out over the next two, the average home in both Sydney and Melbourne in 2037 will exceed $6 million. Clearly, the Australian dream of home ownership for the next generation is fading. Young people today need almost three times the purchasing power that their parents needed to buy the average place, so even double incomes will not quite do it. Additionally, today’s new households are starting their earnings years later than their parents, having spent longer in tertiary studies, and they begin their economic life not with zero savings like their parents, but well into the negative- with interest accumulating study debts to pay off. Even if today’s emerging generations start saving harder and earlier and live with their parents longer, home ownership is still not a given.

Policy settings around migration and baby bonuses have grown the population and policies around property tax incentives, self-managed superannuation and investment provisions have fuelled property demand therefore policy support will be required to bring the great Australian dream a little bit closer to reality.

Sources: Population at 2017 (ABS). 1997 prices: Macquarie University (Abelson). 2017 house prices: Core Logic. Analysis: McCrindle

Supply and demand; Australia as an ageing nation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

DEMAND: AUSTRALIA AS AN AGEING NATION

A CLEAR AGEING TRAJECTORY

Australia is experiencing a baby boom, with births exceeding 300,000 a year. 30 years ago, the over 65s made up just 11% of our population (one in nine persons). Today the over 65s make up 15% of our population (one in seven). Forecasts project that this cohort will make up 18% in 2027 (one in six). By 2047 one in five Australians (20%) will be aged over 65.

AGEING SOCIETY

Our median age is also increasing. Three decades ago the median age of an Australian was 31.3. Today it is 37.4 and in 2047 it is projected to be just under 40.

85+ POPULATION

The over 85s, where there is an even greater need for aged care services, are growing at a faster rate than the over 65s. In 1987 there were 133,448 Australians aged over 85. Today there are four times as many, and in 2047 there will 14 times as many.

INCREASED LONGEVITY

Not only are there more older people in our nation, but Australians are living longer than ever before. Life expectancy at birth in 1987 was 76.3, whereas today it is 81 for a male and 85 for a female. In 2047, it is projected to 89.9.

HEALTH ADVANCEMENTS ARE INCREASING LONGEVITY

The primary enabler of this increased longevity gain has been the health system rather than individual behaviour. Life expectancy increases will continue because of improved medical technologies, public health infrastructure and better public health measures. New and improved medical interventions will also contribute, as will the improved survivability rates of major illnesses and cancers.

A decade ago, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were the 6th largest causes of death in Australia. Today they are the 3rd leading causes of death with the number of deaths having more than doubled to 9,864. Over the same period of time, deaths due to the first and second causes of death (heart disease and brain disease) have been decreasing. If today’s current trend continues, by 2021 dementia and Alzheimer’s disease will be the leading cause of death in Australia.

EXPONENTIAL GROWTH OF CENTENARIANS WILL KEEP THE QUEEN BUSY

In 1952, the year that Queen Elizabeth II became sovereign, 40 letters of congratulations would need to have been written to Australians turning 100. This year, 2,925 Australians will turn 100 and in 10 years 5,401 will turn 100. In 30 years the number of congratulatory letters written to Australians turning 100 will increase to 25,938 in the year 2047.

SUPPLY: AUSTRALIA AS AN AGEING NATION

THE CHALLENGE OF SUPPLY

Not only is there an increasing demand on the services provided by the aged care sector with the growing number of over 85s, there is also a workforce supply challenge.

RATIO OF WORKERS TO RETIREES DECLINING

The ageing population will place greater demands for productivity on the labour force. In 1975 for every person of retirement age there were 7.1 people in the working age population. By 2015 there were just 4.5 people of working age for every individual of retirement age, and this is projected to decline to just 2.7 people of working age for every individual at retirement age by 2055.

IMPENDING RETIREMENTS

Because of the high median age of an employee in the aged care sector, half of the aged care workforce will be of retirement age in 15 years. There are 350,000 workers in the aged care sector (estimated in 2012), so this equates to an average of 11,667 retirements per year for the next 15 years. This averages to 972 farewell lunches per month!

If we are to keep the current ratio of aged care workers to people aged over 85 in our nation, we need to add 129,945 workers in the next 10 years. This equates to recruiting 1,083 new workers per month, in addition to replacing the 972 retiring staff per month.

That’s a total recruitment goal of 2,055 each month – adding nearly 25,000 individuals to Australia’s aged care workforce each year.

GET IN TOUCH

To find out more about McCrindle's expertise in the aged care industry, or how we can communicate these insights to your team, please get in touch.

The McCrindle Office Opening

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Last Thursday it was our pleasure to host an office opening of our new space at Unit 105, 29 Solent Circuit Baulkham Hills NSW 2153. Our newly furbished office space in Norwest Business Park, Sydney has been custom designed by our team to facilitate constant innovation, world-class research and creative storytelling. The open plan layout includes shared kitchen facilities, break out meeting rooms and a sizable board meeting room and viewing room, designed to host focus groups.

To commemorate the occasion we hosted a small morning tea for our team, interns, past colleagues and connections who have supported McCrindle along our journey.

Mark McCrindle opened the morning by saying a few words about our history. This was followed by some words by the Hon Alex Hawke MP, the Federal Member for Mitchell, before the unveiling of our life-size infographic wall. We were also honored to have Anthony Moss, the president of the Sydney Hills Business Chamber in attendance. 

We would like to thank all those who have supported McCrindle over the last 10 years and we look forward to welcoming all new and existing clients to our new office space.

McCrindle's new office!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Our team at McCrindle are excited to announce that we have moved into a new office at Suite 105, 29 Solent Circuit Baulkham Hills NSW 2153 (all of our other phone and contact details remain the same).

Our newly furbished office space in Norwest Business Park, Sydney has been custom designed by our team to facilitate constant innovation, world-class research and creative storytelling.

Acknowledging how important physical spaces are, our new office is more than double in size of our previous space (where our growing team was getting quite squeezed!).

The new office space has been strategically designed by our team to facilitate collaboration and innovation. The open plan layout includes communal kitchen facilities, break out meeting rooms and a sizable board meeting room with an accompanying viewing room, which has been purposefully designed to host focus groups.

In the knowledge that healthy things grow, it is exciting to see our office space facilitating our growing team of 11. Our newly opened office is an exciting milestone for us as a business, and we are enjoying the interaction and productivity this space is providing. At McCrindle we celebrate the wins, prioritise people and give our best (you can read more about our McCrindle priorities and values here).

We would be delighted to welcome all our new and existing clients to drop in to our new office space some time for a catch up or to host a meeting, research focus groups or in-depth interviews.

Get in touch

McCrindle Research

A: Suite 105, 29 Solent Circuit Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

P: 02 8824 3422

E: info@mccrindle.com.au

Understanding Generation Y Globally and Locally

Monday, February 20, 2017

Generation Pessimism

We think of the younger generations having youthful idealism and optimism yet the 2017 Global Millennial Study by Deloitte shows that the 20’s and early 30-somethings are not feeling optimistic. Just 1 in 4 believes the year ahead will see an improvement politically and again a minority- only 1 in 3 believe we will see an uptick economically.

Where’s our share?

While it is little surprise that their number one concern is terrorism/political tension (56% are concerned), the second biggest concern (43%) is income inequality. There is a strong feeling amongst Generation Y (Millennials) that they are being left behind in this era of flat wages growth and massive home and living cost increases. Our recent ABS income and wealth analysis shows that Gen Y as a whole have 7% of Australia’s private wealth while they are more than twice this (15%) of the population while the older Boomers have an economic share three times that of their population share. There is a growing series of forecasts indicating that this may well be the first generation since the Great Depression which will end up behind their parents economically.

Big challenges but are they too big…

This study shows that Millennials, particularly in the developed world feel somewhat disempowered with a sense of high responsibility yet low influence to shape the challenges of the environment, social equality and direction of the country. They are key contributors to society and believe that working within the system rather than radically fighting against it in a revolutionary approach is the best way forward.

Moving on…but to full time roles

Almost 1 in 2 (48%) expect to leave their current role within 2 years while less than 1 in 3 (31%) plan on still being there in 5 years. While the gig economy sounds exciting, almost three times as many (70%) would prefer full time work than a freelance work life (25%). Yet the challenge for Australian Gen Y’s is that while unemployment is still quite low (5.7%), the workforce is trending away from full time roles. In the last year, the Australian economy has added 130,000 part time roles but lost 40,000 full time roles.

The dot com kids see the downside of tech

Millennials are more negative than positive when it comes to technology particularly regarding the impacts it is having in the workforce. While it aids productivity, economic growth and flexibility, the majority of this generation believe that it will force them to retrain (51%) and that it is making the workplace more impersonal and less human (53%).

But they are warm towards Gen Z

The new next generation (Gen Z, born since 1995) is well regarded by Gen Y with most Y’s (53%) believing that the next generation will positively transform the workplace. They also believe that Gen Z are well equipped and “futureproofed” in the workplace because of their creativity, flexibility and engaging leadership style.

WATCH MARK'S FULL INTERVIEW ON WEEKEND SUNRISE HERE

How to teach Gen Z to be Collaborative, Innovative and Responsive

Monday, February 06, 2017

When I was eight years old, my third-grade teacher, Ms. Calov, taught me to be an inquisitive learner. Through her contagious enthusiasm, she turned me from an ordinary kid who did only what was required, to a perceptive student who asked for more projects and always connected what I learned to the world around me.

The kinds of soft skills I learned from Ms. Calov are increasingly important for Gen Z, the generation cohort after millennials. To be prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow, these students need to be collaborative, innovative and responsive to their environment. Here's a look at how today's teachers are fostering curiosity, creativity and other skills in their students, with help from technology.

- Mark McCrindle

Encouraging collaboration

School is no longer just a place to learn math, science and writing. It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others. Technology can encourage this kind of interaction. For example, since Gen Z is the first digital-native generation, teachers are asking students for help using technology and to show their peers how to use new tools. Students are working on group projects when they’re in separate physical locations, developing their ability to communicate through written feedback and explain the thinking behind their suggestions.

Encourage lifelong learning and innovative thinking

Teachers today are encouraging students to have a love of learning and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, so they can adapt to new careers and industries. The average employee tenure in the U.S. is 4.2 years, a decline from 4.6 years two years prior. In Australia, we’re experiencing a similar effect where employees are staying in jobs for a shorter duration—the Australian average is three years. This means Gen Z will have 17 different jobs in their life, and they’ll need to continue to learn new skills and how to use new tools as they progress in their careers. By designing learning tasks that have a real-world application, teachers are engaging their students as problem finders and problem solvers—roles that are crucial in any job.

Foster an adaptive mindset that’s ready for change

As the economy shifts and new jobs like VR engineers and cognitive computer analysts emerge, the next generation will need to be able to learn quickly and connect the dots between related topics. To teach these skills, many teachers are “flipping” learning —asking students to reflect on global issues and synthesize information from videos, podcasts and written material, instead of simply assigning a chapter in a textbook.

Six decades later, I still remember Ms. Calov. Her inspiration reminds me of a Mother Teresa quote: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Ms. Calov created many ripples by fostering a love of learning and empowering a community of learners. But with technology, every teacher can teach students lifelong skills to carry them through their careers.

Learn more by watching Mark’s recorded talk from Education on Air.

The Average Australian on Australia Day 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Australia is home to 24,341,000 people living in more than 9 million households comprised of more than 300 different ancestries. And while Australians are anything but average, what would a statistically “average” Aussie look like?

Statistically, they are more likely to be female (50.5% of the population) than male (49.5%).

The average Australian is an older Gen Y or younger Gen Xer (born between 1979 and 1981), aged 37 (36 for a male and 38 for a female).

Australians at birth can expect a life expectancy to exceed 80 years, with women on average outliving men by 4 years.

However, our average 36 year old male can expect to live another 45.5 years to 81.5 while the average 38 year old female should get another 47.3 years of life expectancy, taking her to 85.3.

The average Australian adult is employed most likely full time (68% of all employees), gets to work by car (69% of all commuters) and is probably earning $60,330 per year (average of all employees, before tax). After tax, and as a household, their total disposable annual income is $88,551.

They will take 4 days of sick/carers leave (5 for women) and 16 days annual leave in a year and work on average 32 hours per week (women) or 41 hours per week (men).

They live in a capital city (3 in 5 of us) in a household of around 3 people, have around 2 cars for their household, and average 14,000 kilometres per year.

They are paying off their 3-bedroom home, they have lived there for 5 years and have $427,847 equity in their home which is the bulk of their wealth. And they have $65,880 worth of stuff - the total of all of their other household possessions (furniture, equipment, household goods – but not house and cars).

The average Australian identifies their religion as Christianity (61%), has completed Year 12, and gone on to complete a post-secondary qualification. They most likely have had a child, and they live in a household with a pet.

The average Australian man is 178cm tall and weighs 85kg while the average woman is 164cm and weighs 68 kg. The World Health Organisation states that a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 to 29 is overweight which is where the average Australian sits with 27 for a male and 26 for a female.

But they are doing something about it and exercise on average 3 times per week, getting 7.2 hours of sleep per night and they also have private health insurance.

And on average they’ve most likely experienced and contributed to the great Australian value of community and mateship. It is a “come in for a cuppa” culture that gives a “no worries” welcome to someone regardless of how average or not they may be.

Happy Australia Day, Australia!

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

The 2016 Education Future Forum

Friday, November 04, 2016

On Friday, 25th November, 2016 McCrindle Research is teaming up with The Sydney Centre for Innovative Learning (SCIL) to host the 2016 Education Future Forum (EFF).

The EFF will inform and inspire those who are seeking to understand this generation and simultaneously envision a school where the learning captures the hearts and minds of young people.

This one-day event will showcase results from new research on the education sector with a niche focus on the future of education. The research explores the trends, themes and influential factors that relate to the future of education in Australia. Areas scoped through the research include technology, generational transitions in staffing and leadership roles within the education sector, pedagogical styles, physical learning spaces, social licence, needs of students of the future and broader demographic shifts across Australian communities.

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS TODAY

KEY DETAILS

Date: Friday, the 25th of November 2016

Time: 9:30am - 3:30pm

Location: Northern Beaches Christian School (1 Echunga Road, Terrey Hills, Sydney NSW 2084)

Cost: $249 

Parking: Available onsite at no cost

Registrations: Click here to register.

Our SPEAKERS

Check out the full program and purchase your tickets here

Qualitative Research; 5 tips for running group sessions

Monday, October 31, 2016


At McCrindle we run all kinds of qualitative research from in depth interviews, co-creation groups, ethnographic interviews and of course focus groups. Here are some tips for when you are running any kind of group session.

Make sure the questions flow

When writing the questions for the moderator’s guide, order the questions so that they take participants on a logical and sequential journey through the different topics you are exploring. Keep the most important questions at the start of each section in case you run out of time.

Come prepared and organised

Make sure the experience gets off to a good start by being organised and bringing everything you need and everything you think you might need. A focus group checklist helps to make sure that important items are not forgotten.

Start the way you want to finish

It is important to remember that you (as the moderator) set the tone for the group and create the ‘vibe’ you want. Try and make some light hearted comments at the start of the group and ask each person to introduce themselves to make participants feel comfortable.

Mix it up

The standard focus group length of 90 minutes can feel like a long time when it is limited to group discussion. Try using post it notes to get participant’s quick thoughts on topics, use a whiteboard for brainstorming and electronic voting technology to break up the discussion.

Keep calm and just listen

Participants are going to feel more comfortable if the moderator seems relaxed and in control. They can tell and appreciate when you are listening to them and giving them your full attention. Use your body language, hand gestures and encouraging words to show that you value and are interested in their opinions.



To find out more about the qualitative research we conduct, click on our updated research pack below or head to mccrindle.com.au

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