Stuff worth knowing #1 – Housing demographics

Happy New Year and all that jazz. 

If 2020 taught us anything at all, it is that some numbers are thrown around as if they are vital yet many of us don’t really know if they are true; actually, important or what they even mean.

More often than not, we don’t have a simple set of base line reference points to help ground truth or add clarity.

Of course, I am talking about Covid-related statistics here, but there is also a need for a simple, yet solid, range of base line reference numbers to help make sense of the housing market too.

So instead of posts, typical at this time of the year, guessing what might happen over the next 12 months – in coming weeks I will be sending you a range of numbers that I like to keep in my head or have within easy reach.

These numbers help me understand what is going on when the latest headline housing market statistic comes across my bow.  I think they will help you too.

This week let’s cover housing demographics.

How this stu­ff can help you 

When I read something about apartment demographics, for example, I compare what is being said against these baseline essentials:

  • there are about 2 million apartments across Australia
  • they represent about 20% of Australia’s dwelling stock
  • yet they hold just 10% of the country’s residents at 1.9 people per apartment
  • a third are unoccupied most of the time
  • they average 105m2 in size and most hold two bedrooms
  • apartment residents, typically, have one or two cars
  • most residents live alone or as a couple, meaning there are usually one or two people living in an apartment
  • two-thirds of Australia’s apartments are rented

This base line data set helps me determine if what is actually being reported – in this example about apartment demographics – is new, and if I think so, then I can focus on working out the basis behind this new information and its relevance.

Using this type of reference information as a guide – I must admit – often finds that much of what is reported in the housing market space isn’t new or important at all.

Matusik Missives being the exception of course!

Next Tuesday we will cover population-related base line reference stats.

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