What is happening at home?

This year has been challenging in many areas for all sections of our community, families, friends and touched us all in some way or another. However, this is a time for cool heads and a sensible approach to the recovery process.

Despite having an over-supply of housing, with the increase in homes built exceeding population growth since 2014, key areas have been neglected. Short story, we have too many of the wrong type of homes, being apartments; 71% of the decline in 2019, and will take another five years to correct.

It’s important that we, as an industry, fully understand the social needs of our respective communities, the result of which has led to severe shortages in shelter for the homeless, low income affordable housing (rentals), and assisted and independent living.

As a result of COVID-19, trust in Aged care facilities has taken a severe battering and not likely to change any time soon, in the author’s view. Research out of Europe and anecdotally in Australia, is showing better quality of life for the elderly living at home or in a family environment, than in the isolation of an Aged Care facility. Unfortunately, there are significant numbers of elderly and disabled folk that need “hospital” care.

In terms of the future of housing, with a mini baby boom becoming evident, given a stagnant death rate, is expected to compensate to some degree for the fall in Net Overseas Migration. This is expected to see population grow by an estimated 250,000 over the 2021 year with majority being new-born.

Factors impacting household formation, younger folk leaving home and on the credit side, the 50,000 homes that enter the market every year, as elderly folk move into nursing homes and retirement villages.  Keep in mind that these homes do not register as “Residential”. The over-riding issue with many of these homes is affordability, being in sought after areas, and beyond the means new home buyers and renters.

Despite concern, build rate of 130,000 a year for the next two years, at least, provides time to absorb the excessive number of apartments and empty homes laying idle. After this we will see numbers improve and demand driven.

Have a great weekend,

Geoff Dart
Australian Institute of Building, Executive Director