Despite Australia’s relative economic strength home ownership continues to fall. This change is a very basic change in demographics and needs to be a key aspect in how marketing is being planned.

In 1998, not that long ago really, home ownership stood at 73% (it was the Australian dream) but by 2011 it had declined to 66%. Also in 2011 Australia had some the world’s highest official interest rates at 4.25% and with higher house prices the combination is having an impact.

 There are some predictions that 2011 will see rates fall by 1% and the question of how the banks will manage these falls and how this will impact the demand for housing will be the key point that Project Agenda will keep on watch.

 At the end of 2011, while home loan rates had started to fall there were still some key hot spots that were impacting the apartment market. Both for owner occupiers and investors alike. Finance for off-the-plan sales was becoming harder to find, investors needing bigger secure incomes and rental streams being sidelined, and deposit bonds tough to secure.

 A popular trend continues to emerge towards the direct investment of Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF) in property. With demand in particular for apartments in high rental demand areas more evident.

 I am not alone in noting that this form of super investment is an ongoing discussion that will not go away. Because there can be disappointing returns from some super funds. This clearly continues to worry soon to be retirees and also those not so old among us looking at low or negative returns from super or parts of the stock market. This is a mix which is sure to remain topical and will continue to impact home ownership levels and marketing goals for a very longtime to come.