The Evolving Rental Market

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute has recently published a report that reveals how the Australian rental market is evolving and how both those renting and investing in the sector are being impacted including two interesting points.

The first point is the sector is growing rapidly and over the 10 years to 2016, people renting grew by 38% – that was at twice the rate of household growth. Renting is no longer the domain of singles and shared accommodation with more couples. It’s not yet clear if this trend reflects a gradual shift in the attitude towards home ownership or is simply as a result of a lack of affordable homes to buy.

The report also suggests that if the private rental sector is to meet the demand for long-term rental housing then some government regulation may be needed. One idea would be to create a public register of landlords, or licensing requirements for landlords.

Women Lead Home Ownership Race
Here’s some important news for anyone taking a project to market or planning to sell their home, it’s the women of Australia who are making the decisions. It’s a trend from Westpac’s annual Home Ownership Report that shows women are set to significantly lead the choice of housing in the next five years at 71% vs men 61%. Westpac’s latest report shows women are leading in most areas of the market and that includes buying a home to live in 28% vs men 20%, buying an investment property 16% vs men 13%, renovating 29% vs men 27%, and finally selling a home 17% vs men 14%. ABS housing statistics, support these trends and show that 60% of women live in homes they own outright or are paying the mortgage, compared to 56% of men, and 23% of women compared with 20% of men own their homes outright.

Home Numbers Up and Apartments Fall

As the Australian market plays, catch up with the supply of housing there are some interesting trends. Recent figures from the ABS highlights the number of approvals for new detached houses is highest since March 2016. The ABS figures for February 2018 show that detached house approvals grew by 2.3% during the month, and multi unit declined by 14.8%. The number of approvals for detached houses continues to strengthen while the fall in apartment approvals has been impacted by APRA’s lending restrictions imposed in April last year with offshore buyers far less active as a result.

A Stately Home for Five Pounds!

It’s not a new idea, but it appears that whenever property markets get a bit tough here or in the USA or UK then some bright spark comes up with the idea of a lottery to sell their prized asset. Such an offer relates to a stately home in Cheshire where for five British pounds bought you, along with 379,000 others, a ticket to possibly own a 340sqm home that was previously on the market for $2.6million including a house full of antique furniture.

The Importance of Local Councils

There’s an on-again and off-again debate about how Australia is over governed with a mix of Federal, State and Local Governments sometimes blamed for adding time delays to development and all their combined taxes bleeding the industry and homeowners. However, local councils do provide a remarkable and often ‘grass-roots’ range of services and this recent list of positions vacant for one local Sydney council aptly demonstrates the depth of those services: Venues Administration, Engineering Services, Planning Officer Development Assessment, Rates Supervisor, Environmental Planning, Gym Instructor and Sustainability Officer – that’s an impressive list.

Driverless Cars and Better Cities

Autonomous vehicles, despite a few unfortunate accidents, are on their way. In February Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) had logged five million self drive miles. Uber and GM Cruise have also recorded some three million self drive miles. These figures do not include miles driven in semi-autonomous cars like Tesla’s Autopilot. Waymo has suggest that ride share and self drive cars will be making one million trips per day in the US by 2020. The reality of sitting in Sydney traffic on a daily basis means these trends might be welcome by many local drivers.