Emily is a bright and enthusiastic young woman who never allowed the perception of a glass ceiling to get in her way as she climbed the corporate ladder in the gruesome world of advertising. After delaying marriage until age 32 to Mark, a banking IT type, they moved into an inner city apartment where they grew weary and resentful toward each other.
As Emily and Mark did not prescribe to the strict social and religious doctrines of the generations before them, they felt free and confident in parting ways to take a second chance on love. As a result they both moved out on their lonesomes, each seeking their own one-bedroom apartment in Brisbane’s inner suburbs.
Emily and Mark are not alone. Our beloved demographer and social commentator Bernard Salt has identified our increasingly liberal (empowerment of the individual) approach to how we lead our lives. No longer do people feel the pressure to stay in loveless unions. Consequently, Blue Wealth has observed an increasing trend in the proportion of separation and divorce between 1991 and 2011 from 12 per cent to 18 per cent. The end result has implications on the demand for stock in the Australian housing market.
Average household composition is reducing each time it is sampled, meaning the demand for smaller properties is increasing. Take Fortitude Valley in Brisbane’s inner-north, for example, where 40 per cent of those who have married are either separated or divorced, accompanied by a massive 70 per cent of people who have never married at all. Lone person households? Almost half of all homes in Fortitude Valley.
Demand in this area indicates that an investor would be exposed to a larger quantity of prospective tenants if their investment catered for lone person households, and even more so if it could cater to both lone person households and couple (no kids) households. Combined, these homes dominate more than 70 per cent of the population of Fortitude Valley. The same goes for many of Brisbane’s inner suburbs.
An integral part of Blue Wealth’s research methodology is to analyse population and demographics data throughout the country. This is essential in order to determine what each local market demands now and what it is likely to demand in the future.
And what happened to Emily and Mark? Well Emily got an apartment in Fortitude Valley and Mark decided that West End was more his style. ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.