Understanding Social Trends in Property – Part One

Understanding demographic shifts are key to forecasting future demand. In relation to property, household composition changes are a good gauge for the type of dwelling most suited to a specific location.

McCrindle are a social research team which identify, analyse and deliver stories based on their researched discoveries. From a real estate perspective, we are going to explore a recent McCrindle study conducted on the top 6 social and demographic trends of 2019. This will form a 6-part Research Insight series.

The first is ‘simplicity as a service’.

‘2019 will mark a year of Australians seeking simplicity. The ABS states that 35% of Australian men and 42% of Australian women state that they are always or often rushed… In a world of screen saturation, 24/7 expectations and always-on technologies, the year ahead will see Australians not so much turn technology off, but turn on apps and solutions to make their life function more efficiently. People are increasingly happy to spend money to gain time.’

The general consensus is that technology is improving our lives. The flexibility and personalisation of technology is something which is being enhanced and improved with the release of each new smartphone. Rather than adapting our lives to utilizing the smartphone we’re now able to adapt the smartphone to suit our lives. The savvier consumer is using this to their advantage embracing the improvements in technology to be more efficient and essentially create time, in a time poor society.

So, what can we take away from this in relation to the property conversation? Well, we’re now seeing developers begin to adopt a more innovative approach. If we understand that time is becoming more and more valuable, the desirability of usable amenities within a project as well as the convenience of a property’s location, and the use of technology to improve liveability are all going to become more important.

Our conversations with developers are to design projects which meet the market from a technology and simplicity perspective. One example is ‘Ivanhoe Gardens’ which we released in the last quarter of 2018. In an area dominated by health professionals and white-collar workers, the project included a co-work space which can be serviced by the ground floor café. The building app will allow residents to book services within the building and provide the first world ‘necessities’ at residents doorsteps. That all being said, it’s located within 500 metres from Victoria’s largest health precinct and a local train station. The level of convenience and simplicity will drive both rental and resale demand for the property.

When markets become tougher, there is generally a flight to quality. This is evidence of the study which suggests Australians are happy to pay more for time and to achieve that desired simplicity. Paying a premium for a property which inherits lower maintenance costs and brings less concerns becomes a price worth paying.

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