Urbis Think Tank
Census and the Cities
There have been major changes to this year’s Census
The latest Census data is now available and for the first time in 25 years, the ABS has changed the geographies for reporting of Census data. The 2011 Census data includes a whole new set of geographies that better locate like communities. The new geographies are a great improvement, but a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes at Urbis to ensure that we can create a seamless transition from the old system to the new.
Urbis’ GIS, Research and IT teams have designed a new system to deliver trade area profiles, designed specifically for the property sector. Our new reports will update new population and dwelling numbers and provide invaluable insights into the planning, retail, workforce and policy landscapes.
What does this mean for our clients?
In order to bring greater value to the mass of census information that is available, Urbis has will focus on three key areas of Australia’s changing demographic and how they directly affect the property landscape. Urbis also has the resources and capabilities to analyse and create tailored reports looking at any part of the census data.
The three areas of focus are: regional cities, medium & high density housing, and housing an older population.
Below we take a brief look at why these three key areas are so important to those in the property game..
Regional Cities are growing
Throughout Australia’s history, regional areas have grown very slowly compared to our major cities, but some are now growing strongly.
So, what has the growth been in regional cities compared to capital cities, and how are these cities changing? Is it being driven by mining, tourism, or is the growth now self-supporting? And which cities are not growing?
For the property industry, with growth comes opportunity. Developers, mining firms and government are all keenly watching this space and the Census has many answers. What types of dwellings have been built? What is the gap between the number of people and dwellings? Is the retail offering lagging behind the population? How have the socio-demographic profiles changed over the past 5 years?
Urbis’ insights from the 2011 Census into Regional cities will provide a new benchmark for property analysis for the next five years.
Medium and High Density Housing
Over the last 5 years, medium and high density housing has been a hot topic. Government planners have been encouraging higher densities to reduce urban sprawl, but residential developers need to deliver the product that customers want and can afford.
The 2011 Census offers a unique opportunity to uncover some key insights. Where has the bulk of medium and higher density housing been built across our cities? Who lives in higher density accommodation and do the residents vary in profile across a city, and from state to state, or are they all the same? What types of residents live in different types of dwellings? Are the recent inhabitants different from those who moved in 5 or more years ago?
Urbis is a leader in providing analysis and advice to residential developers and governments investigating the needs of inner urban and outer urban dwellers. Our detailed understanding of the demographics of residents living in different types of accommodation is a cornerstone to our approach.
Housing an older population
People aged over 55 years are the largest cohort group in Australia. In June 2011 there were 5.7 million people aged over 55. By 2016, there will be 6.6 million. In 2006, there were 582,000 single persons aged over 55 years living in a free standing house. Why would so many single people aged over 55 years choose to continue to live in a separate house?
It is important questions like these that Urbis is grappling with to assist developers plan for and build the right types of housing for this huge wave of baby boomers. There is a clear market gap in the provision of accommodation for some of these people and the Census data is critical to our understanding.
The ageing population also creates important planning and policy issues. Which areas and councils have greater movement, and are managing these transitions well? What is the relationship between older persons housing and aged care? And what are the new trends for ageing in place?
The interaction between economic, planning and policy issues are complex. Thankfully, Urbis can provide leadership due to our multi-disciplinary expertise; and much of our knowledge is based on the insights from the Census.
The Census timetable and who to contact
When will the data be made available?
The first release of Census data is on June 21. After this date, different data will be released at different times and integrated into Urbis systems. Updates tailored to suit client requirements will be available from early August.
Thursday June 21
Limited first release of Census data on ABS website (Does not include industry, occupation or travel to work data.)
Monday June 25
Urbis will be able to help clients with ad-hoc requests for the tailored analysis of the first release of census data.
For any request please contact your regular Urbis partner or our research team on the contact details below.
Monday August 6
The new Urbis Socios reports available – providing Socios extracts for any trade areas that you select.
To pre-order your new reports please contact your regular Urbis partner or our research team on the contact details below.
Urbis releases our first Census report: Regional Cities and areas
Tuesday October 30
Second release of Census data. (Includes industry, occupation, travel to work, address 1 & 5 years ago)
Urbis releases our second Census report: Medium and High Density housing
Monday December 3
The new Urbis Socios reports including second release data available
Urbis releases our third Census report: Older persons housing
Thursday March 28 third release of Census data, including the release of SEIFA data (Socio Economic Indexes for Areas)
Senior Research Manager
Tel: 03 8663 4819
Tel: 02 8233 9986