The Urban Development Institute of Australia (Queensland) Research Foundation, proudly presented by Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ), today released the Third State of the Market Report which shows how changing household structures are driving the need for innovation in medium-density housing.

Prepared by the country’s premier economic research group, SGS Economics & Planning, the Third State of the Market Report shows how major demographic shifts and more diverse family structures are driving the need for diversity of choices in housing types and locations.
SGS Economics & Planning CEO Bill Dunbar said the decline in the proportion of traditional ‘two parents and the kids’ households presents both challenges and opportunities for Queensland’s development industry.
“Complex household structures are fast becoming the new normal, and Queensland’s residential development industry will need to increasingly deliver more flexible housing solutions,” he said.
“Our analysis explores the implications of a gradual increase in ‘children and one parent’ households, as well as the growing proportion of *DINK, ‘group’ and *SINK households.
“Older age groups are also evolving into new family forms and the traditional family home is not a one-size-fits-all solution for this growing age group,” Mr Dunbar said.
UDIA (Qld) President Brett Gillan said the demographic shifts provide both opportunities and challenges for developers.
“Changing household structures and location preferences are driving the demand for innovation and new choices in medium-density housing,” he said.
“Gone are the days when there are two options – apartments or houses with big backyards – and the community is looking to developers to provide fresh choices to suit their lifestyle and location preferences.
“The Report identifies a shortfall in semi-detached housing – aka. the ‘missing middle’ of housing choices – that presents a great opportunity for our industry to imagine and deliver new forms of housing and communities that meet the lifestyle aspirations of Queenslanders,” Mr Gillan said.
CSQ CEO Brett Schimming said the research also revealed the trade-offs Queenslanders are making to maintain their lifestyle choices.
“As property prices increase and urban areas expand, households are making trade-offs between their ‘dream home’ and their ‘dream location’,” he said.
“This Report signals that diversity in housing types and urban renewal is needed to ensure affordable options in the inner and middle suburbs of Brisbane.
“This research has a flow on effect for the construction industry, as we must ensure our workers are skilled and trained to meet the demand for innovation in building outcomes,” Mr Schimming said.
Other key findings from the Report include:

  • About 25% of the required new housing stock consists of semi-detached, or higher density housing, and this share is increasing into the future
  • Couple families without kids’ are the fastest growing segment and they will often trade off private space to be located close to work, leisure and cultural facilities
  • Lone person’ households are prepared to trade private space for a preferred location and are increasingly looking to more ‘middle density’ forms, such as townhouses, terraces and semi-detached options rather than apartments
  • In a spotlight on the Gladstone region, the report revealed 5,200 full-time employees and contractors worked in major resource and energy projects in 2014 leading to a rise in the non-residential population (i.e. includes people living in Gladstone temporarily for work). The Report also found that depending on the outcomes of a number of projects, Gladstone can expect a further burst in this non-residential population.

The Research Foundation was initiated by the UDIA (Qld) to assist the industry in developing and building the right type of housing in the right locations, at the right time. Constructions Skills Queensland is a proud partner of the Foundation.
A Research Industry Leader’s Group is helping drive the direction of the Foundation’s research program with industry luminaries from Stockland, Amex Corp, Lend Lease, Frasers Property, Investa, Peet, Pradella Property Ventures, Excel Development Group, Defence Housing Australia, Pointcorp, AV Jennings, Wentworth Equities, The Village Retirement Group, McNab and Place Design Group providing advice on the most relevant research parameters.

To download a copy of the Fact Sheet – State of the Market Report – click here.
Copies of the report available on request from Jennifer Cook, Director of Brand and Innovation, UDIA (Qld), 0403 888 444