Home Sizes Shrink
Big homes are still popular and the appeal of a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with garage space for two cars, on a large 660sqm block is what many buyers dream about. However, figures from the ABS show the reality of an average Australian home is 3 bedrooms and on a 450sqm block. Technology and different eating habits are two factors. Technology delivers entertainment right to personal screens and so the large central TV in a family living room is no longer the norm. We also cook less in smaller kitchens and most dining rooms sit empty. The trend is similar in the UK where the average living room in a house built since 2010 was 17.1sqm, compared with 24.9 sqm in the 1970s, a 32% contraction.
Over the last couple of decades there’s been a worldwide trend with more people living alone. In a US survey by Cigna 46% of 20,100 of people said they sometimes had a feeling of being alone. While in Scotland one-person households have dominated since 2010. In Australia, the proportion of the population aged 15 years and over living alone (in private dwellings) increased from 9% to 12%, and over the next 20 years is projected to increase to 16% (3.1 million). Overall this long-term increase is being driven by an ageing of the population, and the propensity of younger and middle aged people to live alone. It’s a trend that is also impacting the design of high-density development where community facilities like shared lounge areas, gardens and cinema rooms are popular and bring residents together, and the trend is set to continue.
Four Big Trends
Following on from the trend towards one-person households here are four big picture trends impacting real estate markets. Co-living and community-driven residential developments. Short-Term rentals have created a sometimes-controversial opportunity for large property owners. Fractional Investing as peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding is leading to greater diversification and passive investment opportunities. And lastly Smaller Living with tiny apartments and homes, this trend won't have a huge immediate effect as planning rules need to adjust, but it will over the next decade.
Bike Share Love or Hate
Bike share schemes, you can either love or hate them, but the idea has spread across the world as an updated means of urban travel. Some of the figures (the figures do lag a little as the stats try to keep up) however, they might still surprise, as the three leading locations for bike share journeys are:
- Paris: 24,000 bikes and 24.4 million journeys
- Valence: 2,750 bikes and 7.2 million journeys
- Lyon: 3,700 bikes and 6 million journeys.
Sydney City Council reports 390,000 trips in January and February 2018 especially around Central, Green Square and Newtown. It’s projected that might take us to 2.5 million journeys over a full year.
A Note for New Investors
At the start of every tenancy you as landlord or your managing agent must under NSW legislation give your new tenants the following information: a copy of the NSW New Tenants checklist, a copy of the lease, 2 copies of the premises condition report, an invitation to lodge the bond using Rental Bonds Online (RBO) or a bond lodgement form for the tenant to sign and of course keys to the property. There may also be some other details to supply, and that depends upon the type of property being leased and could include: a certificate of compliance for a swimming pool, a copy of the Strata by-laws if the property is in a strata complex, notification if the premises has been listed on the Loose-fill Asbestos Insulation Register and finally any notification of any other material fact relating to the premises.
A Tale of Two Cities
Australia’s two main property listing portals often go head to head to attract marketing dollars. What’s interesting is a comparison of the differences between the top three searched suburbs on each. Based upon recently published results for domain.com.au the top three suburbs were Mosman, Paddington and Randwick. While for realestate.com.au the top three were Blacktown, Parramatta and Mosman. The results are likely to be somewhat changeable, and do reflect the varied demographics of each site, what’s interesting is the presence of Mosman on both!
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