Next culture trend: Will YOU be a downager?

Understanding how our populations are expected to grow and live in the future is a fundamental key in forecasting property demand and dynamics in the next years to come.

And it's here that 'downagers' are set to become the latest trend and strong force of the future.

Just to clarify, I'm not talking about Maggie Smith type characters from the popular Downton Abbey series, but about people living lives and lifestyles typical for those of a younger age group.

We will see Australians retiring later, working til a later age, and moving to access the best job opportunities, according to forecaster and strategist Mark McCrindle.

"Because we are, overall, living longer, we recognise the financial need to also work for more years and set ourselves up better from the start," he explained. "The states with the highest population growth rates WA, ACT and QLD (3.4%, 2.2% and 2.0% respectively) are also the states with the nation's lowest unemployment rates 5.9%, 3.4% and 6.2%."

Sea-change or CBD-change?

It's a trend that we're already seeing within Brisbane's CBD - 'young retirees' leaving the rambling high-maintenance family home in the suburbs not for a house on the beach, but for a stylish CBD apartment. From here they are well-placed for job or contracting opportunities. In between jobs they can lock up and leave easily for a quick holiday from their CBD apartment - whether it be a few days or a few months. At present they make up about 10% of our active CBD buyers, however, if McCrindle is right, then this percentage is expected to grow in future years.

How do clever parents gets their kids out of home?

Gone are the days of kids leaving home the second they turn 18. They are, in fact, also tending towards their own downager-trend. "As a direct result of the downageing pattern, young Australians are less inclined to rush into employment or marriage, choosing instead to expand their tertiary education and save money whilst living at home with family members," explained McCrindle.

Some clever parents are looking to the CBD property market for a solution: They are buying a CBD apartment for their kids to live in whilst at uni or other studies. The really clever bit is that once the kids have finished and start working, the parents then 'gently' persuade them to move on - leaving the apartment ready for the parents to move in. A win-win situation!

Around 30% of my active CBD buyers currently fall into this category - whether from Brisbane, further afield or even overseas ... there are some pretty clever parents out there!

(Source: Property Observer, Louise Moeller - HS Brisbane Property marketing consultant)

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