The volume of property and type of housing that agents sell in the future could experience significant change as populations surge.
Inner-city agents are likely to sell increasing numbers of apartments, while suburban agents are likely to sell houses that are getting bigger, according to a new federal report, State of Australia Cities 2014-2015.
“The number of detached houses has declined as a proportion of all dwellings, while the number of medium- and higher-density dwellings has increased,” it said.
“In the past, this shift was relatively small; however, recent building activity data indicates a notable change in the balance.”
The report said that development patterns have changed due to the increase in higher-paying jobs in the CBD.
People who want to access these jobs are competing for housing in inner-city areas and transport corridors, which has led to an increase in apartment construction and density.
Meanwhile, there continues to be strong growth in the detached housing market in urban fringe locations – and many of these homes are getting bigger not smaller.
The report noted that the share of detached houses with four or more bedrooms has increased from 32 per cent in 2001 to 39 per cent in 2011.
Australia’s capital cities are forecast to experience strong population growth to 2031, which is likely to mean higher population density and more apartment building.
The medium-range projection by the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggests that Australia’s population will increase from 23.6 million today to 30.5 million in 2031 – a rise of 29 per cent.
Of the big four capitals, Perth will grow 71 per cent to 3.2 million, Brisbane will grow 46 per cent to 3.2 million, Melbourne will grow 41 per cent to 6.0 million and Sydney will grow 33 per cent to 6.2 million.
The other capitals will also experience significant growth, with Canberra up 39 per cent to 375,000, Darwin up 29 per cent to 170,000, Adelaide up 23 per cent to 1.6 million and Hobart up 14 per cent to 247,000.
“Housing density will continue to trend upwards as the value of land close to the inner city parallels the concentration of high-wage employment in the CBD and central city,” the report said.
[Related: How the market will look in 2020]