Singles driving unit and apartment market

Singles of all ages; forming families of all configurations. Rich, poor.

More Melburnians want to live alone, according to forecasters – but still look for homes with at least two bedrooms and ideally as many bathrooms.

Demographer Bernard Salt said twentysomething to sixtysomething singles increasingly see units and apartments as a legitimate lifestyle alternative to houses.

As such, medium and high density living is no longer seen as the poor cousin of “real living”.

The commentator added this market is relatively new to Melbourne.

“There are a number of different tribes who have a preference for an apartment or a unit, over a traditional house,” said Mr Salt.

“And the tribes are growing quite rapidly”.

One of them, he said, are the separated, divorced and widowed – choosing the low-maintenance lifestyle offered by apartments, often over a house.

“Many empty nesters are finding they are sick of the garden, sick of the commitment their home might demand, and are questioning whether they really need the space anymore,” Mr Salt said, of another buyer type.

“Their interest in cosmopolitan life has been piqued by their Generation Y kids, and they are selling up and moving out of the burbs to units and apartments, in locations closer to their interests”.

Competing with them for units and apartments, the businessman added is the Double Income No Kids (DINKS).

“This group has extraordinarily high levels of discretionary spending, and sophisticated tastes,” Mr Salt said.

“It’s a demographic that also likes to hang out in a similar location.”

Global expatriates, here on short or long term contracts, are also expected to drive the unit and apartment market “as the world continues to globalise and talent moves” Mr Salt said.

The super-wealthy will drive another sub-market, according to the demographer.

“This group is looking for a lifestyle outside the traditional home of the well-to-do, and are looking for chic, inner-city cosmopolitan locations”.

St Kilda Road and Port Melbourne have captured a bulk of this market, he added.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of