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Can housing keep up with Australia’s forecast population boom?

Australia’s population is set to grow by 7.4 million by 2041, requiring an extra two million homes across four major cities to cater for more than 65 per cent of the forecast population spike.

According to Informed Decisions, also known as .id, two-thirds of the nation’s population growth over the next two decades will be concentrated in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Chief Executive Officer of .id Lailani Burra said following a Covid-inspired rush to regional centres over the past five years, a reopening of national borders is seeing a return of urban population growth that’s tipped to continue.

 “What we found was that the regional growth we’ve seen over the past few years was caused by an interruption to regular programming,” she said.

“Where these areas typically lose population – predominantly young people, to larger cities – Covid and university lockdowns had put a halt to. 

“So most of the growth was not from people coming, but from people not leaving these regional areas.”

Victoria’s population is tipped to rise by two million people, including 1.6 million in greater Melbourne.

This growth will require an additional 723,000 homes.

Last month, the Victorian Government released its housing statement, forecasting a boost in housing supply of 800,000 new homes over the next 10 years.

In light of the .id predictions that may not be enough.

The NSW population is forecast to growth 1.7 million, with 1.2 million of those people to live in the Greater Sydney area.

An additional 582,000 dwellings will be needed to accommodate the increase.

The data also shows the Queensland population is expected to rise 1.6 million, including one million in Greater Brisbane, with 381,000 more homes needed.

And the population in Western Australia is expected to jump 900,000, with 800,000 people added to Greater Perth’s headcount.

More than 330,000 extra homes will be needed.

Under the Housing Australia Future Fund, the Federal Government has committed to building 1.2 million homes, including social and affordable housing, over the five years from 2024.

“We often talk about population and housing challenges at the national, state or local government area level, but this work quantifies the impacts at the much more detailed suburbs/community/local area level,” Ms Burra said.

“Overseas migration will continue to have a significant impact on the future of Australia, but it won’t affect every community in the same way. 

“With our data, we can show when key growth areas are forecast to grow over the next 25 years, how many people will be added, how the age groups that live in different places will change and how many houses are forecast to be built.”

The .id data also revealed Tasmania is forecast to face a demographic imbalance problem with young people once again leaving to the mainland and people in retirement age groups continuing to move to Tasmania.  

Meanwhile the Sunshine Coast is forecast to triple its retirement age population over the next 25 years, caused by a combination of migration from other regions/states and the current population ageing in place.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.