Population growth - energising the Queensland economy

Posted December 8, 2015

Brisbane

Queensland will be marked by big population growth in South East corner over the next few years.

Migration will account for most of this growth.

The issues present themselves in the form of an aging population in this paper presented by William Miller from Whitsunday Surveys.

 

Introduction

This paper aims to provide brief but key demographic indicators and projections relative to development in South East Queensland. In the National and Queensland context this analysis is relevant as typically when the investment flows that capture housing and other asset classes reach critical levels in the southern capitals, Queensland and then Regional Queensland investment tends to gain momentum.

1.0 Demographics of South East Queensland

South East Queensland has experienced significant population growth in comparison to Australia’s other metropolitan regions, increasing by an average of 80,000 per year (1)  to 3,270,000 at 30 June 2013 (2) ;   this increase is expected continue to between an estimated 3,762,000 and 3,939,000 by 2021 (3).

Historically, between the period of June 1991 and June 2013, the greatest percentage of population growth Queensland wide has been experienced in the Gold Coast (17.2%), Sunshine Coast (10.0%) and Ipswich (7.4%). The popularity of the South East is manifested comparatively with the largest contributor to population growth in Queensland outside of the SEQ region being the greater Wide Bay (5.5%).

These trends are anticipated to continue with projections for 20 June 2036 showing the most populous Local Government Areas (LGA) as Brisbane (1.44m), Gold Coast (905,700), Moreton Bay (622,300) and Sunshine Coast (469,900) (4).

Natural increase accounted for just 25% of population growth in 2009, leaving 75% of growth due to net migration. Further, Queensland is experience an ageing population resulting in a change of median age of 36.6 years in 2011 to 40.2 years by 2036 and further to 41.6 years by 2061 (5)

2.0 Development Activity

The following three indicators have been investigated to describe how the abovementioned population is being housed.

2.1 Residential Lot Approvals

In the year to March quarter 2015, SEQ Councils approved the development of 15,664 residential lots, representing an increase of 9 per cent compared with the same period last year when 14,391 lots were approved. (6)

2.2 Residential Infill Development

There were 3,223 infill multiple dwelling projects identified in the planning pipeline within SEQ in December 2011, contributing 80,688 new dwellings (80,387 dwellings in December 2010). (7)

Brisbane (40,471 dwellings) and Gold Coast (18,483 dwellings) accounted for 71.8% of the total SEQ multiple dwellings identified in infill development at June 2011. (8)

2.3 Total Dwelling Approvals

In January of 2015, the total dwelling units approved in Queensland accounted for 20.1% of Australia wide dwelling unit approvals with the nominal value of residential building work approved in Queensland increasing 3.3% in January 2015 to a total of $950.5 million. These figures grew to account for 20.4% in September 2015. (9)
Total dwelling units approved in Queensland in September 2015 was 12.9% higher than in September 2014, comparatively, Australia wide was 6.8% over the same period. (10)

3.0 Land Reserves

Broad hectare land is defined as the amount of unconstrained residential land under the current planning scheme, including existing residential development approved by Council. (11)
The total area of broad hectare land available for residential development in SEQ is 38,520 hectares, fully developed; this land will yield approximately 442,000 dwellings  (12) to accommodate 1,088,000 people using the current average household size. (13)

Based on the mid range household projections, the above figures and the current available residential land stock, SEQ has approximately 14 years of supply.

4.0 Conclusions

An ageing population coupled with a high percentage of net migration as opposed to natural increase will have significant implications in terms of transport, housing affordability, water supply and environmental influence. (14)
There is a finite amount of broad hectare land and whilst figures surrounding infill housing has been growing in recent years, particularly in Brisbane, it is arguably a less desirable housing alternative for an ageing population as opposed to ‘the Australian Dream’.

We are distinctly aware as to the implications of rapid population increase and the influence this will have on our business moving forward. Further, we are is cognisant of the importance of research and strategy as to geographical business presence in growth areas and the diversification of our capabilities to service our clients in market in which there is a finite land supply and rapidly expanding population.

1. Bell M, Charles-Edwards E, Wilson T, Cooper J, September 2010, Demographic Futures for South East Queensland, Australian Planner, Vol. 47, No. 3, 126-134.
2. The State of Queensland (Queensland Treasury), Population growth highlights and trends, Queensland regions 2015 edition,< http://www.qgso.qld.gov.au/products/reports/pop-growth-highlights-trends-reg-qld/pop-growth-highlights-trends-reg-qld-2015.pdf>.
3. The State of Queensland (Queensland Treasury and Trade), Queensland Government Population Projections, 2013 edition, < http://www.qgso.qld.gov.au/products/reports/qld-govt-pop-proj/qld-govt-pop-proj.pdf >.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. The State of Queensland (Queensland Treasury), Population growth highlights and trends, Queensland regions 2015 edition,< http://www.qgso.qld.gov.au/products/reports/pop-growth-highlights-trends-reg-qld/pop-growth-highlights-trends-reg-qld-2015.pdf>.
7. The State of Queensland (Queensland Treasury and Trade), Residential Infill Development Profile – South East Queensland – Number 7, December 2011, <http://www.qgso.qld.gov.au/products/reports/residential-infill-dev-seq/residential-infill-dev-201112.pdf >.
8. Ibid.
9.  Australian Bureau of Statistics, 8731.0 – Building Approvals, Australia, Oct 2015, < http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8731.0 >
10. Ibid.
11. The State of Queensland (Queensland Treasury and Trade), Broad hectare study 2013 profile, < http://www.qgso.qld.gov.au/products/reports/broadhectare-study/bhs-seq-201309.pdf >.
12.  The State of Queensland (Queensland Treasury), Population growth highlights and trends, Queensland regions 2015 edition,< http://www.qgso.qld.gov.au/products/reports/pop-growth-highlights-trends-reg-qld/pop-growth-highlights-trends-reg-qld-2015.pdf>.
13. Ibid.
14. Bell M, Charles-Edwards E, Wilson T, Cooper J, September 2010, Demographic Futures for South East Queensland, Australian Planner, Vol. 47, No. 3, 126-134.

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