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What can Census data reveal about investment locations?

Wednesday, 6th Dec 2017
Categories: Market News, Newsletter

The latest Census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) was conducted in 2016, and results have been steadily released over the course of 2017. What insights can we gain from the data when it comes to selecting a property investment location?

The first comprehensive dataset from the 2016 Census was released at the end of June 2017, and included key characteristics on ‘person, family and dwelling’ such as age, sex, religion, language and income.

The remaining data was released in late October and contained useful figures on employment, qualifications and the mobility of the population, including internal migration and worker commute times.

These figures can be further broken down by state, region, and even suburb, providing valuable insights into the demographic profiles of particular areas. While the data from a single Census can paint a clear picture of an area at a certain point in time, it is by comparing the trends from one Census to another that the Momentum Wealth research team is able to map and follow key result indicators

For instance, in following the same metrics from previous Census data to the most recent, we are able to identify areas undergoing change to their demographic makeup. This change can be due to a number of factors including dwelling additions, the previous age structure (for example, a younger population may have more births resulting in more children in the area), birth and death rates, and migration. These factors affect the type of people moving in or out of an area, the overall age profile and its economic prosperity.

An important trend to look out for is the process of suburb gentrification, which is the influx of more affluent residents to an area.. This may be from the addition of new infrastructure, increased employment opportunities attracting more workers, and increased amenity improving an area’s desirability as a place to live.

Typically, areas undergoing gentrification will see an increase in property values as the process advances. Identifying these areas early on in the process can be hugely beneficial when selecting a property investment location. Read more about how Momentum Wealth Research tracks such gentrification processes in our case study, ‘Gentrification Case Study: ABS Census Data 2016’, which you can download via the form below.