Downsizing amongst older Australians

The context of this research is the ageing population in Australia and its implications for housing and urban development. Ageing in place is a key policy response to population ageing, but this begs the question: ageing in what kind of place? It is well established that a significant majority of older Australians live in detached suburban dwellings of three or more bedrooms (ABS 2011a) which are often regarded by policymakers as under-utilised (Batten 1999; Judd et al. 2010; Wulff et al. 2004). Much urban policy is premised on the assumption that an ageing population will require more diverse (implying smaller) housing stock into which older people will (or should) downsize. However, little is known about older people’s downsizing behaviours (Judd et al. 2012).