Housing implications of population ageing in Australia

The ageing of the population is recognised as one of the major changes facing Australia at the turn of the century. The future effects of population ageing can be anticipated because the next cohort of older people already are in late middle age. Similarly, the stock of dwellings in the housing market is long lasting and only 1– 2 per cent of additional dwellings are built each year. Processes of individual and population aging have major implications for the changing composition and use of the nation’s housing stock. Equally important are the effects of housing on the economic and social wellbeing of people over the entire life span and particularly in old age. This paper examines impacts of population ageing on housing markets and explores implications for both individuals and public policy. There is an emphasis on understanding housing demand from the perspectives of older people themselves.