A report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week points to a growing trend to single occupant housing. Within the next 25 years, says the report, households are expected to balloon to 4.3 million. Of these increased number of households, full 65 per cent (2,795,000) are expected to house single occupants.

This number will contribute to an expected total of 3.4 million people living on their own by 2040. Most of these residents are expected to be aging residents, those who have either lost their partner or have remained single occupants throughout their lives.

It was estimated that in 2011 54 per cent of Australian women chose to live alone. This number is expected to grow along with the population. By 2036 estimates have the number of women living on their own at between 52 and 57 per cent of the female population.

Men, however, are choosing seclusion in even greater numbers.

These two statistics will very likely put even greater pressure on an already out of control housing market.

“Developers,” said Louis Christopher of SQM Research, “here will have a big opportunity to cash in on this ageing trend and build even greater numbers of high-density accommodation to house sole person households.”

By far the majority of people wish to live close to large cities, so affordability becomes a real issue.

The government wil need to plan very carefully if homeownership is still important to the integrity of Australians and the national debt. For spiraling home prices and single incomes do not mix well.

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