Living Alone Is Growing In Popularity

December 18, 2017
December 18, 2017 Luke

Living Alone Is Growing In Popularity

Many singles are living alone in their own space and loving it: It’s a fast-growing trend across a wide range of sectors.

As the stigma of being single falls away more and more people are looking to invest in some space of their own.

It’s putting, and is estimated to continue to place, a high demand on quality single dwelling properties. Most notably, one-bedroom apartments, large studio apartments and one-bedroom houses.

Who might be looking to buy their own single home:

  • Students and first home buyers
  • Working singles
  • People in a relationship that is not live-in
  • People who have long distance relationships
  • People who work in the city and live in the country (and travel between them on weekends)
  • Divorcees
  • Older people whose spouse has passed away

The trend for single living spaces is not just affecting Australians, it’s been seen in major cities world over.

Living Alone: The New Trend

The common denominator is: They can afford to live alone.

In 2016 there were 521,826 one-person households in Victoria. This figure makes up 23.3% of household types in Victoria, and has grown by almost 45,000 people since 2011.

The trend and demand for single dwelling households is considered to come from a number of sources, including the drop in expectation that women need to marry and are dependant on their husband for security and income. Women now have the social freedom to live alone if they wish, pursuing careers and their own personal passions.

Another factor is the rise of social technology. The internet makes it possible to chat with anyone in the world at any time. It means isolation is a thing of the past. It also creates connection over long distance. Long distance relationships are much more acceptable and possible with more people meeting and pairing up online.

The other contributing factor is the growing life expectancy. We are now able to live longer than ever before and, following the death of a spouse, a widow may spend many years alone.

Despite the growing trend in singles looking to buy their own single friendly home, there is no increase in supply.

Current Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that three-bedroom dwellings still lead the way, making up 37.5% of all dwellings Australia-wide. Zero or one-bedroom dwellings are increasing in popularity, yet there has been no increase in supply, as they make up just 5.6% of dwellings in Australia, up 0.1% from 2016 to 2011.

There needs to be a larger volume of one-bedroom homes and apartments built so that one bedrooms stay affordable and supply can meet demand.

For many reasons, developers prefer to build more one bedroom and studio apartments. These are usually priced at a great entry point for first homebuyers and investors and allotments sell very quickly. It means building can get underway faster with the security of presales.

The change in social structures means that those who can afford to buy their own single dwelling home are having to fight for them, especially the older style larger apartments with study space.

The limited number of available one-bedroom apartments and homes is leading to a big jump in the selling price of established one-bedrooms, especially bigger one bedrooms.

Recent sales on large one-bedroom homes in Victoria and the staggering interest the property received is a clear indication that singles and property investors are happy to pay extra for a quality large one bedroom rather than a small two bedroom that doesn’t suit their lifestyle.

A one-bedroom home is easier to maintain and furnish and is more practical for singles. In most cases people looking to buy a one bedroom or studio home have a social life, a work life, family they spend time with and commute, they don’t spend a lot of time actually living in their home, they really just sleep there.

For those who are able to grab a new single apartment for a great price it means they can spend their money on other things. If more single dwelling homes were allocated to new building plans then more people from all walks of life would be able to take advantage of low cost, practical housing options and put the rest of their money to work elsewhere, or possibly allow them to buy a home in a Victorian market that might not be otherwise affordable.

Luke Assigal, Managing Director
Parley Property Advisory


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