Grace New Zealand Blog

Smaller households, more homes and closer access to public transport are just some of the ways New Zealand’s ageing population will affect the future property market.

According to a new report by Statistics New Zealand, ‘How will New Zealand’s ageing population affect the property market?’, the number of people aged 65 and over has doubled since 1980, and is likely to double again by 2036 as more baby boomers move into this demographic.

In recent decades, the average household size in New Zealand has fallen from 3.7 people in 1951 to 2.6 people in 2006 but as the population ages this figure will decline even further.

“The average household size is shrinking due to the increasing proportion of one-person and couple-only households. Most of the couple-only households will be empty nesters – couples reaching ages where their children have left the parental home,” the report states.

“One-person households will account for 29 per cent of all households in 2031, up from 23 per cent in 2006. The growth in one-person households will be mainly due to the increasing number of older people, with almost three-quarters of the growth occurring among those aged 55 years and over.

What this means is that instead of having every 100 people spread over 38 houses, there might be 100 people spread over 42 houses. This, coupled with New Zealanders’ desire for second homes such as holiday homes, is likely to place a significant burden on the already strained property market.

As well as a greater demand for housing, the ageing population will impact on the types and locations of housing developments being built.

“Because of increases in life expectancy and improved well-being, there is likely to be a continued emphasis on ‘ageing in place’ – living in the community, with some level of independence, rather than in residential care.

“Increasing numbers of older people, many of whom will be women on their own, will require housing which is secure and easily maintained, with access to public transport, health, and other services,” the report states.

As New Zealand’s population ages, Grace Removals’ high level of customer service will become even more invaluable. Our ability to provide a one-stop shop in removals services will mean less stress for baby boomers wanting to relocate closer to family and better services.