Baby boomers: A generational shift

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Melbourne's real estate market is undergoing a transformation, and at the heart of it is a demographic that has always been a force to reckon with - the Baby Boomers. For decades, this group has been instrumental in shaping Australia's property landscape, and as they transition into the next phase of their lives, they're making a lasting impact on the market.

15 November 2023

The spacious family homes that have been the backdrop of many childhood memories are finding their way onto the market. Baby Boomers are “right-sizing” – trading these expansive properties for homes that better suit their current needs. They aren’t merely downsizing; they are optimising their living conditions to suit a new chapter.

To better understand the depth of this shift, Marshall White collaborated with renowned demographers at McCrindle. The numbers are compelling. In the month of October alone, Marshall White listed 45 prestige properties, each with a value north of $10 million. In total, the cumulative worth of properties presented by Marshall White for that month nudged close to the $3 billion mark.

A closer examination of Melbourne’s 2.06 million dwellings shows Baby Boomers possess roughly 663,400 homes. The economic weight of this generation and the Builders generation (those born before 1946) is undeniable, controlling over 61% of Australia’s household wealth, a staggering $6.2 trillion. The next two decades are set to witness an unprecedented intergenerational wealth transfer, the largest in Australia’s history.

But what is driving this generation to “right-size”?

The answer lies in their pursuit of quality over quantity. Apartment living, for instance, offers a release from the relentless demands of home maintenance. On average, it’s estimated that apartment dwellers are gifted back nearly 270 hours annually. That’s nearly eight weekends, or five extra hours each week, that can be repurposed for leisure, hobbies, or time with loved ones.

Couple this with Australia’s rising life expectancy. At the dawn of the 20th century, when the Age Pension was introduced, Australians were expected to live till 57 years of age. Fast forward a century, and the life expectancy has soared past 80. It’s only natural then for older Baby Boomers to gravitate towards homes that offer liveability and financial piece of mind.

The property market in Melbourne is experiencing a transformative era. With the Baby Boomer generation making decisive housing choices, the ripple effects will be felt across the market’s spectrum. As they choose to “right-size”, they are reshaping Melbourne’s real estate landscape, prioritising comfort, ease, and living more with less.

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