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Boomers’ times are yet to come in Australia

THE Australian Bureau of Statistics defines baby boomers as Australian residents born between 1946 and 1965.

However, according to Curtin University head of property studies Professor Dominique Fisher, the real baby boom happened in the early 1970s. As a result, peak demand for retirement housing isn’t expected for some time.

Professor Fisher said the term baby boomers was an American and European one that had been incorrectly applied to the Australian population.

“The baby boom in America happened in the 1950s, then there was a sharp drop off after the ’60s,” he said.

“In Australia the demographic change was much slower and only started to hit peak baby production in 1971 and ’72.”

Professor Fisher said the demographic figures showed that the crest of peak baby production occurred in the early 1970s, making people aged between 30 and 35 the real baby boomers.

“They have borrowed the words without looking at the numbers,” he said.

It was because of this age group that the property market was currently experiencing a boom, Professor Fisher said.

“Interest rates are helping but the sustained demand is coming from demography.”

He said as the crest of the population increase was actually a lot younger than widely thought, the demand for retirement property would come later than expected, in 2020 to 2030.

Based on demographics there should be a further five to six years of growth in residential property and within five to 10 years there would be a large-scale move towards selling the family house and shifting into retirement villages, he told WA Business News.

Professor Fisher said the market had been misled by the media’s representation of the prevailing baby boomer demand.

“The concept of the baby boomer is an urban myth in Australia,” he said.

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