Save our Census - the Property Industry needs it too
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
A couple of weeks ago the media reported that the ABS was considering abandoning the Census, running it less often or replacing it with a smaller sample survey.
The Census is expensive to run and several other countries have already made the change or are considering doing so.
The property industry is blessed with great sources of quality data. Government departments (Landgate in WA) keep detailed records of property sold, when it was sold, for how much and details on the nature of properties sold. Industry associations such as REIWA keep records on what is currently for sale and how long it is taking to sell.
So why should we concern ourselves with the Census. In short, it collects a lot of valuable information that we cannot get from our existing sources, as great as they are.
From the Census we can learn:
How many people live in each town or suburb and how old they are
How much they earn, what they’re paying in mortgages and rent and how affordable their housing is
What types of dwellings they live in and how many vehicles they are trying to park there
How many people live in their household and how many people per bedroom there are
Where they have moved to their town or suburb from – do they come from the same place, nearby or further afield
Whether they are studying or working, and where they work – same place, nearby or further afield, and how they get to work
This information helps the property industry when planning, designing and building the places we live and work and when selling property, by providing detailed information about the people who are likely to be buying and renting our properties.
Get on the Save the Census bandwagon. Without it, our industry will be making major investments without the complete picture.