Millennials prefer urban living – and they vote

The lead up to the NSW Election on the 23rd of March has focused on over-development rhetoric, yet younger millennials want a more urban lifestyle says the Urban Taskforce.


“We have seen politicians from all parties claim to be on the side of communities against urban apartments, yet a third of Sydney siders live in apartments.” says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson. “A generational divide is occurring in Sydney where older baby boomer voters who generally live in detached homes in the suburbs are calling for a halt to the wave of new apartment buildings across the city. But the next generation of millennials are a significant, powerful and well-informed group of voters, and they are preferring an urban apartment life style closer to work and at a more affordable price.”


“Ibisworld has measured Millennials in Australia as representing 28 percent of the population, ahead of baby boomers at 24 percent. They are an important demographic group to listen to, as are the even younger Gen x representing 21 percent and the much younger Gen Z at 20 percent. Clearly the younger generations in Australia, particularly in our capital cities like Sydney, will increasingly influence approaches to urban and suburban living.”


“The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018 put questions to 10,455 millennials across 36 countries including Australia.  In Australia the survey found that millennials were uneasy about the future, particularly the future of employment. Their personal priorities included health, career and housing, and that housing was becoming unaffordable.”


“The Australian Millennial Report 2019 by Millennial Future states that there are 4 million millennials in Australia and that they are tech savvy, diverse, connected, as well as passionate about social justice and the environment. Clearly the millennial cohort have different attitudes and priorities to previous generations. They tend to be more at-ease with modern urban living and take advantage of new lifestyle technologies and apps which flourish in higher density environments such as Uber, Deliveroo and Go-Get.”


“Data from the 2016 Australian Census for Sydney indicates that millennials are more likely to live in apartments (54%) than houses (40%). With the average apartment being $400,000 cheaper than the average house in Sydney it is clear that many millennials are unable to purchase the large suburban house their parents have, and are trading the size of home with a more convenient location near jobs and transport.”


“The Urban Taskforce is concerned that discussion papers coming from the Department of Planning that seem to focus on existing local character and on town houses rather than apartments. The millennials and their preference for urban apartment living seem to have been marginalised in the NSW planning system but they are an important part of the future of Sydney.”


“Whoever wins government after the election on the 23rd March must support Sydney’s move to a more urban way of living as well as the traditional suburban lifestyle.”


Download the PDF here.