Lifestyle trends & property market – Mark McCrindle interview

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Social Researcher, Mark McCrindle chats to Kevin Turner about some of the lifestyle trends and their impact on where and how we live and the obvious impact on property.


Kevin: You might recall a couple of weeks ago, I chatted to Mark McCrindle and we were talking about the Urban Living Index. Mark joins me once again. Good morning, Mark.

Mark: Good morning, Kevin. Great to be with you.

Kevin: Thanks again for your time. Mark, a very interesting conversation we had a couple of weeks ago on the show about the Urban Living Index. I wanted to come back and discuss that with you again.

Just a bit of fun now, Mark. Let’s have a look at some of the lifestyle trends that we’re expecting to see this year, 2016.

Mark: Probably one of those is just how we work. We’re continually seeing changes in our lifestyles. We’ve seen teleworking. People work a bit more from home. People work through technology. We see even the new developments now where you have mixed planning. You have residential nearby to business parks or offices, and of course, retail in the mix of that. People want to work and live and play and connect in a community, in an environment where they don’t separate each of those.

One of the trends we’re predicting for 2016, we call it power working, which is the work equivalent of power napping. Power napping is where you sleep in non-traditional times and places. You just have a quick zap. Power working’s a bit like that. We get people now working more on their commute. They’re working in cafes. They’re working before or after work, sometimes in front of another screen, even unwinding at night. Work is not just a nine to five, you’re at the desk, in the workplace phenomena anymore; it’s changed. With apps and devices and technologies and the expectation of quicker response times from clients, we’re going to see continual changes in what work looks like and where it’s done from.

Kevin: Mark, of course, with so many people concentrated, living on the eastern seaboard in our major capital cities, I guess that type of lifestyle change is going to encourage more people to move into some of those regional areas, which will probably have an impact on prices there, do you think?

Mark: That’s right. We’re certainly seeing growth in the regional market because they’re being priced out of the cities, and the price rises in our capitals have been pretty crazy. People are saying, look, the regions are not isolated anymore. You have great lifestyle. You have excellent affordability. Of course, the technology, the infrastructure out there is fantastic.

You can get out of the rat race of the city, take a bit of a breather on the mortgage, get some pretty nice lifestyle for what you get out of that house from the city, and of course, the kids have some good schools. Again, the cafe lifestyle and the technology, even running a small business working from home, all of that is possible pretty much anywhere in Australia now, not just in the cities alone.

Kevin: Mark is one of the authors of the Urban Living Index, which we mentioned. I might just touch on that if I may. By the way, the website for that is A great report. Mark, it pretty much focused on Sydney, but one of the interesting points I noticed is that the high density living in Sydney seems to be increasing. If you look at detached housing around Australia, I think the percentages are lower in Sydney. Are more people preferring to live in more high-density areas?

Mark: Yes, that’s correct. There’s this little demographic measure called the center of population of a city, which is the point in the city where in the whole catchment of the city where you have as many people west as east, as many people north as south. Now, in our eastern capitals, that center of population was continually heading west because the urban sprawls were heading further and further west. Interestingly, in Sydney – and we’re going to see the same thing in the Brisbane market – it stopped; it’s not heading further west. That’s because for each new housing development that is taking place in the urban sprawl further out, you have an infield development, a densification development to the east of that center.

It’s interesting that it seems as if the center of population, the sprawl is slowing because people are now opting for those densified living options. That is because of the location. They don’t want to travel further and further into the city or into the lifestyle areas on those motorways or public transport. At some point, it’s so far out that they say, “You know what? I think I’ll opt for a different style of living, a vertical option rather than just that house with the block out the back.”

Kevin: Yes, if you look at the map that’s on the website, if you look at the spread of the population, I wonder what sort of story it tells between that northern part of Sydney up to Newcastle and the southern part going down to Wollongong as to whether we’re going to see in-fill there. You’re right. You can see it looks almost out of proportion moving out toward the west.

Mark: That’s right. In Sydney’s market, we are now seeing growth in the northwest corridor and the southwest corridor. In other words, where they’re putting in some infrastructure, now we have some metro, some rail lines going, both of those arteries, which really had been devoid of some rail, that is creating some great opportunities and some densification there.

Now in Sydney, we have not just the built-up areas within ten or 15 kilometers of the CBD itself, but now 20 or 30 kilometers away from the CBD, you have these hot spots of densification. You have these 10-, 15-, and now on the plans 20-story residential towers that are around these transport hubs, these interchanges, that are obviously a fair way from the city, but because the shopping centers, the transport hubs, the availability of accommodation, and of course, café lifestyle that goes with that, we’re getting a lot more people opting for that sort of living. In a sense, Sydney becomes a city of cities, and we’re going to see that with all of our 2,000,000+ capitals across Australia.

Kevin: I’ll get you back to talk more about that in some future shows, too, Mark, but I want to thank you for making your time available today. The two websites for Mark are, of course, the website we just mentioned, and there is another one, too, that’s simply called

Mark, thank you so much for your time.

Mark: You’re very welcome. Thanks, Kevin.



Mark is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations.

Mark’s understanding of the key social trends as well as his engaging communication style places him in high demand in the press, on radio and on television shows, such as Sunrise, Today, The Morning Show, ABC News 24 and A Current Affair.

His research firm counts amongst its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and his highly valued reports and infographics have developed his regard as a data scientist, demographer, futurist and social commentator.


Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


digital intern princess charlotte housing shbc coffee snapshot new york times perth divorce mythbusters cancelling plans national wealth cold program norwest food shopper's pick baby boomers online shopping ashley mckenzie winter blues sunburnt country social life Australian communities future of education charity grandparents Res Vis forum balance owning a home baby names australia report middle class christian going out urban living index report belief train learner travel holidays manly Aussie the australian dream university degree quote Charlotte Caregiver brands business performance gold coast ACF 2016 friendship TDE local communities customer Australian Bureau of Statistics internships housing affordability states emerging trends study professional development research report stats James Ward wellbeing focus groups darwin consumerism careers rise of local communicate resource 2016 census GPO statistics System's Architect culture media commentary conferences personal growth high density living affordable Queensland: QLD brisbane follow investing capital cities professional hobart average aussie millenials divorce rate conference presentation organisations technology Andrew Duffin cartodb offenders public holiday dessert 1994 australia social researchers social lives sydneycity Wodonga holiday leadership public speaker generations work school satisfaction faux-ciliser unemployment Vocational education property market leadership workshop know the times employment twentyseventeen thought leadership storytelling poker master tuesday office opening NEETs graphs faux-cilise futurist budget collaboration business index 2012 mover and shaker forecast responsive Territory financial Generation Y christianity mccrindle tea stay home deloitte socialites generational trends gen alpha Australian schools mother's day staff omnibus social enquiry 1968 educhat future proofing housing growth christmas newspaper politics sydney speaker households clothing 2015 parents DESTEL interactive SMART new office hills shire social emerging generations wealth and income cooking consumer royal builders SA land of the middle class rising house prices business keynote hello fresh global generations video social impact DIY ABS facts acf15 ageing population World Water Day PSI plans Sydney keynote speaker schools students data analyst Australian Families community teaching low density South Australia Duchess of Cambridge society millennials Merry Christmas baby boom tea media activity car entrepreneur financial fears society trends JOMO innovative 1975 commuters The ABC of XYZ retirement sydney event Christchurch supply and demand house prices women slideshare event "know the times" finance buildings thrive bureau changing face of sydney vegetarian #censusfail wealth and income distribution marriages trends analyst economy water 2017 selfie dream demographic trends work-life education future report February 16 village family award winner Financial Planning Association rich baby name rule keeper Northern Beaches Christian School define Australian Home growing population product Canberra real communication WA Social Trend optus my business awards future faith wage sentiments sports environmental scanning national private wealth IT Specialists volunteers ease of travel visualisation child care future-proof workforce challenge curiosity census fail safe tv Australian Trends government baby names report future of work forecasting monarchy housing trends trends rental stress social commentator royal baby 2013 VET high school google for education poor sector generation Z hornsby survey design engage language relevant increasing densification Wellington demographic transformations state Australia Day 2017 urban trend SMSF Northern Beaches English teachers staying in generation alpha Hills Shire Council urban living grave decision census 2016 healthy future baby name trends toys salary Royals property price pyrmont contiki shifts weather student CBD research data hopes sydney hills sector wide the average aussie mccrindle visual wedding blaxland typical australian workplace culture social analysis goals Engineering Manager faux-cilising year 12 mortgage Aussies repayments cancelling event schools youth unemployment population map educated professional speaker education future conference speaker spend high density apartments Northern Territory cancel plans families HSC sydneysiders census australian communities forum marrickville unaffordable 40 million the hills shire ACF long weekend waverton home in the media overcast online demographics community engagement Northern beaches Event Gen Y dreaming jobs of the future renter of the future Australia Day career researcher alpha cost 23 million research services criminal McCrindle Speakers marriage huffington post mining boom mccrindle research ACT communications Word Up relational area debt social trends ideas not-for-profit gender internet eliane miles 2016 Love emerging technologies wolloomooloo high density research pack world youth day names fears infographic wall media release sector wide study prince george Australian Census jobs public speaking local Births New Zeland not for profit etiquette australian social research income teach story Australian Dream university australian communities trends report Real Estate home owner renting meetings megatrends royal influence non profit entertainment group daily telegraph sun mccrindle in the media cash world ferry school students population growth REIV National Conference aged care recap transport NBRS Architecture Real Estate Institute of Victoria professional services baby name predictions training change crows nest friends investment Scouts communities spirituality townhouses internship year 7 education research entrepreneurs of today baby names religion national crime rates house Gen X Tasmania Australians social change population milestone woolworths generation shopping celebration demographic Mark McCrindle investor employers life victoria Skilling Do It Yourself royal family news Kirsten Brewer litter Christmas season education VET sector dare to dream Hornsby Shire Council earning debate 24,000,000 Channel 7 property Kiwi NBRS geomapping mobile brand brand experience earn REIV Conference Myth VIC data visualisation living equip nfp office lifestyle fresh networking suburb father's day capital city domestic gen z focus group Financial Planning Association of Australia insight outsourcing social shifts tattoos The Daily Edition aged care puzzle presentation daily commute in depth interviews leader residents Australian Population analysis paying to work workplace participants small business seasons Wagga Wagga goal media skills mythbusting financial future lalor park apartment 1980 environment growth learning post rationalism teacher neutral bay global financial crisis market research Western Australia potts point Channel Seven medicine sustainable ashley fell learning styles community event earnings Adelaide NSW office space engagement moreton bay January 26th men Sydney Hills Business Chamber baby case study social research affordability results cloudy days trends of 2017 students motivate innovation tips award 10 years tableau Geoff Brailey crime Tuesday Trends vegemite future proof cost of living priorities conference commute logan trend tuesday mentor workshop rent travelling trades global young australians presentations suburbs trends of 2016 Christmas lunch 2014 wages demographer resilience social media NT millionth Australian Communities Trends personalities Tuesday Trend annual income pharmacy insights events Melbourne infographic population ipswich meals social commentary social researcher culturally diverse cultural diversity housing market breakfast the changing face of ethnography household aussie culture experience energy sunny days ageing house price tertiary education financial independence school youth suburban living the hills Assistant Store Manager 24 million collaborative identity research children Netflix Queensland Sydney winter census results optus economic city happiness 2016 census results anzac financial dreams Australian demographics couple entrepreneurial social issues group session eliane qualitative research marketing Deaths survey list sydney metro Macquarie University education sector wealth Work place parenting New Zealand FOMO Generation X rain Population Clock cars narcissism greatness ultimo Bathburst organisational culture New South Wales work mates mateship TAS keynote speaker Christmas presents australians staying home more learn easy rider Valentine’s Day bondi menai data easter Research Executive kate middleton authenticity socialising pharmacies proactive weekly earnings wealth distribution research visualisation panel google young people summer Financial Planning Week speakers moderators guide home ownership 2020 publication urban taskforce Crime Rates optimistic bus click house price rise FPA teleworking church Education Future Forum EFF