Chris Childs


What was Australia like last time interest rates were this low? (Part two)

Last month, we looked at what Australia looked like the last time interest rates were as low as they’ve recently been. That was all the way back in 1968, and now it’s time to step back inside the time machine to check out some other crucial differences and similarities between then and now.

We had half the population back then

McCrindle’s snapshot of Australia hitting a population of 24 million notes that we hit 12 million in 1968. With twice as many people there’s obviously much more demand for housing, which is one of the reasons investment property can be a good look-in for your portfolio.

Queensland had the best net interstate migration of any state or territory.

In fact, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows that between 2003 and 2014, Queensland had the best net interstate migration of any state or territory in the country. We’ve got the best climate and some pretty appealing real estate, why wouldn’t people want to come here? McCrindle noted that 3 million people have been added to our population between 1968 and 2016 – it bodes well for the future.

We’re getting married less…

In a manner of speaking. McCrindle’s research also turned up the tidbit that in 1968, 8.8 in every thousand people were getting married every year. Nowadays, it’s 5.2 per thousand. But in raw numbers, there are 20,000 more marriages every year today than back then, thanks to our much higher population.

The age at which people get married increases over time as well. The ABS says the median marriage age for men in 2014 was 31.5 years, while for women it was 29.6 years. As property values rise, people are going to find it more difficult to get entry into the market – but buying real estate with a partner can mean you both shoulder the load.

Why are Australians spending less time putting a ring on it?

We’re having fewer kids

Per woman, the Australian birth rate has gone down from 2.34 to 1.8. That’s a little difficult to work out in terms of real estate – how exactly do you measure out 1.8 bedrooms in a house? But it shows that we’re tending to focus on other things that aren’t raising a family – wealth creation, perhaps?

While some things have changed drastically, other things have stayed the same – like the need for financial advice. When you’re planning your finances for another 48 years from now, get in touch with the Think Money team – we’ll help you plan for tomorrow and well beyond.