The 2016 Census has been released, providing the latest data on Australia’s population – who we are, where we live, how we live and much, much more. So what does this snapshot of the nation reveal about those of us who live in the Mount Alexander Shire and how have we changed since the last census in 2011?
There are more of us
More people still live in our capital cities, which are growing twice as fast as the rest of the country, but regional areas are also experiencing rapid growth.
The number of people in the Mount Alexander Shire has grown by nearly 7 per cent since 2011, from 17,591 to 18,761.
That’s a similar rate to our neighbours in the popular Hepburn Shire, but outstrips the growth in places like the LaTrobe, Yarra Ranges and Colac Shires, all comparable distances from Melbourne, by several per cent.
Affordability is still high
Housing affordability is a hot topic across the country. High buyer demand and limited supply continues to drive prices upward and most people are feeling the pinch, particularly if they’re living in a capital city.
In 2016 people in our region spent an average of $1,300 a month on their mortgage.
That’s more than $400 less than the state average of $1,728 and significantly lower than the average monthly mortgage in popular Melbourne suburbs such as Northcote, Coburg, Prahran and Essendon, which range from $2,000 – $2,167.
If you’re looking to buy property in one of the towns in our region such as Castlemaine or Maldon this is good news.
The way we live is changing
While the majority of homes in the shire are still separate houses the 2016 Census shows an increase in other types of dwellings such as semi-detached homes and townhouses.
The number of semi-detached, terrace or townhouses in the shire has more than doubled in the last five years.
“The trend towards more concentrated, medium density living in towns like Castlemaine and Maldon reflects changes we are seeing all over the country,” says Waller Realty Agent, Tom Robertson.
“More people in our region are choosing to build and live in smaller homes for reasons of convenience, for cost and, in many cases, to reduce their environmental impact. We expect to see this shift in thinking continue to grow in the next few years.”
Additional details from the Census are due to be released in October 2017. This includes information on employment and income.