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live: how do we build homes not houses for future generations?

What will Australia look like in 2050? Acclaimed social researcher Rebecca Huntley and technologist Greg Dickason made their predictions.

Author and independent researcher Rebecca Huntley has investigated Australian attitudes for 15 years. She made a series of future predictions based on the behaviour of young people today.

While she admitted future-casting is a “tentative exercise”, Huntley said “there are few things we know will happen because they are already starting to happen”. These are:

  • Intergenerational living: Young people today see the benefits of intergenerational living – something that was once restricted to migrant families. This is not driven exclusively by affordability, but also the need to provide intergenerational family care.
  • Good density: We are slowly changing our minds about densification. People are prepared to “trade off the white picket fence and big backyard” if they can be close to great amenities and infrastructure.
  • Sharing economy: The share economy is growing, as younger generations recognise they can access shared products, services and spaces without having to own them.
  • Comfort with renting: For some young Australians it’s a choice, and for others it’s an accepted reality. These renters will be much more demanding than previous generations.
  • Renewable energy: We are starting to see more and more discussions about the cost-benefits of renewable energy, and the expectation for community-based renewables.
  • Connected but lonely:5 per cent of Australians feel loneliness is increasing in society. How can we build sociability into built environments for different life stages and generations?


Futurist Greg Dickason, CoreLogic’s chief technology officer, made three mind-blowing predictions:

  • Everything will be connected and smart. The level of intelligence in your jumper will be higher than a modern PC.
  • Data agents and avatars will mediate our world. All interactions will come with ‘your agent’ talking to ‘my agent’.
  • The smartest device in your house will be your toilet.

Read more about Rebecca Huntley’s future predictions and why Greg Dickason thinks the smart home race is on in Property Australia.

What did our panel think?

  • A cultural shift is underway and we are moving towards greater diversity in all housing choices regardless of demography.” Alison Quinn, Chief Executive Officer, RetireAustralia
  • “Densification is for certain areas, not all areas.” Fabrizio Perilli, Chief Executive Officer, TOGA
  • “In the future, developers will become banks.” Simone Dyer, Deputy Development Director, Frasers Property Australia

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