The preliminary results of last year’s ABS Census are out, and property industry insiders have been picking through them with a fine toothed comb. One high profile industry figure has pointed out that, despite 300,000 people seemingly disappearing, landlords well and truly have the upper hand. Read on to discover why.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher has stated in his company’s newsletter that the only real survey that counts is the ABS Census, conducted every five years. This is because the annual population statistics published by the ABS are estimates which can be way off the mark.

“The Australian Bureau of Statistics came out with some of the results from the 2011 Census. The findings? There were 300,000 people who have disappeared. Now, it is our understanding that the rapture has not yet occurred and these people have not been abducted by aliens. The ABS has simply got its most recent estimates for the population, wrong,” he wrote.

He added that our population is growing at a slower rate than expected and household formation is also not at the level expected “which has large ramifications for those estimating whether we as a nation have a shortage of real estate and if so, to what level the shortage is”.

That said, property investors still appear to have the upper hand in the rental market.

“According to the Census - median rents have risen from $190 a week in 2006 to $285 a week in 2011. That's a compound increase of 8.45% per annum....a serious landlord's market,” wrote Christopher.

Do you agree with SQM’s findings? Have your say by commenting below, or joining the debate on our online property investment forum.

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