Liveability in the Australian Housing Market

Project dates: 20/01/2019 - 20/01/2020

This project aimed to statistically validate an existing practice-based Liveability framework, as well as develop and evaluate alternative literature-based frameworks through the lenses of wellbeing and psychometrics.

Why is this important?

Energy efficiency (EE) in the home has long been the goal of most sustainability objectives (International Energy Agency, 2020). EE is often framed as people needing to use less electricity, changing their behaviours, and buying more efficient appliances and devices. When buying a home, EE is only a small and sometimes insignificant factor in making the purchase. However, how liveable a home is, is likely to be a major drawcard for buyers. Therefore, this work seeks to find out what people define as liveability in the home, and how can these liveability features be understood; additionally, these desires/demands are likely to be heterogenous throughout Australia, and thus a segmentation study will also form part of the project.

What did we do?

A literature review was conducted on the topic of liveability and wellbeing to identify and develop multifaceted dimensions of liveability that could resonate with different segments of a national sample of Australians. A survey was conducted with 1,016 people asking them various question around what liveability in the home meant to them, their preferences  for energy efficiency (EE) in the home, as well as home design/layout questions that impact comfort and EE. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted to determine the measures’ level of validity and reliability. These constructs was used in a cluster analysis to generate potential lieveability segments.

What did we find out?

We uncovered 7 liveability profiles that fit the Australian home buyer market. These segments were developed from 5 of the relevant liveability constructs, namely: Nature relatedness, Environmentalism, Materialism, Security, and Independence.

These segments were:

  1. Exhibitionists have the highest levels of every dimension, including materialism. If they care about the environment or are fiercely independent, they want everyone to know about it.
  2. Idealists score almost as high as the exhibitionists, but aren’t materialistic. They want to live their best lives, privately.
  3. Minimalists have higher levels of nature relatedness and environmentalism than the other variables, and are anti-materialistic. Likely the most authentically eco-friendly segment.
  4. Individualists only care about security and independence, nothing external to their household.
  5. Survivalists care about security more than anything else. This segment is focuses on bare necessities first.
  6. Strategists score more highly in security, independence, and environmentalism than the other dimensions. They’re interested in the practicalities that make a difference to their present, and future.
  7. Non-conformists don’t want to be put in a box, even if that box is labelled ‘independent’. They score low on every dimension.


For more information about this project, please email:

Funding / Grants

  • Funded by the CSIRO (2019 - 2020)

Chief Investigators

Other Team Members

  • Dr John Gardener (CSIRO Team Member)