Australians take shine to apartment living

Australians are increasingly leaving the suburbs in favour of apartment living within the country’s 18 largest cities, according to the latest federal government research.

The State of Australian Cities 2012 report reveals that attached dwellings now represent nearly 28 per cent of all homes in Australia and the figure is growing.

Canberra is leading the trend with nearly 70 per cent of all approvals for new housing being attached dwellings.

Patrik Bruhlmann, the chief executive of Vesture Limited, said the report shows that most of Australia’s other 17 cities with a population of at least 100,000 were starting to follow suit.

“For quite a few years now approvals for attached dwellings have outstripped approvals for homes in Sydney and Darwin, while we are starting to see a surge in attached dwelling approvals in Brisbane and Melbourne,” he said.

“However, the research shows that the trend is yet to emerge in Adelaide, Hobart and Perth.”

Harcourts Integrity director, John Caputo, told Real Estate Business he expected the situation in Perth to change due to an increased confidence in the market.

“The consumer confidence index is the strongest in Western Australia because of low unemployment and a population growth at a phenomenal rate, and the amount of work in the pipeline for Western Australia,” the Maylands, Perth-based agent said.

Mr Caputo said there needed to be more apartments due to the current vacancy rate of 1.8 per cent.

“With the population growth we want to get that vacancy rate to three per cent, so we really need more homes for the people who are coming into Perth.”

He said local governments were increasing the zoning of inner-city areas, particularly those served by train stations, in order to boost inner-city living.

“They want to encourage people to use the train - it’s better for the environment, and it puts less pressure on our existing roads.”

Mr Caputo added that there was a growing preference towards inner-city living due to people’s preference for low maintenance homes.

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