Affordability concerns and lifestyle demands are driving a major shift towards smaller apartments, according to report by Colliers International.
The 21-page Property Outlook 2013 report, which was released this week, predicted that smaller apartments would become a norm.
“Buyers are now willing to forego internal space to ensure immediate access to facilities such as employment, cafes, restaurants, bars and beaches,” Colliers International said.
In response to the shift in apartment designs, developers were seeking to offset the reduction of apartment space and attract buyers by providing a variety of features within an individual complex. These included clubhouses, personal gardens, outdoor kitchens, kids’ rooms, conference centres and wireless meeting spaces.
The State of Australian Cities 2012 report, which was also released this week, found that attached dwellings now represent nearly 28 per cent of all homes in Australia, and the figure is growing. The federal government report found Australians are increasingly leaving the suburbs in favour of apartment living within the country’s 18 largest cities.
According to Colliers, the trend towards smaller internal areas for apartments had evolved throughout the past five years but it would eventually reach a limit.
“Internal areas cannot diminish much further and are therefore set to plateau,” the report said.
Real Estate Buyers Agent Association of Australia’s (REBAA) spokesperson Byron Rose told Real Estate Business that buyers would now be looking at how the limited space of smaller apartments was used.
“From a bedroom to living to bathroom to kitchen living quarters – how they are all intertwined with one another is important,” he said. “Basically, there should be no wasted areas.”
According to Mr Rose, smaller apartments would open up the opportunity for affordable housing for those who felt priced out of the market.
“This new development wave that’s coming through may be priced at a lower entry point so therefore there will be more accommodation provided for those who are able to afford it,” he said.
Mr Rose supported the creation of extra facilities in apartments but said it was not necessary across all markets.
“I think those developers and those suppliers need to be careful of not overdoing it, but certainly, there is a benefit to particular developments in providing that.”
He added that while there would still be a demand from families for detached housing, this trend was changing. “Living in three or four bedroom apartments may be the way to go instead of buying the green space in the backyard scenario,” he said.