The great Australian dream of owning a quarter-acre block in the suburbs is becoming less of a reality or desire for many buyers. At the same time, demand for apartment-style residences that integrate home-entertaining and green spaces in locations rich with lifestyle amenities, transport links and job opportunities is increasing.
This is one of the five top trends anticipated by TOGA to drive property purchases over the coming year.
1. Apartment-living to surge
As a society we are becoming increasingly time-poor, with many juggling family, work and study. As such, we are seeking low-maintenance and highly convenient housing solutions.
While owning our own home remains a priority for most Australians, the quarter-acre block is no longer a requirement for many. A two- or three-bedroom apartment can also provide a more achievable and cost-effective option, as well as delivering inner-city lifestyle benefits.
According to the most recent ABS census figures, 27.6 per cent of Sydneysiders are now living in apartments and units, up from 23.9 per cent in 2001.
2. Satellite CBDs in hot demand
Urbanisation of outlying suburbs and improved public transport has seen the historically sought-after 10 kilometre inner-city CBD radius for apartment purchasers expand up to 25 kilometres. Also, the growth of satellite CBDs – cities within a city – has resulted in emerging multiple new city rings that are highly attractive to buyers.
Chatswood, Hurstville and Macquarie Park in Sydney are prime examples of satellite CBDs which are enticing purchasers seeking employment options, quality schools, plenty of retail and restaurant choices and well-connected transport links – all within walking distance.
3. Mixed use to increase
Developments that offer added lifestyle benefits for both the residents and local communities are in demand. This is driving the inclusion of supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, retail and office space alongside quality residential living.
Property purchasers are seeking opportunities that provide the heightened convenience of being able to pick up a coffee or groceries at their doorstep. Local communities also benefit from mixed-use developments as they encourage increased investment and retail competition, in many cases revitalising the local area.
4. Ergonomic design essential
Consumer demand has fuelled competition, resulting in heightened quality of design and development. Successful developers are ensuring all boxes can be ticked on a buyer’s checklist – from rooftop gardens and central courtyards to designer fixtures and fittings. This level of quality is making apartment-style living more appealing in many cases to an old home in an outer suburb.
5. Green is gold
Demand for green spaces that provide areas for relaxation is driving the integration of outdoor spaces in residential and mixed-use developments of all sizes. Thais is translating into the inclusion of more outdoor relaxation areas - from rooftop gardens, barbeque areas and internal courtyards through to landscaped public parklands and walkways.
While Australians are increasingly seeking the convenience and low-maintenance of apartment living, our outdoor culture and good year-round weather conditions are fuelling the incorporation of larger balconies and windows, as well as shared outdoor recreation areas for residents and the local community.