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Strata living on the rise as downsizing becomes the norm

By Tim Neary
24 August 2017 | 9 minute read
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Strata living is becoming the preferred choice for many Australians, with an increasing number making the switch from traditional houses to spacious apartments.

Queensland's Archers the Strata Professionals has found that what was once considered "downsizing" is becoming the norm, thanks to a growing number of apartments infiltrating the property market.

Partner Andrew Staehr cited the latest census data which found that alternative housing solutions such as apartments make up 26 per cent of the Australian housing market, and said that it’s easy to see why home owners are “ditching the backyard for a balcony”.

He said that financial considerations and convenience are the key drivers in the switch.

“With improving investment potential, upscale amenities and convenient locations, it’s not hard to see why high-rise living is becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to the traditional suburban house.

“Investors are also paying more attention to apartments, as we are seeing the long-term capital gains on apartment properties increasing at similar rates as houses.”

But Mr Staehr said that affordability wasn’t the only reason for the growth in apartment dwelling. 

“In the past, there’s been a stigma around apartment living that it is a ‘back-up plan’ or ‘second-best’ choice for those who couldn’t afford a house,” Mr Staehr said.


“But that’s simply not the case anymore, particularly with the types of strata developments we’re now seeing. Many have five-star amenities, a great café culture and are close to restaurants, shops, schools and entertainment precincts.”

Mr Staehr also said that there were other less obvious benefits to apartment living.

“The responsibilities that come with owning a traditional house, such as garden maintenance and general upkeep, can be time-consuming and pricey,” he said.

“Additionally, the convenience of inner-city locations shouldn’t be underestimated. Apartment locations allow residents to live closer to work and leisure attractions, reducing their spending on transport.

“A house in the suburbs simply can’t compete with these perks, nor with the shared amenities that are a key drawcard for apartment living like pools, gyms and podium areas for socialising.”

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