The global trend towards capital city living has not passed Australia by. A desire to be close to inner city action, have convenient access to public transport, and live in newer homes with high level finishes, has seen renters choose strata-titled apartments over detached houses.
Recent figures from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria suggest that two bedroom apartments in Melbourne have a higher median rent than three bedroom houses, despite the higher number of apartments available. In Brisbane’s CBD, rental demand is so strong that most properties are tenanted within two weeks of listing.
Poor affordability and a lack of choice are complaints often heard when searching for detached houses. This, combined with a number of demographic factors, has increased rental demand for strata living. Australian households are increasingly made up of single persons, one parent families, or couples without children, meaning the backyard doesn’t have the appeal it once did. Longer working hours also create a desire for hassle-free living, where weekends aren’t spent mowing lawns or cleaning gutters.
Different lifestyle expectations from years past mean much of our socialising, eating, entertainment and activities occur outside of the house. Being close to inner city conveniences is now more important than a large house with a large yard.
For Queensland particularly, the future is bright. Queensland now boasts more than 400,000 lots and the strata title sector is expected to grow with demand for medium density housing reaching its highest level on record.
Brisbane’s CBD has been identified as Australia’s most sought after suburb for unit rentals, taking out the top spot for residential apartment searches on realestate.com.au. Student tenants also contribute to the high demand, with the southern Brisbane city of Nathan (near Griffith University) making the top ten of residential apartment searches on realestate.com.au.
In response to this increased rental demand, urban development has also increased. Inner city property development has been growing steadily since 2009, partly due to recovery after the GFC, but also due to state government policies aiming to create affordable inner city living. Figures show that unit approvals have risen from 25% in 2009 to 43% at the end of 2013.
It is an exciting time to be in the strata industry. At SSKB we see firsthand the vibrancy and vitality of strata scheme living. Our Development Consulting Team has already successfully assisted several buildings proceed from development to harmonious and livable strata communities to meet the increased demand. The recently completed communities Mosaic and Madison Heights are prime examples of what people are looking for in strata living. Mosaic is positioned in the vibrant Valley precinct and offers an exciting mix of commercial, retail and apartments. Madison Heights offers more than 300 residential units and 760 square metres of shopping, dining and cafes. The development is a major contributor to the revamp of Brisbane’s Bowen Hills district. Developments offering the right combination of quality residential and commercial is what ticks all the boxes to a modern renter in search of the easy city life.
It seems clear to me that the Australian dream is changing. What a time to be at the forefront of the industry delivering essential services for our changing demographic.