An award-winning architect has suggested that the booming popularity of apartment living in Australia over the past decade indicates that living in houses is now passe.
“There’ll always be some people who prefer to live in a harbourside mansion in Vaucluse or a big house in Toorak, but increasingly they’re discovering that well-designed apartments offer a very good standard of living," Frank Stanisic says in Domain today.
“They also offer certain things that large mansions can’t, like interaction with neighbours – or not, if you don’t want it – wonderful communal facilities that you don’t have to look after yourself, and extremely high-quality fittings, well-designed floor plans and excellent amenity in terms of sunlight, solar access and cross-ventilation.”
Do you agree with Stanisic that houses are on the way out? Would you be happy living in an apartment? Let us know in the discussion below.
I can understand the convenience factor, but it must be hard to make an apartment really feel like your own home like you can do with your house. I don't see the appeal of having your own home waning anytime soon, even if the price is getting out of reach for many people.
I think the increasing popularity of apartments has more to do with ever-increasing land prices than anything else.
Totally agree Isobel (as always), & it's a win for the real estate business, insurance companies, & Councils, they're all raking in the money.
I'm livid that land prices are the killer for people wanting to build. In my day, yes it was 40ish years ago, but you could build a veeeery respectable house for $40Kish, & land was $2-3Kish, with underground power, which was quite special in the day. Also, please take in that there was no GST (labour tax) back then, & inflation was through the roof.
Meanwhile, land prices have gone up 100 fold, but you now get a postage stamp allotment for it. Our block was radically small at 33Mx20M, & we copped a lot of flak over building on it, but we're still living comfortably in the same home. Funnily enough, the critics have all moved several times.
Now developers are stacking small footprint dog boxes on top of each other, charging a premium for the privilege, on an allotment 70% the size of ours.
The sad part is that consumers don't know any differently, accept the marketing hype, & couples are forced to work long hours, just to make ends meet.
One good aspect of the apartment boom is that apparently its leading to a come-back for strip shopping, particularly food. The extra people is helping to revive areas.
Near us is a development that took over the Cheltenham Race Course, & there is a group of shops, & it's mostly food.
Coles takes up a largish portion of it, but they've introduced on-line shopping, & delivery for a fee.
I don't know what's with that, either locals are too busy to food shop in person, deem it counterproductive to drive there, or there're endless people waiting at the checkouts.
I'd love it if consumers went to their local butchers, bakeries, fruit & vege shops, etc to keep those little guys alive, rather than let them be trampled by the multi-national giants.
I know people don't have the time now, but that's how we shop, & the friends that we've made through dealing with the privately owned local shops, has been extremely rewarding.
I see that ABS data has shown that for the first time in Australia, more apartments are being built than houses.
Is it a trend you welcome? Let us know by replying below.
Agree with Isobel that its mainly to do with land prices. I just couldn't afford to buy a house in the area I wanted to live in, prices have just been going up and up, but I've managed to buy a new two bedroom apartment and are really excited to be moving in soon.
It was interesting though that my apartment complex was marketed to empty nesters in the area - they tried to attract retirees who were interested in downsizing for a better lifestyle. Certainly a large family home has a lot of ongoing maintenance and gardening etc whereas a new apartment has nothing to do. But I don't think that's a major reason for the switch to apartments generally - most people would be happy with maintenance work if only they could afford to buy a house!