Opinion: Higher Density Living On The Rise In Queensland


According to new research from property services group

Oliver Hume medium density living is on the rise in Queensland, with approvals for multi-unit housing approaching nearly half of all approvals.

Since 2008/09 multi-unit housings’ share of dwelling approvals in Queensland has jumped from 31 per cent to 46 per cent.

Much of the increase can be attributed to an increase in approvals for high-rise apartments, with the sector’s share of dwelling approvals doubling between 2008/09 and 2013/14, from about 12 per cent to approximately 24 per cent.

There are currently around 180 projects at pre-construction, under construction or completed with residual product being marketed across SEQ with a fully developed yield of approximately 25,300 units. More than 80 per cent of these projects are located in the Brisbane Local Government Area (LGA).

Oliver Hume’s report The Rise of the Apartment: QIII, 2014, revealed the fresh demand for multi-unit housing – apartments, townhouses, flats and units – followed three years of “lacklustre” activity for home building across Australia.

Oliver Hume National Head of Research Andrew Perkins said the popularity of apartment living in the larger capital cities had been driven by a number of factors including decreasing housing affordability and the changing lifestyle of baby boomers and young professionals.

“Housing affordability is a serious issue that has placed significant pressure on property buyers looking to get a foothold in the market,” Mr Perkins said. “For many average Australians, the dream of home ownership is simply out of reach and apartments have become a more affordable and accessible alternative.

“In the June quarter of 2014, the median price of multi-unit dwellings in Australian capital cities was $482,000 – 17 per cent less than the $580,000 cost of a house.”

Oliver Hume Joint Managing Director (Queensland) Marcus Buskey said there were a number of cultural and social factors at play in driving up demand for higher density living.

“Large numbers of baby boomers are becoming empty nesters, with many looking for smaller, low-maintenance homes,” he said. “Younger people are also marrying later and having fewer children; and divorce rates are high and the number of single-parent families is increasing.”

“There are also increasing numbers of young professionals who earn high incomes and are choosing to live in inner-city apartments for lifestyle reasons, such as proximity to employment hubs, dining and shopping precincts and entertainment facilities.”

He said the trend to purchase inner-city high rise apartments was likely to continue given the shortage of land for housing in the outer suburbs of most capital cities.

“The cost of developing land for housing in the outer suburbs has become increasingly expensive and this is mainly government induced,” he said.

“More developers are now favouring the middle and inner city suburbs for medium-density developments. These suburbs also better serviced by public transport and other major infrastructure."

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