Politicians Not Connecting With Apartment Dwellers?


A poll of Sydneysiders has found that 56% own, rent, invest in or intend moving to an apartment yet politician seem to focus instead on people in free standing homes, the Urban Taskforce said.

The Taskforce, which represents Australia's most prominent property developers and equity financiers, said the poll showed that political leaders had their priorities wrong.

“Our concern is that political parties seem to read the community as suburban house dwellers rather than urban apartment dwellers,” Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson said.

“Candidates door knock houses but find access to apartments very difficult so their perception of the community is biased towards attitudes of suburban detached house dwellers.”

Mr Johnson said the group’s research had gone behind the front lobby security to interview over 630 dwellers in apartments, 273 investors and over 100 people looking to move into apartments.

“Those living in apartments according to the poll represent 35% of Sydney households with half being renters and half owners. Another 15% of Sydney siders are investors in apartments and another 6% are intenders looking to move into apartments,” Mr Johnson said.

“So a massive 56% of Sydneysiders are actively involved in apartments through owning, renting or wanting to move into an apartment.

"How they think about the city’s future, about growth, about living styles are clearly critical to governments but we suspect politicians do not know enough about the apartment community.”

When asked what were the key drivers to apartment living three factors dominated: Location, Affordability and Public Transport.

Mr Johnson said location meant convenience to grocery shopping, to work and to amenities.

“The message about location needs to go to urban planners so that walkable urban areas are planned where apartments are close to amenities,” Mr Johnson said.

The survey said that affordability was also gaining in importance due to rising house prices in Sydney.

Many people were trading home size for location so they could afford a suitable home.

The proximity to public transport indicated an emerging number of apartment dwellers were preferring public transport to the use of a car.

Only 62% of renters owned a car compared to the Sydney average of 82%.

The poll also found that 56% of renters were looking to buy in the near future with over half of these intending to buy an apartment.

While there is a perception that apartments are not family friendly this was changing with 28% of current apartment dwellers saying they like apartment living and will continue this with children.

Currently 23% of renters and 29% of apartment owners have children living with parents in their apartment.

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