Shift to apartment living amid housing crisis

As the country grapples with a housing crisis, the great Australian dream of a house in the suburbs is disappearing, with one-in-six people living in apartments.

University of NSW’s City Futures Centre research has found that at least 16 per cent of the population live in dwellings such as apartments, townhouses and retirement villages.

There are more than three million strata and community-titled lots in Australia.

More than 200,000 new lots like units and townhouses were created in the last two years and nearly half (48 per cent) of people living in private apartments are 20-39 years old.

Strata Community Association spokesman Chris Duggan says the data shows just how important strata-titled living is to Australia.

“This increase reflects population growth as well as government policies to promote urban consolidation – that is, building up, rather than out – within existing urban areas,” he said on Wednesday.

“People value access to work, shopping, entertainment and recreational amenities more than any other time in our history.”

“Strata-living provides immediate answers to the cost of living crisis and housing affordability.”

NSW became the first state to surpass one million strata lots, increasing nine per cent in two years.

Premier Chris Minns last month called for the end of urban sprawl, saying people must get comfortable with the idea of going up.

“Apartment approvals are at their lowest since 2014, at the exact same time as Australia has a housing crisis,” he told the Sydney 2050 Summit.

“Sydney cannot grow by adding another street in the western fringe … every other week – you just can’t do that.”

Mr Minns had ordered his ministers to find vacant blocks of public land to rezone for housing as part of his push for housing supply.

The federal government is fighting its own battle to deliver its $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund.

With the Liberal-Nationals coalition firmly in opposition, the government needs the votes of the Greens and two crossbenchers in the Senate to pass the bill.

But the Greens decided at a meeting on Tuesday to reject the government’s offer, despite choosing to continue negotiating.

The signature election promise will build 30,000 social and affordable housing properties in five years.

Once established, the investment returns will be used to fund further housing projects.


Joanna Guelas
(Australian Associated Press)


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