The Evolution of the Australian Dream: Apartment Living

Luxurious apartment interior, marble countertops, extensive balcony overlooking the water, couple on balcony

The Australian dream has evolved, and it no longer features a sprawling home on a quarter acre block in the suburbs. Apartments now account for 25% of residential properties in Australia and that number is set to rise over the next decade. But the future of apartments is far from the small box-like dwellings with low popcorn ceilings of the 1980s. And as the design and architecture becomes more sophisticated, the target market is shifting from primarily young couples and uni students to empty nesters, families and people who are ready to take a step back from office life.

 

Shifting Values

So, what has changed? The evolution of the workforce has had a definite impact. Technological advancements and a growing push for flexible working conditions have people are questioning whether they want to sit in front of a desk five days a week from their early 20s until their 60s or 70s. This mental shift has seen a rise in part-time work, dubbed the “gig economy”, and a growing number of people who are looking to join the Financial Independence, Retire Early or FIRE movement. They are exploring ways to work beach-side, fit office hours around when the kids are at school, or ease into semi-retirement early to make more space for leisure activities or spend more time with their grandchildren.

This shifting mindset inevitably translates into other areas of life, like where you choose to live, how you decorate your home and how you allocate your spare time. In an era where minimalism and Marie Kondo reign supreme, apartment living gives people the flexibility to live in a desirable location with minimal maintenance and easy access to restaurants, culture and healthcare facilities. They can spend their weekends creating special moments with loved ones rather than mowing the lawn and doing home repairs. They can carve out space to stroll by the water and connect to nature.

With lifestyle becoming a priority over maximising earnings, why spend $3-4 million on a Sydney home when you could cut down on traffic time and air pollution with a luxury apartment in Terrigal? Why maintain a large sprawling family house when you could downsize your home and improve your lifestyle?

The Future of Apartment Living

Our changing values are leading to a new generation of apartment buyers, who have a different set of criteria to those who came before. While the focus in the last decade has been primarily around creating apartment buildings for the investor, forward-thinking developers are applying human-centric design principles to create vertical communities with owner-occupiers in mind.

These apartments of the future are being built with careful consideration around daylight, ventilation and noise prevention. Spacious outdoor areas are still valued and can be integrated in the form of rooftop terraces, large footprint balconies and grassed courtyards which offer a lower maintenance alternative to the traditional backyard, while still allowing residents to keep their beloved family pet. The internal footprint is also crucial, with purchasers looking for space to host Christmas lunch with extended family or have friends come to stay for the weekend.

Choosing the right location continues to be a critical piece of the puzzle, with apartment dwellers of the future adopting a more European lifestyle through use of the outdoors and public space as an extension of their home. Proximity to beaches, national parks, cafes and the arts ensure that people can prioritise experiences over consumerism and move into a highly enjoyable daily rhythm within their local community.

The future of apartment living will create homes that elevate the daily routines of their occupants and deliver an enviable lifestyle.

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