The appeal is very real
The convenience of being able to lock your front door and head off on an adventure without so much as a backwards glance is never more evident than during the Christmas period.
Modern strata owners lead active lifestyles and as such resent having to worry about home security when they leave. Travel too is much more enjoyable when you don’t have to concern yourself with finding a house sitter or someone to take care of your pool or lawn in your absence.
But now it seems a new generation of would-be strata residents are looking to enjoy the benefits offered by apartment and townhouse living with new studies showing a surge in residents chasing the lock and leave dream.
In an online article that first appeared last month, The Urban Developer claimed new research from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) and over 50s property portal Downsizing.com.au shows Australians over 50 are increasingly looking to downsize from the family home into smaller dwellings located in lifestyle-rich urban areas.
The report cites AHURI research which found that, as people age, they are more interested in living in the inner, middle or outer rings of large capital cities, and the convenience means they are less interested in large or small regional towns or remote communities.
Data contained in the ‘Older Australians and the housing aspirations gap report’, undertaken for AHURI by researchers from Curtin University and Swinburne University of Technology, showed 32% of people aged 55-64 want to remain in middle or outer suburbs, with this figure rising to 36% of people aged 65-74 and 40% of over-75s.
The findings reflects “ageing in place” preferences which shows a desire by older people to remain connected to their neighbourhood and community as part of a broader framework of “active ageing”, with the aim of improving their quality of life and giving them more control over their circumstances, the report claimed.
The AHURI report, first released in August, also found that as people age, demand for larger detached homes tends to fall and conversely demand for smaller housing begins to rise.
The research revealed that one in three older Australians want to live in an attached dwelling or apartment. It also revealed the preference for large dwellings drops sharply with age.
Attached dwellings, such as semi-detached terraces or townhouses, were nominated the ideal housing outcome by 9% of people aged 55-64, increasing to 14% for people aged 75-plus. Apartments and granny flats also grow in popularity, as people get older, the report showed.
The report noted the problem was that developers were not providing enough of these types of dwellings in the right places.
“The diversity of new housing currently being delivered needs to more readily meet the aspirations of those who will live in them. This research found an unmet demand for smaller dwellings, particularly among homeowners,” the report said.
The findings mirror that of a survey of 600 carried out by Downsizing.com.au which found 32% of respondents considered “urban convenience” as their dream downsizing home.
A whopping 80% of survey respondents were seeking to downsize mainly to reduce home and garden maintenance chores, 47% wanted access to the lock up and leave convenience of strata living whilst 44% wanted to age in place more easily.
Whatever the reason, statistics show a growing number of us choosing to opt for the easy lifestyle and numerous benefits strata living has to offer.