Latest report shows importance of strata-titled living

Written by in Property News on July 30, 2020

By ACM – This article first appeared on Macquarie Port News

In Australia, strata-living is a model of property ownership that allows for individual ownership of certain parts of a property or parcel of land and shared ownership of others.

Simply put, it’s about multiple owners sharing the management and upkeep of their buildings.

Strata isn’t just for apartments, because both townhouse and detached housing can be owned under strata and community title.

One in five Australians live in strata-titled properties, according to a new transnational report from UNSW’s City Futures Research Centre.

There are almost 3 million strata and community-titled properties in Australia, with an insured value of over $1.1 trillion.

“Both Australia and New Zealand have seen a growth in apartment dwellings over the past decade,” says Associate Professor Hazel Easthope who led the project with Dr Sian Thompson and Dr Alistair Sisson from UNSW Built Environment.

“This increase reflects the population growth, especially pronounced in the larger urban areas of both countries, as well as government policies to promote urban consolidation – that is, building up, rather than out – within existing urban areas.”

The Australasian Strata Insights 2020 Report provides a comprehensive picture of the strata industry in Australia and New Zealand and provides an invaluable tool for policy-makers instigating changes to the framework for the strata industry.

The report identifies the number of strata properties, their value and the professionals employed to serve them at national and state/territory levels.

It also provides information about the demographics of private apartment residents, as almost all private apartments are strata-titled. For example, more than half of Australia’s apartment residents are born overseas.

A third of apartments are lone-person households, almost a quarter are households with children and a quarter are couple households.

More apartment households rent than are owner-occupied.

“Strata title property ownership was introduced in Australia 60 years ago, beginning in NSW in 1961 and quickly spreading to all other states and territories,” says A/Prof. Easthope.

Strata developments have grown from an initial concentration in a few small pockets of inner urban areas, to become an important feature of the housing landscape across Australia.

In 2015 the number of new apartment dwellings overtook the number of new detached houses for the first time in Australia’s history, and remained approximately equivalent to detached house commencements for the following three to four years, before dipping more recently.

“Much of this growth is accounted for by a rapid rise in the numbers of approvals for apartment buildings with four or more storeys over the past decade, and is concentrated in the eastern states of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland,” A/Prof. Easthope says.

Recent analysis by real estate services provider JLL predicts lower levels of apartment supply until 2023.

“We may see a slowing in new apartment growth overall in response to the economic downturn and reduction in migration – and hence population growth – resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” A/Prof. Easthope says.

Alisha Fisher, CEO, Strata Community Association (SCA) Australasia, who funded the research, says: “The data shows just how important strata-titled living is to Australia as people place increased value on access to their places of work, shopping and entertainment precincts, and recreational amenities either within the surrounding community or strata complex.”