The Future of Strata and High Density Living in Sydney

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It’s estimated that by 2040, the number of Sydney residents living in strata will have doubled from today’s figure of 25% to around 50% of the city’s population. There are many reasons for this – strata living is often convenient, cost-effective and can provide services to residents that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. So what can we expect strata living to look like in the future?

The adoption of higher density living
High density living is a growing phenomenon in many central Sydney suburbs, with people looking to live as close as possible to the heart of the city’s action, entertainment and culture. 2016 ABS data shows that in Mosman around 40.6% of residents now live in an apartment or flat, while that figure hovers above 60% for Cremorne, Neutral Bay and North Sydney.

Around 70% of new residential buildings built in Sydney last year were classed as medium or high density. That means there’s plenty of demand from owners and tenants alike for central and convenient housing.

The popular solution to housing affordability
With property prices increasing across the city, first home buyers and investors are looking for smaller sized properties that are more affordable than a detached house. As a result there’s a brand new lifestyle on offer from developers: glamorous apartment living for young professionals and young families offering rooftop swimming pools, shared entertaining spaces and the convenience of restaurants and stores on their ground floor. It’s a stylish, European-style lifestyle that would be impossible for many without the shared efficiencies of a strata scheme, and it’s likely that this way of life will be even more popular in coming years.

The impacts of NSW’s new strata laws
NSW Fair Trading last year released over 90 changes to the NSW strata laws to better reflect the modern strata lifestyle. These are the biggest changes in decades and have brought in a number of welcome adjustments. Residents can now collectively choose to sell or redevelop their property if just 75% or more of them welcome the change, instead of the previous unanimous requirement. This process (with measures in place to protect the vulnerable) should see strata properties refreshed and reinvented more often.

More relaxed laws regarding pets in strata apartments and greater accountability of strata managers and developers are also adding to the appeal of living in strata. All together, in the next decade and beyond we should see countless more people foregoing the traditional ‘Australian Dream’ of the white picket fence in favour of a more convenient, modern and social way of living.

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