In the past ten years the people of Perth have embraced apartment living. New developments have popped up around the city, including West Perth, East Perth, the CBD, Highgate and Leederville, as West Australians seek the cosmopolitan lifestyle living close to cafe`s, restaurants and nightlife offers.
In 2003 fewer than 9,000 people lived in Perth’s inner city. In 2016 that figure is well in excess of 20,000 — and most of those live in apartments. A report by the Master Builders Association in August 2015 revealed one in every five new WA homes would be an apartment by the year 2020. Developers are responding to market demands for more apartments. That’s something the State Government has recognised — declaring apartment living ‘is here to stay’.
So why has apartment living become so popular in Perth?
What people want from life has changed from the days when the great Australian dream was a quarter-acre block with room to spare for a game of backyard cricket. Not everyone wants to live out in the suburbs. Many younger people want a more active urban lifestyle. Others want to live nearer to their work and avoid the 45-minute commute down the freeway. Some West Australians are downsizing and apartments offer an attractive low-maintenance option.
It is no coincidence that there has been a boom in apartment living at precisely the same time as Perth city has become a far more exciting place to be. Small bars, cafe`s, restaurants, pop-up shops, the Fringe festival, Hawker’s Markets, interesting public art, Elizabeth Quay — Perth’s inner city has become much more vibrant. That makes it a far more attractive place to live.
Apartments are also often a far more affordable way to get that inner-city lifestyle.
You can buy an apartment in West Perth at a far more reasonable price than a house in neighbouring Subiaco, for instance, and still be close (if not even closer) to the cafe`s, restaurants and amenities that make the area so desirable.
Not all the advantages of apartment living are location-based. Apartments are ideal for those who don’t have the time, inclination or ability to carry out the ongoing maintenance a large house and garden require, for instance. You can throw away your lawnmower or your pool scoop and reclaim your Sunday mornings — those sorts of jobs become the property manager’s concern.
Modern apartments also come with great amenities. We’ve come a long way from the units popular in Perth in the 1960’s — in the day before even air conditioning was standard. New developments have pools, gym facilities, rooftop gardens and barbecues. In other words, apartment living has become luxury living.
Apartment living also comes with added security, with many entrances to the building’s lobby, common facilities and apartment areas featuring keyless electronic entry – which also controls lift access to your individual floor. You can feel more secure in your own home. Plus it’s easy to lock up and leave for a weekend away or extended holiday.
You often hear people lament that community spirit isn’t what it used to be and that people don’t know their neighbours’ names anymore. Living in an apartment complex makes it easier to get to know the people who live around you.
Even if you’re not interested in having the neighbours around for drinks, you do benefit from the bump factor. Whether you’re running into them by the letterboxes or striking up a conversation in the communal garden, you’ll soon find it’s quite comforting to have the recognition and an old-fashioned sense of ‘community’.
If you think apartment living is for you, check out Finbar’s Aire Development in thriving West Perth. One-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are selling now.