Thursday, July 14, 2016

About apartments

Rent report: Units play catch up to houses in housing-short Sydney, Domain says |

Not sure if it's entirely reliable, but this article indicates Sydney is not oversupplied with residential units, but Brisbane very soon will be.

The picture was different in Brisbane, where decade-low levels of
migration into southeast Queensland and the recent state budget boost
for first home buyers were weakening the rental market. Rents of units
fell to $375 from March's record $380 and houses slipped to $400 from
$410. While prices are still up, or equal to, their level of a year ago,
vacancy rates for both dwelling types have increased, suggesting rents
will fall further - especially given the large numbers of new apartments
due to settle in the Queensland capital, Dr Wilson said.

"The signs are all there for more supply than demand," he said. "It means downward pressure on rents in Brisbane."
One thing I have been meaning to say for a long time, based on my getting to see quite a lot of unit plans in my line of work, is that I am struck by the largely unimaginative design of apartments in Australia.  Now I know there is only so much you can do with a rectangular floor area, but it just seems to me that there is rarely anything particularly distinctive about Australian apartments.   Why do we so rarely see, for example, units with two internal levels (I always like the sleeping area on a different level from the living area, and I did recently see one unit, about 20 years old I would guess, that did do that.)  For units for single people, we rarely see built in space saving designs that are so common in Japan, or (for that matter) that you may see in an Ikea store.  

There is certainly a tendency in Brisbane for very large unit balconies now, at the cost of decreased interior size.  I know we have the weather for a lot of outdoor eating, or partying, but I still feel that trend has actually gone a bit too far in this city.  (Maybe I feel that way because I can feel slightly nervous being on balconies that are more than about 4 or 5 few stories about ground level, anyway.)     

And I have already blogged about the fashion for modern high rise units here to have floor to ceiling glass as the exterior walls, whether it be for bedrooms or living areas.  This can't be energy efficient, surely; and I just don't like the insubstantial feeling it gives a building.

Maybe everyone thinks they're an architect, but I do like to imagine that if someone paid me lots of money, gave me a year and told me to come up with something really innovative and interesting (but not over the top expensive, either) for Australian unit design, I could do it....

1 comment:

John said...

On the Gold Coast it is the exact opposite. Rental vacancies are incredibly low. The Commonwealth Games. The Gold Coast always has the trend of where there is lots of building activity rentals are hard to find.