The newly formed Western Australian Apartment Advocacy (WAAA) decided to conduct a poll at the Perth Royal Show last week, and the results clearly demonstrated an overwhelming 93% support for apartments.
WAAA Managing Director Samantha Reece randomly surveyed 300 people over the course of the eight day show, and not surprisingly the majority of people recognised that Perth could no longer sprawl further north or south.
It was the first poll of its kind in WA and respondents reflected a cross section of country as well as Perth based residents, all ages and genders. In addition,of the 300 surveyed, only 12% of these were apartment owners.
Regardless of the respondent mix, the poll has however demonstrated that the majority of people believe apartments play a role within Perth and WA.
Of the 7% that did oppose apartments, this tended to be driven by misconceptions that they would end up as slums, reduce neighbouring house values or even erode the community spirit.
In conjunction, some additional verbatim comments also provided an insight into buyers desires.
Young families said that they would purchase an apartment if there was a playground/community garden at the ground level.
While older male respondents also indicated that they would like a Men’s Shed or a place where they could tinker with their tools.
Certainly having apartments near a supermarket and also transport rated highly. But by far the strata fees and prohibitive cost of apartments were a major stumbling block for some potential buyers.
However what this feedback does tend to demonstrate is that apartment designs now need to break the mould of just one and two bedroom configurations.
For some time now, apartments have only meet a small portion of the market (young couples and downsizers) but we are now seeing a growing appetite for apartments being driven by families as well.
From this feedback it is quite clear that the inclusion of gyms, saunas, entertainment rooms etc now needs to be rethought, in order to provide some added variety.
WAAA was commenced by Ms Reece in September, to provide a voice for apartment dwellers as well as those people who support apartments.
Its catalyst was the growing number of small vocal minority groups, who were opposing apartments, regardless of the context.
The WAAA is now seeking to add more balance to the dialogue about housing choice.
If you would like to join the discussion about apartments in WA log onto http://www.waaa.net.au and register.