A poll conducted by ResearchNow of over 1,000 people in Sydney who own, rent, invest in or intend moving to an apartment has found that a massive 56% of Sydneysiders fit these apartment categories yet political parties seem to focus on house dwellers, says the Urban Taskforce.
“The Urban Taskforce has commissioned international polling company ResearchNow to get detailed information on apartment dwellers in metropolitan Sydney to understand more about their habits, attitudes to transport, amenities and political preferences,” says Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson. “This is probably one of the most thorough investigations into the growing number of apartment dwellers of Sydney that has been undertaken.”
“Our concern is that political parties seem to read the community as suburban house dwellers rather than urban apartment dwellers. Candidates door knock houses but find access to apartments very difficult so their perception of the community is biased towards attitudes of suburban detached house dwellers. Our research has gone behind the front lobby security to interview over 630 dwellers in apartments, 273 investors and over 100 intenders looking to move into apartments.”
“Those living in apartments according to the poll represent 35% of Sydney households with half being renters and half owners. Another 15% of Sydney siders are investors in apartments and another 6% are intenders looking to move into apartments.”
“So a massive 56% of Sydneysiders are actively involved in apartments through owning, renting or wanting to move into an apartment. How they think about the city’s future, about growth, about living styles are clearly critical to governments but we suspect politicians do not know enough about the apartment community.”
When asked what were the key drivers to apartment living three factors dominate. Location, Affordability and Public Transport are the big drivers for people living in apartments according to the survey. Location means convenience to grocery shopping, to work and to amenities. The message about location needs to go to urban planners so that walkable urban areas are planned where apartments are close to amenities. Affordability is gaining in importance with the rising house prices in Sydney. Many people are trading dwelling size for location so they can afford a suitable dwelling. The proximity to public transport indicates an emerging number of apartment dwellers are preferring public transport to the use of a car. Only 62% of renters own a car compared to the Sydney average of 82%.
The poll found that many renters having sampled apartment living intend purchasing an apartment. 56% of renters are looking to buy in the near future with over half of these intending to buy an apartment.
While there is a perception that apartments are not family friendly this is changing with 28% of current apartment dwellers saying they love apartment living and will continue this with children. Currently 23% of renters and 29% of apartment owners have children living with parents in their apartment. Governments need to more actively promote family friendly apartments where shared play areas and child care centres can provide an excellent environment for children. For many families it will be the mid-rise apartments of around 6 floors overlooking a common garden and play area that will be best for children.
The poll produced some interesting information on the attitude of apartment dwellers to future growth with 73% embracing growth including new apartment buildings. We asked respondents for their political preferences so we could see how the various parties’ supporters viewed future growth. Liberal supporters were far more supportive of future growth than Labor supporters with Green supporters less so.
Here are some of the political party results:
01. Q. I embrace growth and enjoy being part of it and seeing where Sydney could go in the future.
02. Q. I actively fight growth and development plans.
03. Q. There are too many housing developments in Sydney and they need to stop.
04. Q. The increasing number of housing developments in Sydney are a sign of growth and are to be expected.
Here are some other questions with responses from supporters of various political parties:
05. Q. How important is it to you that you live close to public transport?
A. Very Important
06. Q. How important is secure private car parking?
07. Q. How important is cable or satellite connections in an apartment?
Some facts about the Sydney apartment community:
08. 18% of Sydneysiders are owners of apartments who live there.
17% of Sydneysiders are renters of apartments.
15% of Sydneysiders are investors who own but rent apartments .
06% of Sydneysiders are intenders who plan to move into an apartment in the next 5 years.
09. 84% of rented apartments are 1 or 2 bedrooms.
10. 77% of apartments are occupied by one or two people.
11. 81% of investors think secure private parking is important but only 56% of renters agree.
12. Only 18% of apartment dwellers eat at home every evening.
13. 62% of apartment dwellers would prefer to walk to a supermarket for grocery shopping.
14. 62% of renters own cars while the Sydney average is 82%.
15. 55% of Gen Y (18 to 35 years) are looking to move into an apartment in the next 5 years.
16. 45% of apartment renters are Gen Y.
17. 40% of apartment owners are Baby Boomers.
18. 74% of retirees that live in apartments have lived there for over 5 years.
19. 63% of working apartment dwellers get to work in less than 30 minutes.
20. 68% of working apartment dwellers either walk of catch public transport to work.
21. 56% of apartment renters are looking to buy in the near future.
22. 91% of younger apartment renters aged 18 to 24 years are looking to buy.
23. 60% of renters aged 18 to 24 years who are looking to buy prefer an apartment.
24. 56% of renters intending to buy are looking to buy an apartment.
25. 28% of baby boomers older than 60 years have already downsized from a larger house to a smaller apartment.
See full presentation by Seonaid Chappell from ResearchNow here: http://www.urbantaskforce.com.au/images/stories/Extras_for_Newsletters/Report_by_Seonaid_Chappell-_ResearchNow.pdf