New ‘splinter’ trend reshaping our homes
The Great Australia Dream of home ownership is as alluring as ever, as our booming real estate market illustrates.
But the linear evolution for families, couples and singles has splintered in parallel with our ever changing lives via the growing lifestyle phenomenon of 'right sizing'.
This may involve switching from high-maintenance family homes to more manageable apartments or townhouses. Or, indeed, the reverse. It's less about following the traditional path of tiny flat to five-bedroom house and more about finding the right home for the stage of life you're at.
"It's definitely something that's increasing, primarily because our population is getting older," Nerida Conisbee, chief economist at REA Group said.
"The main advantage people cite is the ease of looking after smaller properties. A townhouse or apartment that is lower maintenance can be a much easier way for an older person to live.
"Security (for example, a lift that can only be accessed with a key or swipecard) can be very important too, particularly for that older generation."
Brisbane teachers Mary-Ann and Johannes Venter are moving with their daughter Neteske and two dogs, from a three-bedroom townhouse in the north Brisbane suburb of Grange, to a two-bedroom, one-bathroom unit on the Brisbane River at Riverlight North, Hamilton Reach that is being developed by Frasers Property Australia, because it's a better fit for lifestyle.
"People look at us funny when we say we're going to move into a two-bedroom apartment - when we're only 46 and 47, and have a child - but even in the townhouse we are in now, we're too far apart," Mrs Venter said.
"We have a very active lifestyle and Johannes is a serious cyclist. When we saw these apartments being advertised we went to have a look and it was so appealing to be in a unit with all the outdoor facilities.
"Our motto is less is more."
A recent survey from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute found that the primary reasons people decided to move was to improve their lifestyle, to have less property maintenance such as gardening and to put them in a better financial position.
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Originally published as New 'splinter' trend reshaping our homes