This year, for the first time, we built more apartments in Australia than free standing homes.
The Australian Dream was always to own our own home. Historically this included the quarter acre block, seeing our kids grow up in the local neighbourhood, inviting our friends to join us for a BBQ or watching sport on a Saturday afternoon after mowing the lawn. However, last year in Australia, we built more apartments than houses for the first time ever. The Australian Dream now includes an apartment in the inner suburbs.
For Baby Boomers, the suburbs were the place to be, providing schools, the corner convenience store, sporting and social amenities all within a short walk or drive. City centres were commercial hubs with no appeal after hours.
Commuting changes Australian Dream
Commutes into the city were different in those days. The Sydney train system still has the same number of tracks on the North Shore, the Bankstown and the Western Lines. The roads were maybe just as crowded for those commutes however it didn’t take as long to get to work for most of us as the city wasn’t as large. Outer suburbs were a 30 min commute.
Now the trip to the city can be soul destroying for some. Some normally travel one or two hours to get to work and get home each day. We all know what it is like when our buses, ferries or roads don’t work. On those days it can take a huge effort to get home again. When breakdowns happen, causing congestion, we run out of hours in the day.
Now, we want to live in or very close to the cities. We want more leisure time because this gives us time to be happy! We talk about a ten or twenty min neighbourhood. An area around us that we can walk, catch public transport or drive to get to all the services we need.
Apartments fit perfectly into the Australian Dream
For those that want to live in the inner city, apartments are the go. They represent good value for money. Inner city residents want a base to call home; the backyard is the local park, running track or the Harbour; and, their extended kitchen includes their favourite coffee shops and restaurants. They use their neighbourhood facilities freely to increase the size of their living area.
All the talk about how many apartments we are building and that vertical cities needs to have great amenities so we can live well in these properties. We need to make our back yards the local parks, have a vibrant coffee culture and use public restaurants for our shared meals. This is the new Australian Dream.
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