Aus­tralian dream takes on a new look

Pilbara News - - Pilbara Property - ■ Hay­den Groves ■ Hay­den Groves is pres­i­dent of the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Western Aus­tralia Western Aus­tralia.

The great Aus­tralian dream is a no­tion that’s been around for decades and refers to the idea of home­own­er­ship.

Think a quar­ter-acre block, a white picket fence and chil­dren play­ing to­gether on the street.

Th­ese days, the dream is start­ing to look quite dif­fer­ent as more and more peo­ple swap the back­yard for a bal­cony, choose in­ner-city liv­ing over sub­ur­ban life or en­joy the flex­i­bil­ity that comes with rent­ing.

In Perth, we’re see­ing an in­creas­ing trend for apart­ment liv­ing with many de­vel­op­ments un­der con­struc­tion. Buy­ing an apart­ment of­fers many ben­e­fits and can be an af­ford­able way to get into the prop­erty mar­ket for first-home­buy­ers.

Down­siz­ing into an apart­ment or multi-dwelling com­plex is of­ten the trade-off for those want­ing to live close to restau­rants, en­ter­tain­ment precincts or their work­place.

It’s also a more suit­able op­tion for the grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple liv­ing alone or for those who find them­selves as “empty nesters” af­ter the kids grow up and leave home.

The days of back­yard cricket and hang­ing the wash­ing on a Hills hoist are also de­clin­ing with the emer­gence of smaller back­yards. As peo­ple’s lives get busier, there is less time for main­te­nance and they’re less likely to have the time to en­joy the gar­den.

Peo­ple are weigh­ing up the cost of a larger block of land and can of­ten find it hard to jus­tify the ad­di­tional cost.

Some peo­ple have a com­pletely dif­fer­ent dream al­to­gether and are de­cid­ing to rent rather than buy a home.

Ben­e­fits of rent­ing in­clude the op­por­tu­nity to live in and ex­plore a num­ber of dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions as well as the free­dom to travel or in­vest in other ven­tures with­out the com­mit­ment of a mort­gage.

As the face of the great Aus­tralian dream changes, we’re see­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of more com­mu­nal out­door ar­eas de­signed to bring peo­ple to­gether in pleas­ant en­vi­ron­ments.

Coun­cils are con­sid­er­ing more green spa­ces and com­mu­nity gar­dens and de­vel­op­ers of­ten in­cor­po­rate a gar­den or out­door en­ter­tain­ing area into their de­vel­op­ments.

Own­ing a home is still very much a goal for many West Aus­tralians, but what that home looks like is very dif­fer­ent.

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