Australia is poised to admit large numbers of immigrants to kickstart the post-Covid economy, which begs an obvious question – where will all these people live?
One answer might be to take advantage of a growing real estate trend called airspace development.
The New South Wales public service recently advised Premier Dominic Perrottet to admit 2 million immigrants over the next five years in that state alone – which would be the equivalent of adding another Perth to the population. Furthermore, before Covid, Australia’s population was growing by 1.5% per year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with 79% of that growth occurring in the capital cities.
So Australia’s capital cities are likely to get a large influx of new residents. Most capital city residents want to live in the inner and middle rings. However, all that land has already been taken or is too valuable. The recent property boom has seen prices across the combined capital cities soar by 20.8% over the year to October, according to CoreLogic.
As a result, the only way to fit more people into those suburbs is to build up. Partly, that can be done by replacing houses with apartment blocks. But Warren Livesey, founder of Buy Airspace and a strata property development specialist, said there’s also another solution that will become increasingly popular: airspace development.
“Airspace development involves taking the unused roof space in strata complexes and using it to build new properties. I’m convinced it’s going to be the big real estate trend of this decade,” he said.
“With land at a premium and in short supply, this empty space is becoming an increasingly valuable asset – something many strata owners will soon realise.
“Think how many unused roof spaces there are in our capital cities – all of which can potentially be developed into top-floor apartments.
“Rather than letting it go to waste, strata owners will increasingly capitalise on this airspace – especially when they see other developments go up around them.”
Strata owners can sell their airspace to investors or group together and undertake the project themselves. Either way, Mr Livesey said it could be a win-win for all involved.
“The developer gets a valuable piece of land they can turn into top-floor apartments – often with stunning views. Penthouses are also typically cheaper to build than apartments at lower levels as the foundations, services and access points are already there. So they only require lightweight construction,” he said.
“Strata owners can use the proceeds from the sale to pay for repairs and maintenance of their building.”
However, Mr Livesey said that for airspace developments to go ahead, strata owners need council approval and also support from their fellow residents. In New South Wales, for example, a project can be approved only if it’s supported by at least 75% of the owners.
Strata Property Development Specialist
1/493 Bronte Road Bronte NSW 2024
M 0415 254 420 www.buyairspace.com.au
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