Urbis Think Tank
Compact living arrives in Perth
Content provided by Kris Nolan
Previously known as the city of the traditional quarter acre-block, Perth is now in a period of transition; where government and the private sector alike are for the first time seriously considering residential density across the metropolitan region.
Following decades of effortless ‘suburban carpet’ roll-out (involving carving up paddocks on the urban fringe into 700m²+ lots), the development industry is now aggressively pursuing medium density development products in the face of key drivers such as:
- affordability challenges;
- changing household types and sizes;
- spiralling costs of travel;
- the regeneration of central Perth;
- the rise and retirement of the baby boomers; and
- the State Government’s Directions 2031 and Beyond Planning Framework.
Accordingly, (and following established trends within housing markets on the east coast) developers are now considering small lot house and land products, townhouses, terraces, maisonettes and low-rise walk-up apartments in suburban and fringe locations. Previously, medium density was primarily only considered an option in inner city, coastal or transit-based locations.
Urbis has observed this significant shift in the Western Australian land and housing landscape through our work with LandCorp, local governments, and established development groups such as Stockland, Australand and the LWP Property Group. All are actively engaged in delivering a variety of medium density projects.
Some recent examples include the delivery of 140m² (5x28m lot) house and land packages in Baldivis (45 km south-west of the Perth CBD), and the planning and design of a development site within the Rockingham City Centre (48km south-west of Perth) that will deliver a variety of traditional apartments, walk-up apartments, maisonettes, terraces and town houses (all within 2.98ha!).
To successfully deliver on this new approach requires designs that carefully marry the built and urban forms, plus a sound approach to commercial realities to ensure the amount of medium density provided is viable, and that the types of housing products can be delivered at a price point acceptable to the ever discerning Perth market