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Insurance is apartment buyers priority

A recent study of 1100 apartment owners by the Australian Apartment Advocacy has determined that insurance is a key priority, when looking to buy next time.

Currently only those apartment owners who are three storeys or below are covered if the builder bankrupts and with recent ABS data demonstrating that 50% of apartment owners reside in four storeys or higher, AAA is once again reinforcing the need for greater consumer protection.

The research also found that 94% would rather buy an apartment with insurance and 80% stated they would be happy to pay 1.5% on the asking price to have this kind of cover.

Ms Reece, Director of Australian Apartment Advocacy stated that the insurance cover went hand in hand with construction inspections.

"In NSW the insurance companies have re-opened dialogue with the State Government as a result of the work undertaken by the Building Commissioner," Ms Reece said.

"On that basis the AAA is creating it's own Apartment Audit and Assurance programme with the intent of inspecting apartments during the construction process.

"We respect that there is a raft of legislative changes that the WA State Government will roll out over the coming 3-4 years and that will have a positive impact on the industry, but in the interim AAA is keen to take the lead and establish best practice."

Not surprisingly the most common defects reported by the respondents included water penetration from outside (67%), poor internal water proofing (34%), structural cracking (30%) and defective fire proofing (20%).

In conclusion Ms Reece stated that four years on from the Building Confidence Report, most States were still coming to grips with regulating the apartment industry.

"When we allowed self certifying to be introduced 20 years ago we effectively took our eye off the ball, but now there is an appetite for change and AAA will always support any initiatives that create quality homes that buyers can feel confident, will last the distance."

AAA Director Samantha Reece recently spoke to Bronwyn Weir, co-author of the Shergold Weir Report who provided a rating of each State and its response to the Building Confidence recommendations. The video, which encompasses WA, can be viewed below.

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