New Report Reveals COVID Has Not Dampened WA Apartment Owners and Residents Love of Apartment Living

According to new data, WA apartment owners and residents enthusiasm for the apartment lifestyle has not been dented by the last 12 months of COVID-19 and lockdowns.

The 2021 Apartment Survey report shows 71 per cent of WA apartment owners and residents love their apartment and would recommend apartment living to their family and friends.

The wide-ranging national survey of 3593 apartment owners, conducted in April-May this year by Australian Apartment Advocacy, explored not only the apartment living experience during the pandemic but respondents’ satisfaction with their apartment lifestyle, their motivation for buying an apartment and what amenity offerings are most sought after when choosing an apartment.

The survey also looked at apartment owners’ experience with defects, strata management and whether owners want an assessment confirming the build quality of their apartment complex.

In response to the findings, CEO of AAA Sam Reece said lifestyle remains a strong focus for WA apartment owners.

“There’s a lot to recommend with apartment living so long as you choose wisely,” said Ms Reece.

“COVID hit fast forward on a number of trends; pets, home office, business centres, amenities like pools and gyms and communal gardens.”

“It’s often the communal areas that will make a difference to your lifestyle because of their ability to draw you outside your home.”

The latest figures reveal the pandemic has influenced what WA residents look for when buying an apartment.

· 50% would purchase a three bed home next.

· Apartments now serve as a resident’s office & gym

· Residents want a pet-friendly environment

· Creating a formal workspace is more important than ever before

· Business centres within complexes growing in popularity

· Balconies are valued for outdoor living, exterior space and views

Despite lockdowns, the report confirmed an overwhelming number of residents enjoy spending time in their apartment.

A resounding 79% of the state’s owners and residents living in apartments said the pandemic had no impact at all on their decision to remain living the apartment lifestyle.

But the results suggest many residents are now looking at apartments through a different lens as residential needs have changed.

Not surprising, the research conducted during the pandemic found that half the residents and owners living in two or more bedroom apartments, used their second bedroom for another purpose, the most popular being a home office / study.

The survey also identified business centres within WA complexes had grown in appeal as more workers opt for flexible working arrangements.

The report acknowledged developers had caught onto the demand for pet-friendly apartments with 30 per cent of WA respondents saying they liked their apartment complex because it was pet friendly.

Lockdowns also placed more emphasis on features like communal gardens and outdoor relaxation areas.

The facilities that had the highest levels of usage in WA (amongst those who had them) were the bbq area (45% have, 18% use), communal gardens (47% have and 21% use), outdoor swimming pool (47% have and 32% use) and gym (44% have and usage rate of 26%).

In choosing their apartment, seven factors stood out for WA residents as more important than the rest: security, parking, location, affordability, low maintenance, close to CBD and cost of living there.

The key areas of dissatisfaction noted in the survey was the lack of storage and parking. 13 per cent of residents said they wanted a study nook, 34 per cent wanted more storage and 17 per cent wanted larger bedrooms.

In light of recent media coverage on the failings of some apartment builds, a resounding 75% of apartment owners nationally embrace the idea of a building assessment confirming the quality of their apartment complex.

Every two years AAA runs a survey with apartment owners where they share their apartment ownership and living experiences.

“Residents chose an apartment over other property types because it was easier to care for and maintain, it was the right size for what they needed and for its security. Investors mostly chose an apartment because it was easier to care for and maintain,” according to the report.

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