In Summary

New research from Swinburne University of Technology has highlighted the need for an alternative approach to apartment affordability.

Led by Swinburne’s Dr Andrea Sharam, Making Apartments Affordable has suggested that by removing the apartment developer from the equation, apartment buyers would have a greater say over the type of apartments that are built.

The report recommended that consumers should be empowered through support for ‘deliberative’ or ‘DIY’ cooperative development models.

“A DIY model would not only increase competition, but it would also expand access and promote responsiveness within the apartment market,” Dr Sharam said.

The report also recommended that the apartment development market needs a central brokerage platform so that necessary connections can be made cheaply and easily, removing the need for expensive presales campaigns.

“If a two-sided matching market for new apartments was introduced, using a model similar to Uber and Airbnb, that would aggregate potential buyers and pair them with proposed developments.”

Additionally, the report recommended that planning schemes need to impose density restrictions, including height limits and bedroom quotas, in areas where housing demand is high.

“If these restrictions were enforced in high-density housing, it would make development less risky by creating certainty.”

“This would be offset by a modest increase in the density of underused or middle ring suburbs.”

The research was conducted in conjunction with Queensland University of Technology.

Read the entire report, Making Apartments Affordable.