Nowadays, housing is about a lot more than housing.
Of course everyone needs a roof over their head, but we also want to be close to work or at least near the public transport corridors which will get us there. Then there’s the matter of being near schools, parks, hospitals and recreational facilities. Everybody is seeking convenience as well as proximity to the outlets that matter to them.
21st century urban designers are responding to this demand by developing housing based on the idea of community and lifestyle as well as bricks and mortar.
One example is Town Centre in Sydney’s Rouse Hill. This $470 million development blends residential and commercial spaces and has a focus on environmental sustainability. The architectural team behind the space worked towards the goal of seamlessly balancing the concepts of marketplace, traffic way and meeting place.
Rouse Hill has all the facilities of an urban centre, including shops, room for offices, a cinema, a library and a community centre. Residents can catch up at one of the local cafes and easily access public transport. The wider area is also connected by a series of bike paths, making it easy for those living further away to leave their cars at home when meeting up with friends or attending a local event.
In some of Canberra’s newer suburbs, larger developments with family sized homes offer wide, easily accessible walking and cycling tracks leading to centrally located playgrounds. There are even fenced areas specially designed for dogs to be allowed to frolic off leash.
Around these suburbs, a larger supermarket complex will be offset by a smaller grocery shop, akin to the corner store of days gone by. This helps make people less car dependent and also encourages community interaction. In the outer-lying ACT suburb of Forde, walkability was a key focus during the design process. The result is that 95% of residents live within a five minute walk of a bus stop.
Successful developments, whether they revolve around apartment living or are designed to accommodate families looking for more space, are no longer designed simply with the goal of squeezing in as many people as possible. Nowadays, with space coming at a premium, lifestyle is a priority. It’s not such a problem to live in a small apartment if you can meet your friends at a local coffee shop or even invite them to gather on the grassy space within the grounds of your building.
Urban design and rent roll optimisation
When it comes to developing a healthy rent roll, lifestyle and community even trump cheap rent! People are likely to stick around for longer if the place they are living in provides everything they need. The benefit for you as a property manager or real estate agent is that managing clients from progressive urban centres means a more stable list of tenants.
If you are growing a rent roll, aim to work with investors who are focused on progressive urban developments. This will improve your odds of having happy, long term tenants who are willing to pay a premium for the better way of living these developments have to offer.
BDH Solutions have been buying and selling rent rolls for over 30 years. Keep up with our latest listings here.