The Australian housing market is currently experiencing significant change with construction approval figures depicting medium density housing, such as units and townhouses, as beginning to rival detached dwellings.
According to the Bankwest Housing Density Report, the number of approvals issued for medium density dwelling in the 12 months to November 2015 has risen by 33.9% to 115,731.
Over the same period, approvals for detached houses grew by only 1.5% to 115,758.
Analysis of figures for the 12 months to October 2015 revealed that approval numbers for medium density housing surpassed approval numbers for detached housing on an annual basis for the first time.
During this period there were 117,552 building approvals for medium density housing compared with 115,634 for detached homes.
While detached housing approval did manage a comeback towards the end of the year, experts expect that medium density approvals will soon top detached dwelling approvals on a continued basis.
Half the approvals in the 12 months to November 2015 were for medium density housing - up from 43.1% the previous year and ahead of the average 34.4% over the past 20 years.
These figures are hardly surprising when considering a number of capital cities are seeing a boom in the number of apartments being built over the last few years.
According to the statistics, 57.4% of approvals in capital cities were for medium density dwellings, while regional areas massed a solid 23.1%.
89.5% of total medium density approvals were for dwellings in Australia’s capital cities.
There is speculation as to the driving force of this shift from detached to medium density, including the impact of affordability. This is a viable option for first home buyers to step onto the property ladder at a typically more affordable cost, particularly in capital cities.
The trend generates benefits in the form of sustainable living with populations being closer to infrastructure like health, education and public transport.