Fewer townhouses and semi-detached homes are being built in NSW, while apartment approvals have been booming, according to the Housing Industry Association.
HIA Senior Economist Shane Garrett said VIC, however, has had the opposite affect with more space available for building townhouses and semi detached homes.
“In NSW, the share of newly approved dwellings for townhouses or semi-detached has decreased from 2010, where it was 18.5 per cent to 11.5 per cent in the year until March 2017. Meanwhile, the share accounted for by apartments in NSW increased from 33.4 per cent to 49.8 per cent.
For Victoria, the semi-detached or townhouse share has increased from 13.5 per cent in the year to October 2015 to 16.4 per cent in the 12 months ended March 2017. The share accounted for by apartments rose from 37.4 per cent to 28.1 per cent,” Mr Garrett said.
Mr Garrett said Sydney’s rise in apartments being built could be the cause of land space supply issues and housing affordability in inner city areas.
“It could be matter of both housing affordability and supply. Melbourne has more Greenfield development for building townhouses or semi-detached homes, which is something Sydney lacks. Greenfield developments are new dwellings that go up in previously undeveloped areas. It differs from Brownfield developments, which take place in previously developed areas and often replace industrial and commercial buildings. This is a major part of the new building that’s currently underway in Sydney,” Mr Garrett said.
Zaki Ameer, real estate expert and founder of Dream Design Property (DDP) said that often, buyers don’t have a choice when it comes to building a townhouse or apartments, as it is a matter of what they can afford.
“It all comes down to affordability and space and the question of ‘can I afford to buy a townhouse or will I have to buy into an apartment building?’.
“But it can also come down to generational aspects. People who are married or have children may prefer a townhouse, whereas singles and couples might tend to go for an apartment over a townhouse,” Mr Ameer said.
Mr Ameer said Sydney is already changing with more apartments being built.
“There used to be a lot of townhouses in Western Sydney, but eventually you'll start seeing apartments popping up. In 30 or 40 years the houses in Western Sydney could become apartments,” Mr Ameer said.
He said another benefit of buying into a bigger apartment building is lower strata costs to share with other owners in the building.