Canberrans moving in closer together as medium-density living on the rise

Alistair WalshDecember 8, 2020

Medium-density living in Canberra is rising in popularity amid a shift in ACT government direction towards urban densification, according to a report by Colliers International.

The report shows that units now represent 44% of the Canberra real estate market, up from 31% in 2001.

“Traditionally detached houses have been the main type of dwelling in Canberra,” Colliers International state chief executive Paul Powderly says.

“However, according to our latest research on the apartment market in the ACT, this trend has started to shift, with medium-density dwellings gaining in popularity. In 2010 the number of medium-density dwellings approved exceeded the detached dwelling market.”

Powderly explains that a significant number of new apartment projects have come onto the market in the past 12 months, and all have sold well.

The ACT government’s recent draft planning strategy was launched by Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development Simon Corbell in October.

The strategy is set to guide to development of Canberra over the next 30 years and aims to make Canberra a compact and efficient city. One of the key targets of the strategy is to build 50% of new housing within the established urban area of Canberra and to facilitate a 25% increase in non-detached houses in each district.

“It was pleasing to see the ACT government’s draft planning strategy has recognised this shift and looks at expanding the volume and type of accommodation options available around town centres and along transport route,” Powderly says.

“We know that in major cities overseas people have embraced apartment living as a way to reside close to work and amenities and Canberra looks to be following suit. This will have significant environmental benefits as it reduces commuter traffic and helps protect the capital’s bush setting against urban sprawl.”




Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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