.id Housing series Part 2 | Downsizing to the good life

Victor Fisher

Victor comes to us as an outstanding graduate via .id's Graduate Development Programme after completing his Master of International Urban and Environmental Management at RMIT University. He is particularly interested in how population dynamics are used to inform planning processes and understanding the importance of place.

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2 Responses

  1. jane says:

    Dear Colleagues

    I am part of an ‘older couple’ and we have moved from a three bedroom home on a large block into a two bedroom apartment close to transport and services. However, now with the arrival of Airbnb in strata schemes it means that no one can be certain that they will not be living in a ‘holiday destination’ or that their next door neighbours (who are on all sides of you) wont be letting their apartment to complete strangers on weekends or while they are on vacation OR all the time if they are an investor. If you downsize from a house in Sydney you’re probably in good financial shape and can buy into a building or estate with facilities – tennis court, pool etc. Unfortunately, it is these facilities that make these estates and buildings so attractive to Airbnb operators. The presence of non-professional short term holiday letting is a huge disincentive to by into or to stay in strata. Why would anyone buy into strata now in NSW if they cannot even find out beforehand whether there is STHL happening in the building? This isn’t just an issue for older downsizers of course but anyone who has lived in strata knows how difficult strata management can be without adding tourists and transient occupants. The idea that someone would exploit collectively owned facilities for their own private profit is offensive, they go away and everyone else does the ‘sharing’. Strata was never intended to cope with this, and the mismatch between the Strata Scheme Management Act 2015 (NSW) and the ability to manage a changing population of tourists has been left out entirely in the rush to embrace the ‘sharing economy’.

  2. This is a very interesting topic. Metropolitan Perth is also seeing demand for smaller housing units by older people but some local governments are pulling up the drawbridge on behalf of those who wish to preserve their suburbs in aspic – forcing older residents to choose between unsuitable accommodation in their preferred area (thus denying that larger home to a young family) or leaving the area altogether. Do you see this too?

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