When it comes to downsizing, Australian property buyers are increasingly demonstrating that size does matter and, according to a range of property experts, that’s changing the way the development industry is approaching new projects.

While the Covid pandemic has been responsible for a major shift in the way people integrate their home life with business – including the provision for larger home office spaces – some progressive development companies are already meeting that need. “Downsizing has been a major driver of demand for apartments in lifestyle areas around the country, especially markets such as the Gold Coast,” says Urbis Gold Coast director Matt Schneider.

“These buyers are typically highly active retirees, or empty nesters, who want apartment living ‘with the lot’, and more developers are responding to this demographic. We’re seeing that playing out now in terms of larger apartments, particularly in the Southern Beaches Precinct, and more lavish amenities. “Even to the extent that people who may have lived in smaller apartments on the beach are happy to move to other areas to ensure they can maximise larger living spaces including larger home offices.”

Dubbed “rightsizers”, this segment of the downsizer demographic encompasses a wide range of buyers although it is largely dominated by the boomer generation.

Traditionally the apartment market over the past decade, particularly in larger cities, has catered to investors with one- or two-bedroom apartments designed to be utilitarian residences for younger working professionals as tenants. While higher density usually translates to higher yields for developers, Mr Schneider said the data shows apartments have become bigger over the past two years. This is particularly evident in the booming downsizer, end-user apartment sector which has upsized apartments, added more car parks, created larger living spaces and added more size to home offices.

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