A NSW Government website

Sydney residents want more mid-rise apartments

07 May 2024

Medium rise and small apartment buildings have won out as part of new research released from the City Futures Research Centre.

The City Futures Research Centre at the University of NSW undertook housing research on behalf of the NSW Government Architect Abbie Galvin which conducted a NSW wide community survey and follow up interviews about where people want to live and what decisions influence their purchase of an apartment.

The research found that the most preferred apartment building was a medium rise building with fewer than 20 apartments. Those surveyed said smaller and mid-rise buildings provided a better sense of community, with smaller strata schemes and superior design and character.

The number of storeys, materials used, and number of apartments were considered the most important design features with residents providing feedback on the importance of building age, location, outlook, and layout with the majority of respondents saying they preferred courtyard apartments, row apartments and narrow infill buildings.

Learning more about the decision making, preferences and choices made by apartment purchasers through evidence-based research can help to assess whether current apartment supply captures the needs and preferences across our community.

The data collected will assist with the NSW Government’s low and mid-rise proposed housing reforms.

NSW Government Architect Abbie Galvin said:

“This research helped confirm that there is demand for more smaller, well-located apartments to be delivered across NSW.

“This survey provides valuable information which gave the NSW Government unique insights into the most popular apartment purchasing preferences across NSW.

“Data collected from this survey helped directly inform the policy aims and objectives of the proposed low to mid rise housing reforms which are now on public exhibition. “We need more of this ‘missing middle’ housing type to fill the gap between detached homes and high-rise buildings.

“Those surveyed also wanted to live close to work, with convenient transit options and access to amenities.

“Understanding the perspectives of recent apartment buyers is important.

“We have a significant opportunity across NSW to make sure the homes of tomorrow match what the community want and need.

“Mid-rise apartments were perceived to create a stronger sense of community, and they’re clearly an important housing type that we need to plan for.”

To view the survey report findings, visit UNSW City Futures Research Centre.