More reasons to buy a Melbourne apartment

Market Insights
7 years ago
2 minutes
There are now even more reasons to buy an off-the-plan apartment in Melbourne, with the Victorian Government’s announcement of new apartment standards over the weekend.
The announcement comes as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s reforms aimed at encouraging a higher standard of construction and development. Ultimately this is intended to improve and maintain housing affordability and to encourage investment.
Amongst the key points of the ‘Better Apartments’ initiative are raised standards regarding building setbacks, room depth, storage, open space and the minimisation of noise.
It’s also good to see energy efficiency has been identified as an important consideration. Apartments built with a smarter approach to energy efficiency benefit the environment, the community and the individual.
The increasing demand for affordable living is seen as a driving force behind the necessity for continued improvement to standards. Apartments are, more than ever, a crucial factor in housing provision, as reiterated by Minister for Planning Richard Wynne. “Twenty years ago, apartments represented just 5 per cent of all new dwellings constructed in Victoria,” he said. “Today they account for more than 33 per cent.”
He also looked towards apartments built for liveability as vital for Melbourne’s population growth, set to rise from 4.6 million to 8 million by 2051. “Victoria needs liveable, affordable housing options to support our growing population, we’re pushing for new homes which are well- designed and accommodate different household types,” he said.
Planning applications for new apartment developments will be required to meet the standards set. Where they don’t, they will have to propose alternative plans aligned with the initiative’s aim of improving liveability through design — and this will, in itself, have the effect of encouraging innovation.
Liveability is an issue close to the hearts of many, with the launch of the initial Better Apartments Draft Design Standards paper in May last year sparking a debate between the property industry and the community. This resulted in 1700 survey responses around key requirements including having enough daylight, space and natural ventilation.
Public consultation on the draft apartment design standards will be open for community feedback until 16 September 2016, giving the public 5 weeks to share their opinion.