Since the concept of strata ownership was introduced in Australia six decades ago, its popularity among property owners has increased significantly.
What are Strata?
Strata are properties with shared areas, such as condos and townhomes. Some detached houses can also be strata, and they are called bare land strata.
The standout difference between strata and freehold properties is that they have joint ownership, whereas individuals often own the latter. The Strata Property Act governs the administration of these properties.
When an existing or new property adopts this concept, a specialised company oversees its management. The property management company collects fees from the joint owners and uses the money for maintenance and upgrades.
Although the fees might seem like unneeded expenses, they are often cheaper than the amount charged for maintaining freehold properties.
On the downside, strata owners require permission to do things like renovation. Moreover, strata must adhere to standard bylaws set by the act mentioned above and have many house rules like age restrictions, pet restrictions, and rental restrictions, etc.
Strata Ownership Statistics in Australia
According to data published in the Australasian Strata Insights Report, there are almost three million community-titled and strata properties in the country. The majority of these houses are in New South Wales.
The report also provides an in-depth evaluation of the strata industry in the country. It is a useful tool for policy-makers who are advocating for changes in this ownership concept.
Additionally, the report states that 10% of Australians live in apartments, villas, or townhouses. Of these, 35% stay alone, and 24% are childless couples. Couples with children make up 13%, group households represent 9%, and 6% are single parents. The remaining are either friends or flatmates.
Compared with census data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the report indicates that the majority of people who live in strata are New South Wales’ residents. In this state, 7.57 million (15% of the state’s population) live in strata homes. The second state is Victoria, where 471,317 (8% of the state’s population) live in community-titled homes.
In Queensland, 7% of the state’s residents live in strata. The state with the least number of strata dwellers is South Australia, where only 69,063 people occupy community homes.
Why are Strata becoming Popular?
The primary reason for the increasing popularity of strata properties is the search for affordable and convenient housing. Other factors include:
Conversion of existing single ownership houses to strata title
An increase in the country’s population
New property developments
Government policies that promote building storied properties in existing urban areas
The adoption of strata ownership in existing properties is mostly done by dividing apartment buildings into smaller units. This approach’s advantage is that it bolsters property markets because the houses become more affordable to a broader market.
Another factor that drives the strata concept’s adoption in high to medium development in Australia is the country’s culture that favours homeownership. This, combined with the increasing expensiveness of properties over the last ten years, has caused an increased demand for many Australians that are first-time tenants and older citizens looking to downsize.
Experts say that the repercussions of COVID-19 are likely to slow down the development of new housing units. This is because the pandemic has caused a financial recession and reduced migration. However, this negative impact is expected to end shortly after society deals with the virus.
As long the government upholds its policy of encouraging property owners to build high-rise apartment buildings, and the country’s population continues to grow, strata’s popularity is set to continue.