Who lives in Strata in Australia?
Strata data. It may rhyme, but it certainly doesn’t sound overly sexy.
But for the first time, comprehensive, nation-wide data is at least now providing an incredible insight into the scale, scope and importance of Australia’s strata and community title sector.
As we often say here at Strataville, apartment living is not just a growing trend – it’s the future. In 2015, new attached buildings started to outpace new detached buildings, and the majority of them have strata or community titles.
We already knew that strata living was the fastest growing form of residential property ownership, and it’s been clear for some time that that growth will continue to grow apace in mainly NSW, Victoria and Queensland – but also every other state and territory in Australia.
In short, it’s the future of our cities. But what we didn’t know was just how impressive the strata sector really is when all the verified and analysed numbers are right there before our eyes.
Until now, there has not been a nation-wide report that collates and publishes reliable numbers about the Australian strata industry as a whole. But Associate Professor Hazel Easthope, of the City Futures Research Centre at UNSW Sydney’s Faculty of Built Environment, has finally launched the Australian National Strata Data Report.
Who lives in Strata in Australia?
Let’s take a deeper look at the goodies than lie within:
How was the strata data report put together?
The first of its kind, Associate Professor Easthope and fellow authors Caitlin Buckle and Vandana Mann made use of information they collected from state land authorities across Australia, such as Land Use Victoria, New South Wales Land Registry Services, and equivalent government bodies across the states and territories of Australia.
That data was then amalgamated with data from other reliable sources, including the 2016 Census, insurance companies and management firms, and presented in this impressive report.
Previously, if there was strata data floating about, it was specific to each state – and the various companies and agencies in charge recorded and interpreted it differently.
“This is the first time we have had figures about the scale and value of the sector,” Associate Professor Easthope said.
So, what’s the big headline news?
The headline news is that, of the nearly 24 million Australians in 2018, over 2.2 million of them live in 2.6 million strata title lots. That’s over 9% of the entire Australian population, with a whopping 42% of all strata schemes having been registered since 2000.
Aussie apartment residents are typically quite young, with 50% of them aged between 20 and 39 and 50% speaking languages other than English at home. Singles or couples with no kids make up almost 60% of the apartment population.
“The report shows just how big this industry is in Australia,” the Associate Professor said, “and how important this fourth tier of government – that is run by volunteers – is to the economy, to people’s assets, and to their lives.”
She calls strata schemes a “fourth tier of government” because they collect taxes and levies, and they put elected representatives on committees that decide by-laws that govern how people live on their properties. “But unlike a government, they are run by volunteers – individual owners who have been elected to make decisions about how to manage the building,” said the Associate Professor.
“As a result, you have volunteers managing assets worth many millions of dollars, with annual turnovers of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars,” she added.
So, what does strata mean to Australia?
The strata data report shows just how important the growing strata industry is to the country.
For instance, the strata management industry directly employs almost 10,000 staff, but an incredible 441,000 professional services like lawyers, valuers and insurers – representing almost a billion dollars worth of jobs – also rely on the growing world of apartments.
Another $6 billion is made by gardeners, plumbers and electricians who were called out to over 3 million jobs at strata properties just last year, the report also found.
“The strata data report is a huge opportunity to assess what the sector does, how big it is, how the economy benefits from the goods and services it supplies, and the extent to which these services contribute to national income,” said Erik Adriaanse, the CEO of the Strata Community Association, which funded the research.
“It will have a profound effect on the way regulators and government will establish and build their policy framework to ensure that owners, strata professionals and suppliers will derive maximum economic benefit, and that the highest professional standards are achieved in the sector,” he added.