Downsizing: driving developers to rethink how they design projects

Matt Damon as Paul in the 2017 movie ‘Downsizing’

The 2017 movie ‘Downsizing’ addresses the problem of over population by providing an absurd solution, shrinking human beings. By going through one very safe and simple medical procedure Matt Damon’s character Paul is shrunk down to the size of a Star Wars figurine approximately 12 centimetres small. For those willing to make the ultimate irreversible of tiny sacrifices the rewards are truly great. The choice to continue a life where your income won’t allow you more than an average existence in an average home or to live out your days in absolute luxury in a specially designed miniaturised residential estate, for some is just too enticing and like Paul thousands of citizens give up the world they know to live in a utopian tiny bubble. 

The concept makes a whole lotta sense but reducing your carbon footprint by making that footprint the size of a one cent piece is not exactly most people’s idea of a solution….. well not right now anyway.  

In 2019 the concept of downsizing is more about selling up the large family home to move into a lower maintenance property in a lifestyle location. The downsizing property market is booming and it’s the baby boomers leading the charge forcing developers to rethink how they design projects to suit this downsizing trend and the Gold Coast is experiencing a building boom with luxury residential towers rising out of the ground from Surfers Paradise down to Coolangatta. From Kirra looking north along the coastline 8 cranes can be seen in Palm Beach alone. 
Australian’s prefer lifestyle over anything else and what lifestyle could be more quintessentially Australian than living by the beach and for most baby booming downsizers that means turning to higher density beachside living.

VUE Broadbeach completion late 2019

Federal Government Initiative

Realising how many functions in the large family home that remain under- or unused for most parts of the day, week or year for many empty nesters has prompted a major shift in lifestyle choices. So why not tap into sharing a higher quality of services and recreational facilities with a select bunch of like minded people to lower the cost and maintenance burden for all? Another driver for downsizing is the Federal Government initiative. As from July 1st2018 home owners over the age of 65 can sell their home and contribute up to $300,000 per person into their super funds. A couple can make a non-concessional contribution of $600,000 into their superannuation. The policy was created to allow retirees a financial advantage and encouragement to sell the family home for a more secure retirement plan and the demand for luxury, high density residential projects gets another boost. Developers simply must cater to our downsizing baby boomers, cashed up retirees as well as discerning buyers from our Southern states seeking a sea change.

The ‘Laptop’ Lifestyle

A further demand for luxury apartment living has been created by a generation of younger buyers wanting to escape the craziness of our Southern bustling cities. The ‘laptop’ lifestyle, working from home after enjoying an early morning surf and smashed avocado on gluten free toast is more common than not. This group is buying into style, design and quality plus upkeep including landscaping over and above what you would afford or have time to maintain yourself in a home & garden. The old attitude of ‘high body corporates are a rip-off’ is slowly giving way to a more tempered understanding of just how much time and money it actually costs to keep an  immaculate home – the body corporate fees don’t look so bad once you consider the time to get back in your life. When apartment living can offer all the best of living in a house; location, amenities, views, security, facilities, neighbours, storage, multiple security car spaces, great outdoor space, luxury finishes – why not?

We’re seeing these luxury projects adopting ‘The Vancouver real estate tactics’: don’t sell the penthouse, give it to share, increasing the perceived (and paid) value for every unit in the development. HHH have created these rooftop shared spaces in projects Allegra and ONE33 Scarborough Street in Southport and more recently luxury residential towers Vue and Encore both in Broadbeach QLD. 

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After over 20 years on Ferry Rd, we are excited to be moving into our new studio at the end of March 2022.

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