01 May Not all downsizers are the same – Grant Mifsud
Divorced and separated parents now make up a significant number of residents who’ve taken advantage of the apartment boom and downsized from the family home. Developers have not only had to adapt to the differing needs of downsizers but male and female downsizers. How so? Grant Mifsud has been looking into this for us.
Kevin: Downsizing seems to be the catch word right now, but here’s a bit of a twist for you. Divorced and separated parents now make up a significant number of residents who’ve taken advantage of the apartment boom and downsized from the family home. That’s according to Archers, the Strata professionals. Joining me from Archers is Grant Mifsud, who is the Strata professional partner there. Hey Grant, how are you doing?
Grant: Good day, Kevin. Well, thanks.
Kevin: I hope this is not from personal experience, is it?
Grant: No, thankfully.
Kevin: No, that’s good. I’m pleased to hear it. Okay, so what are we seeing here? Interesting. What sort of apartments are they looking for, and I want to find out whether it’s different for men and for women, Grant.
Grant: Yeah, so well typically it’s difficult to pinpoint because we don’t have a lot of the details. But what we are finding is it’s usually women end up with the children so they got the larger apartments. But then it might be the male will not have the children on a full-time basis, so he might have just a single bedroom with a study say, that converts into a bedroom for when the kids come every second weekend.
Grant: But we’re also, and in saying that what we’re seeing, what data we do see is it might’ve gone from, the property’s gone from an investment property all of a sudden to an owner occupied property because the couple have split and one of them needs a new residence. And in some circumstances, they’ve got that additional property that they can move into.
Kevin: Mm-hmm. Your figures indicate that the 2016 census, the number of adults with children living in apartments between 2011, 2016 increased by 56% nationally. That’s a huge increase isn’t it?
Grant: Yeah, that’s the census data. But what we’re also seeing is some of the trend indicators is at times by law breaches, because you’ve got people moving in that haven’t previously lived in Strata and they might have children where they’re not aware of, you know, there’s increased noise or you know, some, they’re usually minor breaches with pool rules, those sorts of things.
Grant: There might be requests for additional security where the building hadn’t previously had security, but yeah, we’re seeing those trends through the interactions and sometimes through disputes that are arising because of those differing interests between the people that are moving into these apartments, particularly when they’ve got children and they come from a free standing home and not aware of the rules that come with living in apartments.
Kevin: Given the fact that the number of adults with children moving into apartments has increased, you would assume that when they go with kids, they’d probably go with the woman, so therefore she might be looking for a larger, say two or three bedroom apartment, opposed to the male who may only be, only need one or even two bedrooms.
Grant: Absolutely. That’s the trend that we’re seeing as well. Of course it depends on the circumstances, how many children and whether or not the father is in the circumstance where he’s got more care than what’s the trend of the every second weekend.
Grant: As a group, we make sure that we talk about trends that we’re seeing in the office, particularly when it’s disputes that are arising, and we try and work out the why. So why all of a sudden there’s these extra disputes that are going on with the different, I suppose drivers that people have and once we understand the why, we can help guide the committees and the people involved in these disputes and it’s usually just about a bit more education around the rules and living in Strata.
Kevin: Is it likely that smart developers will pick up on these trends and maybe make some changes into the configuration if they’re building apartment blocks, they’ll accommodate for this trend?
Grant: Yes, the new developments, we are seeing a lot more of those open spaces integrated for the trend of families. More so just children, whether or not they’re divorcees or not, just children living in Strata schemes.
Grant: But also with the existing schemes, we’re seeing some of the, some requests through or driving on committees to upgrade facilities. The odd request for playgrounds to go in or some sort of communal area where the kids can, I suppose, play safely.
Kevin: Grant Mifsud has been my guest. Grant is from Archers, the Strata professionals. Thanks for your time, Grant.
Grant: Thank you Kevin.