Aussie cities growing higher, not outward

Australian buildings are on the rise as more developers turn to high-rise buildings and the buying public's appetite for high density dwellings grows, CPM reality’s Sam Elbanna explains.

While skyscrapers bring downsides such as shadow casting, traffic congestion, flight path and noise challenges, taller inner-city towers are far more space efficient and provide greater green benefits, Elbanna says.

“In the long run, these buildings create far more solutions than problems, which mostly affect the short term,” he says.

Elbanna also points out that Australia’s biggest city – Sydney – remains a little behind the ball when it comes to high-density buildings.

“The current height limit for skyscrapers in the Sydney CBD is 235m for all commercial and residential buildings. This is significantly shorter than other capital cities, who are taking advantage of the allowances, as are suburbs, employment hubs and outlying areas of NSW.”

Elbanna adds that many developers believe that height restrictions in the CBD will increase office and residential costs over time, as demand continues to outstrip supply.  

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore announced early in 2013 that zoning and planning laws will come under review for the first time since 1988 to allow for review of building heights and floor space. However, final approval on any changes could take up to five years.

Elbanna says that in contrast to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth are all continuing development on a number of high rise developments slated for completion in the next few years.

“We don’t know where the market or restrictions are going to be in the next 10 to 20 years, but there will be a high demand for offices and apartments close to the city from residents, companies and investors from here and abroad.”

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