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Better Apartments: Summary

Last week, we released our findings on the state of recently built apartments in comparison to the Better Apartments Design Standards. What we found only confirmed our intuitive assumptions of inner Melbourne’s apartments: they’re generally hard to live in.

While our full report dove into detail about each standard, this bulletin sums up the results of the overall study to shed light on the bigger picture (see Table 1). We sampled 3000 apartments built in the last 6 years across 21 suburbs in Melbourne.

Overall, 99.7% (2,991 apartments) failed to meet all the minimum requirements.

Only 9 apartments passed the seven standards we assessed (main bedroom dimensions, smallest bedroom dimensions, living room dimensions, private open space, windows, room depth, storage). Out of these, 4 were 1 bedroom units, and 5 had 2 bedrooms.

Private open space
94.2% (2,826 apartments) had balconies that were too small, or had none at all.

Bedroom and living room dimensions
92.3% (2,770 apartments) were too small in terms of both bedrooms and living rooms, failing to meet all minimum dimensions.

Accessibility
84% (2,520 apartments) had either bathrooms or corridors that were too small. These failed accessibility standards.

Natural ventilation
70% (2,100 apartments) were not well-ventilated. Most of these only had windows on one side of the apartment, with the opposite wall facing the internal corridors.

Windows
52% (1,560 apartments) did not provide adequate sunlight to bedrooms. More than half of our sample either had no windows to their bedrooms, or had ‘snorkel’ windows that were deeper than allowed.

Room depth
15.6% (468 apartments) were too deep, reducing natural light in parts of the living and dining areas.

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