As the population of South-East Queensland cotinues to grow, we are seeing "small lots" becoming smaller and a noteworthy increase in apartments being constructed. But with our spectacular weather and (relatively) affordable property prices continue to attract interstate residents in large numbers, we think the time has well and truly come for South-East Queensland's cities to make way for what has been termed the "missing middle". This term refers to housing types that sit in between individual houses and apartment living - duplexes, townhouses and row houses.
The Queensland Treasury reports that "Queensland recorded a population growth rate of 2.2% in the 12 months to 30 September 2022... the highest of all state and territories... Net interstate migration made the largest contribution to population growth in Queensland in the 12 months to 30 September 2022 (40.7%) followed by net overseas migration (37.4%) and natural increase (21.9%)". The trend we're on is clearly not going to abate any time soon - who wouldn't want to live here?!
We're passionate about designing homes that provide a strong engagement with our beautiful subtropical climate and the simple reality is that most apartments fail to achieve this. We're not against apartments as a mode of development - check out our soon to be constructed Beach Road Apartments project in Coolum Beach for evidence of this! ... Yet as we see our aging population considering their options for retirement, we're very aware that even high quality apartment living isn't for everyone - enter the "missing middle".
Well designed smaller footprint housing options such as Duplexes, Row Houses and Townhouses present an opportunity to provide increased density in a manner than can also provide for a high quality indoor/ outdoor lifestyle, privacy and space to accomodate a range of guests and hobbies, while allowing downsizing residents the ability to remain within the communities they know and love. While we see these models "rolled out" from time to time on a large scale, we're more interested in seeing high quality, bespoke, small-scale executions of this in the midst of suburbia.
As we see the cost of land continue to rise, kids are living at home longer, even returning home as adults, to try and get ahead. Likewise, with less land available and a need to limit "urban sprawl", local Councils are looking to strategically increase the density of key communities. A design-led approach to medium density can pave the way for higher quality densification that truly connects to our subtropical climate and way of life. While apartment living is one way of achieving this necessary increase in density, it doesn't suit everyone and when it's not done well, can be completely at odds with the subtropical lifestyle we all enjoy... Enter medium density living!
In our opinion, townhouses and duplexes have a really important role to play in providing for an increase in density while continuing to offer high quality design and lifestyle outcomes to occupants at any stage of life.