WA Apartment Advocacy (WAAA) founder Samantha Reece has thrown her support behind the City of Melville’s vision for the Canning Bridge Precinct and other activity centres that look set to loosen building height restrictions.
More than 1000 new apartments have been approved in Applecross alone and Mrs Reece believes the new developments will diversify housing choice while providing a boon to the local economy.
Her comments come after a poll of 300 people at the Perth Royal Show that found 93 per cent of respondents supported apartment living.
A Victoria Park apartment resident herself, Ms Reece launched WAAA in September in response to her perception that councils were knocking back high-rise developments because of objections from a tiny fraction of the community.
“I have been involved in marketing for the past 25 years and for 12 years, ran my own marketing company, where I undertook a great deal of community consultation,” she said. “I understand that sometimes we need to seek out the ‘silent majority’ in order to hear the real feeling on a matter.”
Ms Reece said the most common objections to apartments were increased traffic, reduction in value of surrounding homes and fear that the development would become a slum.
“If the developments are near transport – like Canning Bridge – there will be more people using that mode of transport or walking,” she said.
“In general, most one-bedroom apartments are selling upward from $400,000, which certainly does not devalue an area for resale.
“There is evidence that people who pay more than $400,000 for an apartment are more likely to be professionals with a higher income, which is good news for the demographics of the area as well as the local businesses.”
Ms Reece stressed that local governments needed to be strategic about the placement of high-rise developments.
She also said there was a lack of downsizing options in the City of Melville.
“There is a high percentage of elderly in Melville and I believe their preference would be to downsize but there has not been much choice on the market,” she said.