For many New Zealanders who grew up with the traditional quarter-acre plot, the idea of apartment living may seem foreign. However, as urban space becomes more scarce and the population swells, the concept of apartment living is becoming increasingly appealing across all life stages.
Although New Zealand may seem like it's playing catch-up in embracing the concept of apartment living, it's a common lifestyle choice in many global cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore, where population density is high. Surprisingly though, it's not just population density that makes apartment living popular. In Spain, 65% of residents live in apartments, and the trend is similar in Switzerland, Germany, Greece, and Italy. So why do these Europeans prefer the apartment lifestyle over a house and garden? Here are 10 compelling reasons:
- Cost-effectiveness: Apartments often have lower price tags, making them ideal for budget-conscious individuals. If the apartment is newly built, it typically requires a smaller deposit compared to existing homes.
- Less maintenance: With smaller spaces to manage, apartments require less maintenance. They're typically single-level spaces designed for easy upkeep, meaning no lugging laundry or vacuum cleaners up and down stairs. Plus, the Body Corporate handles building maintenance, freeing you up to enjoy your leisure time.
- Convenience of location: Apartment blocks tend to be centrally located in urban areas, offering easy access to public transport, amenities, and schools. Imagine stepping out of your apartment, dropping your kids at school, and grabbing a cuppa from your favourite café – all within walking distance. Many apartment dwellers even ditch the car, opting for e-bikes or Uber instead.
- Energy efficiency: Apartments typically consume less energy for heating and cooling, leading to lower utility bills. Modern construction methods, including full insulation and double glazing, allow you to stay cosy in winter without worrying about cold, damp conditions. On warm summer days, you can open your sliding doors to let in fresh air and a cool breeze.
- Sense of community: Apartment living often fosters a strong community spirit. Get to know your neighbours, build lasting relationships, and perhaps even participate in sub-groups or weekly activities.
- Minimalistic lifestyle: Living in an apartment encourages a minimalist lifestyle, urging you to declutter and only keep the essentials. After all, more stuff doesn't equate to more happiness.
- Catering to diverse lifestyles: Apartments cater to a wide variety of lifestyles – single professionals, young couples, families with children, or empty nesters can all find an apartment to suit their needs. The range of options from cosy studios to spacious multi-bedroom units ensures an apartment for every stage of life.
- Enhanced security: Apartment buildings usually come equipped with security measures like secure entrances, intercoms, and surveillance cameras, adding to your peace of mind. The Body Corporate also takes care of maintenance and monitoring, alleviating your worry about repairs and their quality.
- Sustainable living: Apartments typically have smaller footprints and require less energy for heating and cooling than larger houses, which makes them more eco-friendly. Shared infrastructure and amenities also lead to more efficient resource use. Moreover, apartment dwellers usually generate less waste due to smaller living spaces and shared waste management systems.
- Cosiness: Apartments can exude a cosy and intimate feel, offering a sense of comfort that larger spaces may lack. They're also easier to manage, reducing stress and effort to keep them tidy and comfortable.
Though New Zealand is yet to reach Spanish levels of apartment living, the trend is catching on. More Kiwis are choosing to simplify their lives, opting for the flexibility and freedom that apartment living offers, and focusing on what truly matters to them.