| by Kenneth Chase | 22 comments

Perth Micro Lots – High Density Living in Western Australia


It wasn’t that long ago when Australians
used to live on a quarter-acre block, had a Hills Hoist clothesline in the backyard,
and enough space to play a game of cricket with the neighbours. Gone are those days in the city of Perth. The Western Australian State Government and
the Perth property industry are hoping that more than 1.5 million people will choose so-called
micro-lots, that is, lots as small as 80 square metres. That’s about the size of a modest two-bedroom
unit. Former chief executive of the Urban Development
Institute of Australia, Allison Hailes, spoke about micro-lots a couple of years ago just
as they were gaining traction. She said, “The houses that are being developed for
these micro-lots are using very clever design. The house floor space might be 200 square
metres. So we are seeing two-bedroom or even three-bedroom
houses being built on micro-lots. Other designs that I think will emerge more
in the Perth market are where you have a home office on the ground floor and then living
space and a bedroom on the first floor.” Perth resident, Glenda Stephens, was one of
the first people to live in a micro-lot of just 80 square metres. She recently told the ABC, “They are light, they are open, they are
very well designed. They don’t feel cramped at all. I couldn’t have afforded this quality of house
on a big block. Everyone comes in and is surprised. They are expecting it to be really cramped. I’m definitely converted from my five-acre
lot that I thought I could never leave.” Not everyone is comvinced, however. Here are some quotes from a few Perth residents. “Tiny house? Yes. On a tiny block? No. You need some outdoor space to compensate
for the tight living quarters.” “No way. People need space. Children need areas to run free and teenagers
and young adults need their own areas. We live in this wide brown land so let us
enjoy it.” “I worry about privacy and noise issues
living so close together.” The Property Council of Australia’s WA Executive
Director, Sandra Brewer, commented on people’s initial reactions to micro-lots based on a
survey she commissioned. She said, “Quotes we heard were ‘it makes me think
of overcrowding’ and ‘a tightly packed neighbourhood where no-one has any yard and your house takes
up 99% of your block’. Their natural reaction is to imagine urban
density in its extreme and to think ‘I will be less safe’.” But Ms Brewer also said that when survey participants
were asked about what they do want in a neighbourhood, many came back with features
that are compatible with high density living. She said, “What people want from their suburb is to
feel safe and to be able to get around easily — to be able to go down to the shops, pick
up the kids from school, on a whim to be able to go out and about. They want a cultural vibe, things going on,
busy cafes. People are beginning to recognise that more
people living in and attracted to an area makes it viable for new shops and cafes and
services to thrive but also stay open longer.” Another Perth resident, Jorja Woolton, is
currently trialling apartment living to see if it suits her lifestyle. She moved from her family home in Perth’s
southern suburbs to a 54-square-metre one-bedroom apartment in Rivervale close to the CBD. She said, “There’s always so much around apartments
whereas living in a house, in a suburb, you’ve got to drive to everything. Here there are always lots of cafes and everything
is close by. I think I could definitely see myself living
in an apartment. I think it’s very much something I would prefer
over living in a house. Back home, it would take me at least an hour
to and from work on the freeway. I work in Subiaco, so some days from the apartment,
it was just 15 minutes — super quick. I spent less time driving and more time doing
my own thing after work, which was nice.” Ms Stephens is convinced that micro-lots are
the key to housing affordability. She said, “For people to have their dream of having
their own home, it had to change, it had to become something that was achievable and affordable
for people. In a perfect world, everyone would want to
have the quarter-acre block that you used to have, but it’s not going to happen.” What are your thoughts? Would you live on a tiny micro-lot? Are micro-lots the answer to housing affordability? Or are there just too many people in Australian
cities putting pressure on local resources and infrastructure? Is population growth the real issue?

22 Comments

Bradley Nugent

Aug 8, 2019, 5:03 am Reply

great vid as always man, you deserve more attention

Inert Object

Aug 8, 2019, 5:14 am Reply

Yes

Renaissance

Aug 8, 2019, 5:22 am Reply

This is how real estate agents and developers try and fool gullible people into thinking they are getting a good deal. Sure, you're paying 25% less but you're getting half the land. No thanks!

Pumba

Aug 8, 2019, 5:31 am Reply

Go rural you city slickers,

WorldFrom DownUnder

Aug 8, 2019, 5:37 am Reply

Micro-lots are NOT the answer to affordability. The answer to affordability is banning non-Australian citizens and corporations from owning Australian homes.

rakeau

Aug 8, 2019, 6:24 am Reply

Maybe we should stop limiting ourselves to only a handful of cities. Countries like the US, you're never more than a few hours from a major city. I guess we're in a weird spot where we have too big a population for our existing cities, but too small a population to spread out.

Duncan E

Aug 8, 2019, 7:05 am Reply

I think that was a balanced video. I have lived in a big block house and an apartment in the city. They are both great but it depends on your lifestyle.

Jason 321

Aug 8, 2019, 7:50 am Reply

I bet Sandra brewer lives in a huge house in a suburb away from poor people

Chris Yorke

Aug 8, 2019, 8:13 am Reply

It is only trying to make a virtue out of necessity. You would never choose this solution if you can afford better. It does not have to be this way. First and foremost, urban dwellers like to be close to work, with some transport options and close to basic services. Government should encourage decentralized growth around coastal satellite towns and exurbs by situating government offices away from crowded urban centres.

Kiyan Riahi

Aug 8, 2019, 8:23 am Reply

perth micro lots the house prices are half of sydney wow.

Kato Lo

Aug 8, 2019, 8:24 am Reply

I live in Hong Kong. Micro lot in Perth is still too big for me. Gigantic in fact.

Evan

Aug 8, 2019, 8:45 am Reply

So we've had house price inflation, now shrinkflation

Section83 a

Aug 8, 2019, 9:38 am Reply

People need to watch David Icke he did a very good video on that very subject.

Ron Richter

Aug 8, 2019, 10:31 am Reply

Good ol Strayas economy is goin down the gurgler ol Son!

Aaron HOGAN

Aug 8, 2019, 11:29 am Reply

Fuck. That!

stephen Cashier

Aug 8, 2019, 11:45 am Reply

Its so you cant grow your own food…..

gaza2230

Aug 8, 2019, 1:26 pm Reply

wa is massive lol

Global A

Aug 8, 2019, 2:47 pm Reply

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I will always prefer a big plot 800 seq.m minimum

Tony Coz

Aug 8, 2019, 9:18 pm Reply

"DOG BOXES"……..the future ghetto's of Perth

Smiffy

Aug 8, 2019, 12:07 am Reply

More people = More problems. More pollution. More waste. More land. More traffic. More crime.

Lulu Yannu

Aug 8, 2019, 10:05 am Reply

New Zealand just became the first country to legalise payment of salaries in Crypto….. this might spread worldwide

The Franklin

Aug 8, 2019, 10:11 am Reply

I'm about to build some more raised garden beds and take my total growing area up to around 80 square metres. I'll rent out some space between a couple of bok choi plants for these suckers.

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