The urban property regeneration continues, with both businesses and renters flocking to the cities in search of the perfect space. In Australia, the continued repurposement of industrial land to mixed residential use is predicted to continue for the immediate future, particularly in cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, according to  Deloitte’s 2018 Real Estate Outlook: Australian Perspective. In the United Kingdom, the shift in preference is being termed the country’s return to city center living, and across the globe in Canada, 7 in 10 Canadians live in an urban area, further enabled by the country’s recent Smart Cities agenda. For property developers, these urban property trends signal a clear opening for the transformation of housing in these areas, and a budding opportunity for profitability if approached correctly.

Adapting Design To New Age Urban Life Means Connectivity, Creativity And Multipurpose

Smaller spaces and a more populated area means having to get creative with your building design. The higher demand (and shorter supply) also means property developers face paying higher prices for land and construction. Architectural designs to fit unusual spaces such as corner plots or micro-apartments can help you successfully navigate the challenges that come with adapting a property to both the space and consumers. Having a look at neighboring properties can give you ideas of what would work, while having a contractor do an initial site visit will help you know whether your initial site vision is buildable.

The success of this model has also been witnessed in the past in countries and cities such as Tokyo, where micro-apartments are the norm, and the use of height is maximized. The exploration of unique areas such as roof spaces can be used to solve the space issue and considered in the planning and design process. Of course, this means adding the cost of specialty equipment such as aerial lift rental to allow access in the construction phase. This means that striking a balance between your building and design process and budgetary restrictions becomes even more important. Smaller, tighter spaces can work out to be more expensive per m² thanks to more complicated planning and construction parameters. From a financial point of view, given that the millennial generation seems to be happier forgoing home space and ownership in exchange for life in the city, developers stand a real chance of a successful property rental model if they can keep their costs under control.

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Eco Consciousness Brings Its Power To Urban Construction

Sustainability is still very much at the top of the list for both builders and consumers, which means it should be on yours as an urban property developer. A staggering percentage of the urban population consists of young consumers. In fact, they have been a driving force behind the back to city movement. These consumers are also the leading green consumers, which means they are opting for sustainable living in all parts of their lives, their homes included. To make the process much easier, consider using the services of sustainable builders as a part of your design and construction team. The sustainability element of your property will appeal to both renters and possible buyers, fetching elevated prices.

Connectivity Is No Longer Optional

The rise in popularity and adaptation of smart technology in homes has been astonishing over the past years. Today, that rise of connected living has become synonymous with the growing preference for urbanization. This has been partially driven by the use of smart devices in overcoming the challenges that urban living can present. This is also being recognized on a national level, with smart cities being championed. This further lends itself to the need for urban developers to include a connective element in your planning and design process. The extent to which smart homes fit into the smart living puzzle is quite an extensive one, and certainly gives you as the developer, a range of freedom to tailor your approach.

Basics such as connected heating and lighting can be a starting point, while other additions are more subjective to the renting population you are targeting. The younger generation is known as ‘Generation Green’, which means they are more focused and proactive about eco-friendly living, while older consumers would appreciate the inclusion of movement sensors or mobility assistance technology. Going for a smart home design also gives you the option of integrating your home into a smart city. With the increased pace of smart city adoption, it is only a matter of time before a majority of urban areas are included.

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There is no doubt that there is much potential for property developers in the urban property market. However, before they can reap the benefits, they must first overcome the design and building challenges that come with such as space. Adapting to the space and its inhabitants is the only way to make the model a successful one.

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