Young women lead shift to apartment living

YOUNG women are driving a shift towards apartment living but baby boomers are not downsizing into similar high-rise homes, research suggests.

Members of the boomer generation that were expected to reject their traditional three-bedroom suburban homes, are instead buying apartments for their self-managed super funds (SMSF).

At the same time, their female children are taking to high-density housing - either as buyers or renters - with a gusto not shown by their more home-loving brothers, a report by research and planning firm Urbis says.

Only 4 per cent of 25-to-34-year-old females live at home compared with 22 per cent of similarly aged young men.

But the same group is by far the largest demographic in medium and high-density housing localities, census and other data shows.

Location, a building's security, the quality of fittings and storage space, and access to shops and transport were also big factors in young women's choices.

"There has been a massive swing to young women making independent decisions about housing and making decisions when they are a couple as well," Urbis report author Mark Solonsch said.

The nationwide shift towards higher-density housing is becoming more pronounced.

"Over the past year, approvals for private houses are almost unchanged from a year ago while approval for private units [flats and apartments] are up 36 per cent," Urbis said.

Young females make up about 30 per cent of buyers in residential developer Australand's medium to high-density projects, residential manager Rod Fehring said.

That figure had risen over the past five years, he said.

But people older than 60 were unwilling to live in apartments, figures suggest.

But at the same time, SMSF's investment in residential accommodation has shot up.

"The value of residential assets held by SMSFs has grown by $1.6 billion over the past year, and is now accelerating. SMSFs now hold $16.7 billion in residential assets," the report said.

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