Property Development in Australia

November 23, 2023

Property development is an ever-evolving industry, influenced by societal, technological, and environmental changes. To stay competitive and relevant, property developers must adapt to emerging trends. Here are some expected future trends for property developers:

Sustainable and Green Development

Environmental sustainability is becoming a key focus. Property developers are expected to embrace green building practices, energy-efficient designs, and renewable energy sources to reduce carbon footprints and lower operational costs.

One key aspect of sustainable and green development is the integration of renewable energy sources and energy-efficient technologies. This can include the incorporation of solar panels, wind turbines, and other renewable energy systems to reduce the property’s reliance on non-renewable resources. Additionally, energy-efficient building designs, such as those focused on optimal insulation and natural lighting, contribute to reduced energy consumption and lower carbon footprints.

As part of the sustainable and green development movement, developers have an opportunity to incorporate impact-driven initiatives into their projects to attract investors and buyers who prioritise sustainability and social responsibility.

Impact investing seeks to align financial goals with broader societal and environmental objectives, promoting positive change while delivering competitive returns on investment. Impact investors in property development often focus on factors such as energy efficiency, affordable housing, and community engagement, aiming to create lasting benefits for both investors and the communities where the projects are situated.

Mixed-Use Developments & Flexible Spaces

The trend of combining residential, commercial, and retail spaces in a single development, such as that of our West Side Place development in Melbourne, will continue to grow. These mixed-use properties create vibrant communities and offer convenience to residents.

Furthermore, in response to changing work patterns, property developers will create flexible spaces that can adapt to various uses. This includes co-working spaces, adaptable office layouts, and multi-purpose common areas.

Wellness and Inclusivity-Centric Design

Health-centric design encompasses various elements, such as incorporating ample natural light, providing spaces for physical activity, and using materials that contribute to indoor air quality. Developers are increasingly integrating fitness amenities, green spaces, and wellness facilities within residential and commercial properties to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle.

As the importance of well-being gains prominence, property developers are likely to continue prioritising health-centric design to attract conscious consumers who prioritise a holistic approach to living and working spaces. 

Inclusivity will also become a central theme; creating accessible spaces for people of all abilities and backgrounds is not only a legal requirement but also a market demand.

Urban Redevelopment and Regeneration

Developers will play a crucial role in revitalising urban areas, repurposing underutilised or decaying spaces to meet the changing needs of urban populations.

In doing so, developers will also engage with local communities to create projects that reflect the values and aspirations of the people who will inhabit them. 

Smart Buildings and Technology Integration

Smart buildings, equipped with IoT (Internet of Things) devices, will become more common. Developers will incorporate technologies that enhance security, energy efficiency, and overall convenience for residents.

Smart buildings leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices to collect and analyse data, allowing for real-time monitoring and control of various systems. These systems can include lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), security, and more. The integration of technology in smart buildings not only improves operational efficiency but also contributes to resource conservation and cost savings.

Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR) are emerging trends in property development that revolutionise the way stakeholders experience and interact with real estate projects.

Virtual Reality involves creating immersive digital environments that users can navigate and experience using VR headsets. In the context of property development, VR allows potential buyers, investors, and architects to virtually explore buildings, apartments, or entire neighbourhoods before they are physically constructed. 

Augmented Reality, on the other hand, overlays digital information onto the real-world environment. In property development, AR is often used through mobile devices or AR glasses to enhance the physical environment with additional information. 

Furthermore, technologies like 3D printing, advanced robotics, and artificial intelligence will continue to influence the design and construction processes, improving efficiency and reducing costs.

This trend leverages cutting-edge tools and digital platforms to streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and improve collaboration among stakeholders. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is one key component, enabling 3D modelling and data visualisation for precise project planning and coordination.

Another emerging trend, and one driven by technology-driven design is modular construction, which involves constructing building components off-site in a controlled factory environment, then assembling them on-site to form a complete structure. 

Affordable & Shared Housing

Addressing the affordable housing crisis is expected to be a priority. Developers will seek innovative solutions to create affordable housing options, including micro-housing and modular construction.

Learn more about what the Australian Government is doing to address concerns around safe and affordable housing here.

The shared living trend will also continue to evolve, offering innovative co-living and co-housing solutions for urban dwellers seeking community and cost-effective living arrangements.

Crisis-Resilient Design

As climate-related disasters become more frequent, property developers will invest in designs that can withstand natural disasters and extreme weather conditions.

This approach recognises the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters, climate change impacts, and other unforeseen events, and seeks to integrate features that enhance a building’s ability to endure and recover. Crisis-resilient design involves considerations such as robust construction materials, strategic location planning, and the incorporation of resilient infrastructure to mitigate the effects of crises, ranging from floods and earthquakes to pandemics and power outages.

Local and sustainable procurement

Developers will prioritise using locally sourced materials and environmentally friendly building practices, reducing carbon footprints and supporting local economies.

Adapting to these trends requires a forward-thinking and innovative approach. Property developers who stay attuned to these shifts in the industry will be better positioned to meet the changing demands and expectations of property buyers and tenants while contributing to sustainable and resilient urban development.

Read more about Far East Consortium drives sustainability, thriving communities and innovation within their own Australia-based development projects here.