As more developments receive planning approval and new residential buildings have graced our skyline in the past 12 months, debate has been rife as to whether Perth is experiencing an apartment glut.

While supply and demand is an issue the market will inevitably address over time, I think it is significant to acknowledge the shift in overall acceptance of high-density development that has occurred in Perth in recent years.

As average households shrink and low-maintenance lifestyles become popular, buyers are seeing apartment living as a good fit for their needs.

Acceptance of taller buildings in appropriate locations such as the CBD, South Perth, Northbridge, Burswood Peninsula, East Perth and soon the Canning Bridge precinct, is a reflection not only of changing lifestyles, but of the evolution of Perth into a more cosmopolitan city.

High-rise buildings can integrate well into locations that are efficiently serviced by public transport, hospitality, commercial and retail precincts and generally add an extra level of amenity to the surrounding neighborhood via facilities within the building itself.

Some locations are testing Perth’s appetite for height, with approximately 12 over-30 storey apartment towers currently either under construction or in the planning stages. This is significant considering that until recently the tallest residential building in Perth was 29 storeys.

The Perth City Link project has been a catalyst for high-rise residential development with Kings Square likely to accommodate two over-40 storey residential towers. Also proposed, on the fringe of the CBD on the old Megamart site, is a two-tower development featuring 67 and 58 storeys.

South Perth will be home to at least two new high-rise apartments with Finbar’s 38-storey Civic Heart project and Westbridge Property’s Glass House development in the pipeline.

Out of the city, some suburban areas are opening up to more mid-rise style development, such as in Shenton Park where nine-storey development is proposed as part of the hospital redevelopment.

Locations such as Claremont, Midland and Cockburn Central have led the way in progressing higher-density development in outer CBD locations that have been generally well received by locals and potential buyers.

Continuing this trend, the State Government recently announced it is seeking expressions of interest for seven sites near train stations in Armadale, Butler, East Perth, Gosnells, Midland, Perth and Wellard to develop affordable living apartments.

All of these examples reflect how Perth is embracing a more compact urban lifestyle in suitable locations.

Originally published in The West Australian, by the Urban Development Institute of Australia on 4 April, 2016.