Has the ‘Great Australian Dream’ changed in WA?

The Great Australian Dream is a notion that’s been around for decades and refers to the ideal of home ownership. Think a quarter acre block, white picket fence and kids playing together on the street.


These days, the dream is starting to look quite different as more and more people swap the backyard for a balcony, choose inner city living over suburban life or enjoy the flexibility that comes with renting.

In Perth, we’re seeing an increasing trend for apartment living with many new developments under construction. Buying an apartment offers many benefits and can be an affordable way to get into the property market for first home owners.

Downsizing into an apartment or multi-dwelling complex is often the trade-off for those wanting to live close to restaurants, entertainment precincts or their workplace. It’s also a more suitable option for the growing number of people living alone or for those who find themselves as ‘empty nesters’ after the kids grow up and leave home.

The days of backyard cricket and hanging the washing on a hills hoist are also declining with the emergence of smaller backyards. As people’s lives get busier, there’s less time for maintenance and they’re less likely to have the free time to enjoy the yard and garden. Plus, people are weighing up the cost of a larger block of land and can often find it hard to justify the additional cost.

Some people have a completely different dream altogether and are deciding to rent rather than purchase a home. Benefits of renting include the opportunity to live in and explore a number of different locations as well as the freedom to travel or invest in other ventures without the commitment of a mortgage.

As the face of the Great Australian Dream changes, we’re seeing the introduction of more communal outdoor areas designed to bring people together in pleasant environments. Councils are considering more green spaces and community gardens and developers often incorporate a garden or outdoor entertaining area into their developments.

Owning a home is still very much a goal for many West Australians, however, what that home looks like is very different.





Author: REIWA President Hayden Groves