A new report on strata and community titles has unearthed information about the current state of strata properties, which is predicted to shape government policy on strata.
The Australian National Strata Data Report, has been described as a tool in dictating how future government policy will be made, said Erik Adriaanse, CEO of Strata Community Association, who was responsible for the report’s funding.
“The report will be a huge opportunity to assess what the sector does, how big it is, how the economy benefits from the goods and services it supplies, and the extent these services contribute to national income,” Mr Adriaanse said.
“It will have a profound effect on the way regulators and government will establish and build their policy framework to ensure that owners, strata professionals and suppliers will derive maximum economic benefit, and that the highest professional standards are achieved in the sector.”
According to the report, there are 2.6 million strata title lots Australia-wide, insured to the tune of $995 billion, that employs about 9,000 people, and was serviced by over 3 million tradies.
The collation of such data, said co-author associate professor Hazel Easthope from the City Futures Research Centre in the faculty of built environment at UNSW Sydney, was a difficult task, as strata information has, until now, been fractured across states and territories.
“The vast majority of private apartments in Australia, as well as many other attached properties, such as townhouses and commercial properties, are owned under strata title, and this is the first time we have had figures about the scale and value of the sector,” Ms Easthope said.
Ms Easthope said the report points to the importance of strata essentially being a fourth tier of government, and as such is important to analyse this sector.
“Strata schemes operate like another tier of government in that they collect levies or taxes for the buildings’ upkeep; they have elected representatives who sit on strata committees; and they have by-laws that govern behaviour about what you can and can’t do on the property,” she said.
“But, unlike a government, they are run by volunteers — individual owners who have been elected to make decisions about how to manage the building … [and] as a result, you have volunteers managing assets worth many millions of dollars, with annual turnovers of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.
“The report shows just how big this industry is in Australia and how important this fourth tier of government — that is run by volunteers — is to the economy, to people’s assets, and to their lives.”