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For a city approaching 2 million people I've often wondered why Perth has lagged the eastern capitals so much in high-rise apartment living. Brisbane isn't really that much bigger (2.3m) but apartment towers have been going up gangbusters in the CBD and inner suburbs since the early 90s, with huge 60+ story CBD apartment towers popping up in the last 5 - 10 years. Inner suburbs like West End, Fortitude Valley and Kangaroo Point are awash with 10 - 20 story developments.

Why hasn't Perth gone down the same track? Is there something perceived as negative with apartment towers over there or is it just a delay and they'll embrace them quickly now?
Two things. Perth's inner city doesn't really have the same... um .. vibe as other capitals. It's essentially a business hub with some shopping. It's not a destination/lifestyle CBD like other capitals. In saying that it is getting better, more to do and more weekend life. That's the key, weekend life. As you know Brisbane, Melbourne and to a lesser extent Sydney have very busy CBD's during their off times. I'm talking about bars, clubs, restaurants, galleries etc etc. This is something relatively new to Perth CBD. Hence the draw to live IN the CBD is not as strong as other capitals.

Secondly Perth has a lot of room to expand, say compared to Brisbane which is hemmed in by mountains and the bay. One can still live in a single detached house and be close to Perth's main attractions, the beaches. It also lacks the stringent character regulations you find in many inner Brisbane suburbs that prevent houses from being demolished. In Brisbane there is a much higher demand for highrise development in the few suburban areas that allow it, or any development for that matter.

I do think Perth is yet to experience an Apartment boom like other cities and will do so once more is added to the CBD. I think the Elizabeth Wharf development will be a major catalyst in changing their mindset as far as inner city living goes.
 
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