High Rise Apartments Spur Demand for Architects

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Friday, October 23rd, 2015
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The boom in high-rise residential development is also a boon for members of the architectural professional at all levels.

The latest industry reports indicate that the ongoing spate of apartment development in major cities along Australia’s eastern coast is lifting both demand and salaries for experienced architects working on high-rise projects.

According to Avdiev’s bi-annual survey of 22,000 respondents from more than 150 firms in the property sector, the average salary for senior architects working on medium and high density projects has risen by five per cent in the current fiscal year.

The latest average gain in salaries for senior architects outpaces that for others professionals in the property sector, which stands at three per cent, and also makes them amongst the well-remunerated with an average salary in March 2015 of $198,000.

This compares to average salaries during the same period of $193,200 for asset managers, $184,000 for commercial managers, $174,000 for credit/risk managers and $165,000 for acquisitions managers.

According to members of industry the disproportionate increase in remuneration for senior architects is the result of a surge in high rise residential projects in major Australian cities, much of which continues to be spurred by surging investment flows from mainland China.

The latest data from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) indicates that the development of high-density residential buildings has surged in Australia’s major population centres over the past year, and currently comprises nearly half of all nationwide building approvals.

HIA’s October 2015 – Residential Building approvals: profile by type and geography report indicates that approvals for apartment buildings taller than four storeys have increased a stunning 41.1 per cent compared to 12 months ago, and are up 10 per cent compared to the average for the past decade.

The development of high-rise residential buildings is concentrated in NSW, whose approvals comprise 41 per cent of the nationwide total.

Senior architects aren’t the only ones benefiting from the apartment boom, with members of industry indicating that demand and remuneration for less experienced members of the profession are on the rise. Data from online jobs site Seek.com bears out these anecdotal reports, with recruitment ads for the architecture and design sector rising by 42 per cent in the 2015 fiscal year, and outpacing all other industries.

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