Australia’s biggest investment bank is expanding into the strata management services sphere, prompted by rapid growth in the ranks of the nation’s apartment residents.

Macquarie Bank has teamed up with US real estate data provider CoreLogic to establish joint venture Property IQ for the sale of specialized software tools to Australia’s strata managers.

The new company was officially launched in April with the goal of targeting comparatively small strata managers whose portfolios hold around 2,000 or so properties.

Obtaining a foothold in the market for strata management software will be no easy task for the freshly minted joint venture, given the dominance of established players Mystrata, Strata Master and Strata Max.

Property IQ should nonetheless derive significant advantage from Macquarie’s highly influential role within Australia’s strata management sector. Macquarie Business Banking currently provides its services to over 70 per cent of strata managers in the country.

Chief executive Dawie Verryne is also highly optimistic that the company is well-positioned to benefit from imminent growth within the industry, as well as an urgent need for improved management tools.

Greg Haywood, president of the NSW chapter of Strata Community Australia (SCA) concurs, pointing out that the industry is “crying out for technology.”

SCA foresees booming growth in the sector over upcoming decades as the population density of key urban centres increases.

As many as 30 per cent of NSW residents currently live in strata or community title properties, with SCA expecting that figure to rise to as much as half of the whole population by 2040.

The industry has already surged in recent years, SCA figures indicating that the number of lots under strata management has risen by a third in just four years to hit more than a quarter of a million.

NSW currently has the largest number of individual dwellings under strata management in Australia with a total of 775,000 lots. Victoria comes in second place with 750,000, followed by Queensland with 410,000, Western Australia with 285,000 and South Australia with 270,000.