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Methods and research procedures

Our research in Sydney was undertaken with colleagues2 as part of a multi-year research project (Troy et al. 2015). In this chapter, we present findings from two research methods used in this study.

Survey of owners and residents

The survey explored strata residents’ and owners’ attitudes towards redevelopment of residential pre-1990 condominiums. It was conducted in mid-2014 thr ough the mail, with the option to complete online. Survey packages with reply paid envelopes were sent to a random sample of 15,000 addresses in 8,700 condominium buildings across Sydney, stratified by development size and date of registration. The survey elicited responses from 898 owner-occupiers and 306 renters, with resultant confidence intervals of ±3.2% and ±5.7%, respectively, at the 95% probability level. A further 36 investor owners also completed the survey.

Feasibility analysis

We used a modified development feasibility model to assess the economic potential of renewal under prevailing market conditions for all pre-1990 condominiums of at least three units in metropolitan Sydney. This entailed modelling the renewal potential of 17,324 condominiums containing 240,162 units. We estimated the cost of redeveloping the parcel of land for each condominium building type (walk-up and high-rise) and building quality (basic, medium, and high) based on the profile of each block (size, age, land area) together with the cunent new-build median sales prices for units in the local area and prevailing construction costs. The costs of assembling the lots on each land parcel was estimated from the market prices of existing units in that neighbourhood. The model estimates the capacity of each site to be redeveloped (for details see Troy et al. 2015).

The ‘business-as-usual’ approach to condominium renewal

In many housing markets, the primary approach to redeveloping condominiums has been to facilitate private-sector, developer-led demolition and rebuilding. To facilitate such development, legislation has been amended to pennit collective sale of condominium property to developers. This means that a supermajority of owners agree to sell the property to a developer, who then redevelops the site. This has the benefit of minimising the risk to developers that they will not acquir e all units in a building, and it benefits owners by ensuring the price paid for then-property is eqititable relative to other units.

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