With tower cranes a regular feature on the city skyline as developers respond to the demand for inner city apartments, some Brisbane suburbs are missing out on the current real estate building boom.

After a decade in the doldrums Brisbane is embarking on its own real estate ‘spring’. The number of apartments in Brisbane has risen from 70,000 in 2001 to 86,000 in 2011 (Census data) and is forecast to pass 100,000 well before the 2021 survey.

Apartments provide an alternative option to the traditional house and land package and while they initially appealed to the young and transient, unit popularity has increased with empty nesters that are active but have better things to do on weekends than spend their time mowing the lawn.

Where it might prove a challenge for the empty nesters is finding apartments for those wishing to remain in the community in which they have lived and raised their families. This is evident in suburbs such as Ferny Grove, BardonKeperra and The Gap.

Managing director of Broad Advisory, Paul Broad says “essentially there is little greenfield land available in established areas so developers have to amalgamate existing house parcels which is costly and time consuming and with council height restrictions, it makes most sites with development potential not commercially viable.”

Long time Keperra resident Shirley Andrews has wanted to move into an apartment in the area that she has lived in for decades, but cannot find suitable accommodation options.

“We have been thinking about moving to a unit since the kids left home but we don’t want to move away. It’s hard as we are ready to move,” says Andrews.

Paul Broad adds “apartments are all about lifestyle and they definitely suit the empty nester, but for many empty nesters they are being built in the wrong place.”

Lovers of The Gap who wish to consider apartment living will be pleased to know that the area is set to have its first apartment project in more than twenty years. The Village Residences next to Village Fair Shopping Centre on Waterworks Road will provide 32 apartments, predominantly two-bedroom, that have been designed for the owner-occupier market.

Principal of Ray White at The Gap, James Moneghan, who is marketing the soon-to-be released properties said “The Village Residences fills the void for the many people who have lived here for years and are looking to move to a smaller home which is brand new with a modern kitchen, the latest finishes and offers good security for the times when they are away.”

Good news for residents of The Gap but the choice for thousands of empty nesters in many Brisbane suburbs is stark. And unfortunately, that scenario is unlikely to change anytime soon.