Apartment Dwellers Reveal Secrets

13 April 2009

A City Council survey of apartment dwellers has, for the first time, given something of an answer to the question: just who are all these people who've moved into central Wellington?

The survey results shed more light on the makeup of the distinct community of 12,000 people who now live in the central city - and what makes them tick.

The survey was conducted by the Council last year and the findings have been published this week. Some 5,500 questionnaires were mailed out to people living in the central business district, Thorndon and Te Aro. A total of 1,350 responses were received.

A random selection of survey findings includes:

  • There are more families with children in central city apartments than expected - 12% of apartments were home to kids - an important segment of central city residents.
  • We expected the overall size of apartments to be smaller, but 53% of respondents said their apartments are over 76 square metres in size (and 32% are over 100 square metres - the size of an average suburban house).
  • Noise annoys - noise generated by neighbours and by the city in general is the source of the most gripes by apartment dwellers.
  • The ages of apartment inhabitants varies widely - apartment dwellers are not all students or young people. There are a large proportion of older people (49% are aged 45 years or older).
  • 31% of respondents don't own a car.
  • In general, apartment dwellers have above average household incomes - 61% of respondents listed their annual household income (before tax) as $70,000 or more; 44% have an annual household income over $100,000.

The Council's Urban Development Portfolio Leader, Councillor Andy Foster, says the survey was done at a cost of $6,000 to help the Council better understand this important part of the city's population.

"We wanted to understand, for example, who lives in our central city apartments, what do these people like and dislike about apartment living, where do they work and how do they get there, where do they do their grocery shopping, and what community services and facilities do they use.

"The results of the survey will be used by the Council to help plan more effectively for central city living and to make the central city an even better place to live."

"The information will be used to plan more effectively for the future and better target services and infrastructure that the Council provides," says Cr Foster.

The Council is eager to continue a dialogue with apartment-dwellers. While the survey was strictly confidential, respondents have also been given the opportunity to join a database of interested people for future communications.

Central City Apartment Dwellers Survey - Summary of Results (635Kb PDF)