It's a great life downtown ... except for the noise

The typical central city apartment dweller in the capital is a young professional who dislikes city noise, the Wellington City Council has found.

The council conducted the Central City Apartment Dwellers survey last April to find out who lived in central apartments, what services they used or would like to use, and whether they were happy with their experience of city living.

In the results released last month, the council said the typical city apartment dweller was most likely to be a New Zealand European male or female, aged between 24 and 35, with a professional job in the downtown area.

They were most likely to live with a partner and have no children and a combined household income of more than $100,000.

Their apartment was most likely to have two bedrooms, be more than 100sq m in size, and be in the Willis/Cuba/Manners St area.

From about 5500 survey forms delivered to apartments, the council received 1350 responses - a response rate of 25 per cent, which it considered "very good".

The largest number of responses (23 per cent) came from those aged 25-34, and the second highest (21 per cent) was from people aged 45-54.

Eighty per cent described themselves as New Zealand European, 35 per cent identified their occupation as "professional".

The majority (73 per cent) walked to work or university. Thirteen per cent travelled by car and 6 per cent by bus. Only 2 per cent cycled, although 31 per cent owning bicycles.

Forty-four per cent of respondents had a household income of more than $100,000, compared with 35 per cent for the whole city.

The majority of those surveyed (73 per cent) worked or studied in the central city area.

The survey identified a variety of household structures, with 39 per cent of respondents identifying as "a couple without children", 32 per cent as "single person households" and 15 per cent as "groups" of people flatting together.

Twelve per cent of respondents had children living in their apartments.

Nearly a third of apartments (32 per cent) occupied by respondents were more than 100sq m in size, with 21 per cent between 76 and 100sq m and 21 per cent between 51 and 75sq m.

Most respondents (56 per cent) owned their apartment and 42 per cent rented, with 16 per cent paying $351-$450 a week, 13 per cent paying less and 15 per cent paying more, with 3 per cent paying over $651 a week.

The four most important reasons for living in an apartment were given as lifestyle and city living (23 per cent), close to work (20 per cent), close to shops and cafes (11 per cent) and low maintenance (11 per cent).

City noise and noise from neighbours were the main turnoffs for apartment dwellers (27 per cent), followed by a lack of outdoor space (17 per cent), living close to neighbours (9 per cent) and apartment size and a lack of storage space (8 per cent).

Council spokesman Richard MacLean told the Dominion Post the reason for the survey was that the inner-city population had grown rapidly and it was important to understand apartment dwellers' needs.

- NZPA

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