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Why we’re seeing a shift towards larger apartments



In 2016, Melbourne saw a growing shift towards larger apartments and townhouses; a trend that is likely to continue into 2017 as developers increasingly turn to the growth area of the market dominated by owner-occupiers.

From 180sqm full-floor apartments, like those of Optimus Development’s K1 project on Union Street, Melbourne, to the 207-403sqm apartments just around the corner at The Millswyn in South Yarra, larger apartments are attracting Melbourne’s sizeable owner-occupier market by offering them all the modern luxuries of a house, with the convenience of an apartment.

For example, in full-level apartments, residents enjoy all the peace-and-quiet of a house, with no wall-to-wall noise from other apartments. They also benefit from 360-degree views and ample natural light from all directions throughout the day.

With many medium density projects communal facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, sauna’s are also scaled back, which means purchasers buying into boutique projects such as K1 will also benefit from lower body corporate fees.

This style of apartment living offers downsizers a new, unencumbered inner-city lifestyle free from the expensive upkeep of larger homes, with regular maintenance, large gardens and soaring council rates.

These are all factors influencing the huge empty nester market in Australia and the growing number of young professionals, who may not be able to afford a freestanding house but who do not wish to live in a small apartment.

Another factor driving the increase in demand for larger apartments and medium density projects are recent changes in bank lending, with Australia’s big local banks tightening up on lending to those looking to buy smaller apartments in high density developments, shifting investor focus to larger sized apartments in low density projects which are proving to be less of a valuation risk come settlement.

Smaller more bespoke projects are also likely to win support from local residents and councils more easily, reducing the risk of holding costs due to lengthy mediations with disgruntled locals and generally a much smoother process to seek final approval with council.

Author: With almost a decade of experience in working with off-the-plan property, Jarrod Farey brings a wealth and breadth of knowledge to his role. His credentials in marketing, drafting and estimating, coupled with his extensive understanding of building and construction, give Jarrod a unique perspective to share.