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Living the ‘high life’

By Danielle Banton

As Australia’s Population Is Growing, So Is the Need For Housing.

We have just heard how much we are in an affordability crisis, how even apartment prices have skyrocketed. But amongst rising prices we also have to look at how high-density living in Australia and in particular in new developments often differs from housing solutions in Europe or America.

More and more apartment living in Australia has become a luxurious alternative to free-standing houses with new developments often featuring many amenities that single houses might not offer.

The Art, the Environment and VERY Comfortable Living

One of these fairly new complexes is One Central, a development with 623 apartments by French architect Jean Nouvel in Chippendale which has been crowned best skyscraper in the world by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in Chicago last year. Nouvel has not only thought of elegant and timeless interiors but has also developed an energy-sufficient dwelling with green walls and solar cells. The two apartment towers also offer residents a fitness studio, a pool and a variety of restaurants and shops that flow into a parkland adorned with sculptures. Clearly a concept that combines art and the environment with comfortable living…

But living the ‘high life’ certainly comes at a price in Sydney. New Core Logic RP Data figures last month revealed the ten most expensive suburbs for units in Australia. All ten suburbs were Sydney suburbs with Dawes Point and Point Piper leading the top ten. The median price of a unit in Dawes Point was $2,890,694 and a Point Piper one set a future home owner back by an average $2,002,490. Not surprisingly maybe Double Bay also featured as one of these most expensive suburbs. With a median unit value of $1,173,164 it came in on tenth place but well below Dawes Point and Point Piper.

What Determines the Price of Units?

Usually it is water views as well as the vicinity to the harbour and the city that push prices up considerably. One such example is one of Sydney’s last major development opportunities, the former Advanx Tyre & Rubber site in Rushcutters Bay, where an exclusive residential precinct represents the epitome of luxurious, inner city living. The history of Advanx has also stamped the trend of Inner City off the plan sales. Five or six years ago one-bedroom units went for $630,000 and two-bedrooms for $960,000. Today one-bedroom properties are selling for $1,015,000 and two-bedrooms for $1.6 million plus. The demand for Inner City lifestyle has truly accelerated.

Currently our office is about to launch 20 units in Edgecliff with base price expectations (that are subject to change before the launch) of one-bedroom units from $850,000 and two-bedrooms from $1,525,000. If The Gordon off the plan sales are any indication, they are bound to be a success. We sold all 19 units in 19 minutes!

Who Buys Units?

Most unit sales are downsizers who make the move from a big home. Now those large homes are being sold much more readily, the number of buyers for quality harbour side apartments rises exponentially.

Rose Bay, Double Bay, Woollahra & Paddington have seen increased interest and next year new developments which are currently on the drawing board or in the early stages of construction will add an exciting “bite” to the market. This year most sales have been limited to the medium end of the market at about $3.5- $5 million because equity nesters want to sell and buy in the tightly held areas and yet have some leftover from the sale of their home. Top end sales have so far been more obvious in and around the city itself.

The future will see the apartment market, and in particular the lower to middle end of the market, soften a bit but it will still remain active. There is definite demand for quality apartments but building costs are really playing havoc with prices which may slow things down over the coming months.

So if downsizing is on your agenda over the next months, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss the best strategy for selling your old property and buying a new one. We are always looking forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,
Michael Finger and Diane Wilson

The most expensive suburbs for apartments in Sydney

  1. Dawes Point, Sydney, NSW, Median Value: $2,890,694
  2. Point Piper, Sydney, NSW, Median Value: $2,002,490
  3. Darling Point, Sydney, NSW, Median Value: $1,700,736
  4. Cabarita, Sydney, NSW, Median Value: $1,465,004
  5. The Rocks, Sydney, NSW, Median Value: $1,382,399
  6. Millers Point, Sydney, NSW, Median Value: $1,346,365
  7. Cremorne Point, Sydney, NSW, Median Value: $1,240,037
  8. Tamarama, Sydney, NSW, Median Value: $1,210,663
  9. Milsons Point, Sydney, NSW, Median Value: $1,196,542
  10. Double Bay, Sydney, NSW, Median Value: $1,173,164
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