Australia’s city scapes have drastically changed as apartment living becomes an increasingly popular lifestyle choice. Notably, Sydney’s west is increasingly targeted by developers with trendy high rises of 25 stories + currently going up in Parramatta, Rhodes and Olympic Park with a combined 800 apartments. 75% of these are already sold – talk about market confidence! Why is traditional Australian ‘quarter block’ suburbia making way for a European style of city? Today’s Belle Property blog explores the change in the ‘Great Australian Dream’.
The convenience of new apartment buildings to urban centres and public transport means that many people (especially young professionals and retirees) are choosing not to live on their own block of land within an expanding metropolis. With home and garden maintenance taken care of by the body corporate, living in an apartment complex affords dwellers more time to partake of the city’s restaurants, galleries, parks and nightlife. Apartments are an attractive choice for first-time owners and investors as they generally cost less than a house in a similar location. Land is precious and often worth more than the building set upon it. With apartments, the high cost of land is shared between multiple parties thereby making desirable inner city suburbs attainable.
Investors need to keep in mind the drawbacks of apartment ownership however, which include sometimes costly body corporate fees and shared utility bills if the complex’s meters are combined. These costs can be managed at tax time, but budgeting through the year still must be considered. With a lower price point than inner-city houses, investors can develop their property portfolio to include apartments across different suburbs, protecting themselves against periods without tenancy or occasional fluctuations in value.
Traditional land and houses still remain popular however – accounting for the ever-expanding boundaries of capital cities nationally. The market for your average 3 bedroom house has remained strong, in spite of the growing trend of inner city living. Families still want to have that unique sense of community associated with suburban life. Investing in homes in mid-tier suburbs can be a solid investment decision. Families with children make for reliable tenants, as stability is often a priority for this segment of the market. As families take root in the local area they are less willing to move their children and stay put for several years. On the other hand, living on a suburban block can often mean personal time is spent on maintenance activities and longer commutes to work and leisure – factors which need to be weighed up. Buying land in up-and-coming areas can be a savvy decision in the long term, as a sizable suburban block has potential for future development. To make the best return on an investment, check with the local council for the minimum block size for subdivision and procure plans and permits or build units for sale when you are ready to move on. The freedom of owning your own piece of land translates to less neighbors and the ability to renovate or refurbish at will, without fear of interference from body corporates. Making changes to apartments can sometimes require lengthy negotiation and compromise with co-owners – and without regular work an apartment complex can begin to look tired.
Apartments and houses each have their own pros and cons but both are ripe for investment – diversification over the long term affords greater protection and return for the savvy investor. For further details contact your local Belle Property agent – search for your closest office by clicking here.