News & Advice.
Why Buyers Are Hooked on ‘Rightsizing’ Into Premium Apartments.
Affluent buyers seeking much more for their downsizing dollar have sent demand for ultra-luxury living to new levels
The pandemic-driven emphasis we now place on lifestyle has created demand for a new style of property: the premium and super premium apartment. Largely sought-after by generation X-ers in their 40s and 50s, these residences give them a chance to buy a new property that is user-friendly yet just as luxurious, if not more, than their family home as they seek to ‘rightsize’ rather than downsize.
Premium apartments go far beyond standard definitions of luxury, offering such appealing factors as bespoke floor plans and extra space for everything from wine cellars to art collections.
“The days of luxury apartments being defined by having a swimming pool in the complex and a landscaped garden are long gone,” said Reece Coleman, Head of Advisory for Maker Advisory.
“The questions agents are fielding in display suites now are not ‘where are the parking facilities?’ but ‘where is my wine cellar?’,”
Car, wine and art collections
Similarly, Knight Frank recently reported recently selling an apartment with six car spaces to cater for a client’s extensive car collection. “One potential buyer had every Ferrari model released since the 90’s,” a Knight Frank report stated. “Another potential buyer had a wide collection of Ducati motorcycles.”
Personalised consultations for potential buyers are now the norm. “Developers are very accommodating in tweaking floor plans to suit their client’s needs,” Mr Coleman said, “They will work with buyers to give them what they want whether that means reconfiguring floor plans to have all bedrooms with ensuites or installing custom cabinetry.”
Knight Frank reported that when a client, an avid wine connoisseur, purchased an apartment in a prime location, he had the entire kitchen remodelled prior to moving in so as to have a second pantry available for storing his collection. To this end, some developments now offer communal wine rooms for residents’ use, complete with floor to ceiling secure wine fridges for each apartment.
Clients with extensive art collection present another challenge. Developers are catering for this by offering purpose-built art storage in their buildings, a feature which hopefully counters any apprehensions potential purchasers would have about rightsizing into their premium apartments. Many premium apartments are also making use of Art Track Hanging Rails which offer to ability to switch out art displays.
What buyer’s want
Knight Frank’s most recent analysis of prime luxury apartment market trends across Australia found similar priorities among high-net-worth clients after premium properties. These priorities are similar whether the buyers are entrepreneurs, power couples, families, active retirees or international investors.
Chief among this group’s desires are generous living and entertaining spaces despite a reduced floor plan, plus the ability to display as well as stow away luxury collectible assets. Upscale wellness facilities are paramount, as is a low maintenance property which developers are underpinning by pricing quarterly owner’s corporation (strata) fees at levels that potentially outweigh the upkeep on a standalone prestige home.
With work-from-home here to stay, premium apartments are providing plenty of study and/or office space, another trend reflected in the Knight Frank Global Buyer study where two-thirds of Australian respondents said this would be a top requirement in their new home.
Other features on buyer wish lists are proximity to green space, good air quality and good views.
Premium living, local lifestyles
As for location, premium apartments are in demand both in local areas and as second homes in lifestyle locations. The shortage of premium stock in metropolitan areas where demand is high, such as Sydney’s North Shore, is likely to push up prices in the interim.
“Sydney’s leafy North Shore is awash with boomers and now generation X-ers looking to downsize from their typical large family home on the average 700 sqm block,” Mr Coleman said. “In the past we’d see people eventually departing Sydney or other major cities but now there is a real demand to stay in local areas. These buyers haven’t necessarily stopped working completely and still want to be around their friends and follow their regular routines.”
Flight to sunny South East Queensland
Among the many changes wrought by the pandemic was the shift in perception around the primary home and secondary or holiday home. Knight Frank analysis found a significant number of people have come to regard their second home as equally important as their main home, and potentially spend just as much time in each.
This trend is reflected in the current demand from Sydney and Melbourne buyers looking to ‘rightsize’ into premium apartments in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
In the last three years in particular, developers have been scrambling to satisfy this new market and a flurry of projects have been built while others are rapidly taking shape or going through approval processes.
Mirador on the Gold Coast’s Chevron Island is typical of the developments coming to fruition in South East Queensland. Being high-rise, its premium apartments offer hinterland and ocean panoramas, while the building includes amenity such as rooftop private dining room, a club lounge, lap pool, gym and fully equipped wellness centre with infra-red sauna and pilates machines.
Mr Coleman said one client who bought in Mirador’s premium tower had reworked their floorplan to offer more convenience and also cater to their teenage daughters.
“Our client had the floor plan altered to add ensuites to all three bedrooms and then took the small study and turned it into a ‘glamour bar’,” Mr Coleman said. “So instead of having a desk outside the girls’ bedrooms their daughters have a makeup bar with custom built cabinetry for ease of access to everything they regularly use. The multi-purpose television room then became the family’s study and will be furnished with a central boardroom-style table as studying these days involve more group projects.”
Demand has been so great across the Gold Coast in particular that apartment prices have more than doubled in three years said Colliers International Sales Executive Campbell Van Tongeren.
“Two to three years ago $550,000 to $600,000 was a high price for a three-bedroom apartment,” he said. “Now the average three-bedroom price is $1.8 million.
“Much of the influx over that time has come from interstate migration. People are attracted to Chevron Island because it’s quiet and convenient.”
Mirador is among a new calibre of properties and high rises that are continuing to gentrify areas across the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane he said.
On the Gold Coast alone, about 10 projects have been approved in the past 12 months, four are under construction and several are on the drawing board. “It all started three years ago with Allure,” Mr Van Tongeren said. “Since then, others have been following suit. Some of the developments now are ten to 17 levels high and one tower is 40 levels (Victoria & Albert Broadbeach) which means spectacular views as well as amenity.”
Premium apartment development Victoria & Albert Broadbeach is attracting local inquiry as well as significant numbers from Victoria Mr Van Tongeren said.
“The larger lock-and-leave style apartments are proving popular with people looking to escape the Melbourne winter,” he said.
“They are also attractive to people trading up. I had a local buyer recently pay over $4 million for the biggest sky home in Victoria & Albert after he sold his previous luxury apartment in a nearby tower that would have been built about 15 years ago. The V&A property far surpasses the amenity offered in his former apartment.”
Brisbane premium apartments
Developer Aria is leading the Brisbane premium apartment market with developments such as Upper House. When complete, Upper House by Aria will be the tallest building in South Brisbane and offer Australia’s first double storey rooftop club as well as a wellness club integrating features to promote health, fitness and general wellbeing.
Another visually stunning Aria development in Brisbane is Trellis. Also scheduled for completion next year, Trellis will come with a 10-metre high ceiling in the lobby, work from home spaces and a fitness and yoga area.
The future of super premium luxury
There seems to be no bounds for the scope of amenity that can be offered within the evolving market for premium living in the sky.
Beachfront development Royale Gold Coast is aiming to produce what will be among the highest level of premium apartment available so far with multi-million-dollar residences facing ocean panoramas. Amenity will include two resort-style beachfront swimming pools surrounded by day beds, a barbecue area with outdoor dining, surfboard storage and waxing station and an onsite café with onsite barista. There will even be a residents-only dog-washing bay.
Mr Coleman said Maker Advisory is offering buyer’s agent services in this premium apartment market to all styles of purchasers, including families, singles and Australian residents living overseas. “In some cases, many of these homes are offering our buyers the perfect lock-up-and-leave facility which we are finding has become more and more sought-after.”
The Maker Difference.
Our buyer’s agents know the ins and outs of buying property and can connect you with financial advisors and providers to help you put your best foot forward and successfully enter the real estate market.
Whether you are looking for support in hotspots like Sydney, the Central Coast, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, or in any other city or regional centre in Australia, we have the network to help you realise your property goals sooner.
To find out more, view Our Services.
Interested in finding out more? Send us a message and we will be in touch.