The apartment market is enjoying a recent swing toward apartment living by owner occupiers who are now willing to buy off the plan. People who have lived in a traditional house all their lives, are buying off the plan, which shatters the well held view that owner occupiers would not buy a home they could not touch and feel. But they are not buying just any apartment…
For many years apartment living has been the domain of renters and more affordable owner occupiers, providing lower cost housing which has been inferior to a house. But not everyone wants a garden to look after, or a building to maintain and many are opting for the convenience and security of an apartment, which is closer to amenities like transport, shops, restaurants, bars, cafes etc. But when evaluating the merits of house vs apartment living, buyers have previously needed to touch and feel both to compare. Consequently owner occupier buyers until now, have not considered buying apartments off the plan.
However apartment living is becoming more common place or normalised and people are having more experience with them via their family or friends. Apartment living has become not only acceptable, but in many circumstance superior. Especially the very well located and designed developments or high rise penthouses providing unique conveniences, amenity and views. When the penthouse apartment of “Australia 108” sold for $25 million, any remnants of apartment living stigma disappeared.
Over the last 12 months we have seen people buying 2 or 3 adjoining smaller units off the plan, to be reconfigured into one big unit for them to live in. Architects and developers are quickly responding to market demand and building bigger apartments. But the location, design, features, services, and finishes are closely scrutinised by the future inhabitants, so all of these attributes have to be met before the illusive, off the plan owner occupier, will slide their Jimmy Choo inside a display suite.