With record property prices, Melbourne’s a city on the move. There’s no denying the increases are putting pressure on dreams of home ownership, but there are plenty of opportunities within the residential apartment market – you just need to know what to look for, and have a well-informed approach. Annie Reid chats to Fergus Humphries, General Manager – Sales & Marketing at Little Projects, to find out a little more about the Melbourne market.
Words by Annie Reid
What does Melbourne have that sets it apart from other markets?
Melbourne is a great city. Consistently crowned the World’s most liveable city, Melbourne is an international destination and the cultural capital of Australia for everything from fashion and food to sports, arts and entertainment. But it’s the great architecture and urban design that has shaped and defined this city. Melbourne offers an exceptional lifestyle, from the inner-city laneway culture, to the unique trams and well-designed road system, beautiful parks and open spaces. It’s a city designed with residents in mind.
What are the big issues for buyers in the Melbourne market?
The big issue currently facing buyers in Melbourne is the proposed stamp duty changes to off the plan apartments, which will have a direct effect on investors from 1 July 2017. The proposed changes remove concessions to stamp duty available to investors in off the plan housing, which we believe will result in a significant reduction in activity from investors once the changes take effect. We are currently experiencing a surge in urgency from investors within our projects keen to invest now while the concessions are still available.
How do you raise the bar in the competitive apartment market?
Little Projects has always focussed on creating the best developments in quality inner-city locations. We are committed to creating great living environments that enhance the skylines of our cities, with considered design to both layout, inclusions and storage, but also to the amenity in and around the developments we create. Now more than ever, developers need to be really considered with the developments they create. The market is competitive and expectations are greater than they have ever been. Developers that demonstrate a great understanding of their target market and respond to the future needs of the residents will continue to do well.
What should buyers look for when buying off the plan?
Always look for a reputable developer with a proven track record – ask to see their previous developments. Location is important, and I always recommend buying in lifestyle rich locations, close to transport, shopping, open spaces and amenities. Evaluate your needs and reconcile a budget. Look closely at the floor plan. Is the apartment liveable in its design? Does it have high quality inclusion? Is it being developed by a company that will deliver on their promises? Consider the amenities the developer is including. Get some comfort around your financial position by seeking independent financial advice from an expert. Don’t forget to review future costs and outgoings to ensure these fit within your budget.
About the Author: Annie Reid
Annie Reid is a qualified journalist, professional copywriter and published author with a passion for everything bricks and mortar. For many years, she’s written thousand of stories for newspapers, magazines and clients around the world. Somewhere between the heady buzz of headlines and deadlines, she discovered a niche for creating tailor made content for the property, real estate, architecture and design industries. Annie holds a Bachelor of Arts and is currently studying a Masters in Publishing and Communications, both from the University of Melbourne.