As the property downturn picks up steam, apartment developers are going to the wall — and our cities could soon look a lot more like Paris.
The property downturn may finally spell the end of the “dog box”.
As local and overseas investors flee en masse, property developers are struggling to get funding from banks, with a growing number of apartment buildings being delayed or abandoned altogether.
Non-bank lenders are increasingly stepping in to fill the gap — and the focus is turning away from the 20-storey high-rises and tiny one-bedroom apartments favoured by investors to larger units in smaller-scale developments targeted at owner-occupiers.
“There is a tailwind in terms of the demographics, especially the baby boomers who have more capital, as they make that transition to apartments for lifestyle reasons,” said David Chin, founder of investment advisory firm Basis Point.
“The larger two- and three-bedroom apartments still have a market. In Europe and (places like) Paris, it is quite common for apartments to be very large, three bedrooms, almost like homes. It sets the higher density living in three- four-, five-storey buildings, not high rises. It works and I think that will be more common in Australia.”
Mr Chin hosted a Deloitte seminar this week titled “Preparing for Pain and Gain in Western Sydney”, which discussed the coming “fast and furious times” amid the property downturn, slowing Chinese capital flows and US-China tensions.
Speaking on a panel discussing the role of non-bank lenders — both Australian “old money” and new “Chinese money” — Dorado Property co-founder Peter Packer highlighted the role of the sector in cushioning the falls in Brisbane.
“We were reading headlines about how that was going to crash and burn,” he said.
A number of major banks had funded construction projects without being covered by sales, which “meant you had expiring bank debt at completion of projects”.
“But us and a number of private lenders jumped into that market and refinanced that debt, usually with 18- to 24-month terms, putting requirements on the developers to slowly sell down their stock,” Mr Packer said.
“What it meant was that market never had the crash that (people) were talking about. That’s where non-bank lenders can help.”
Dorado Property is currently funding a number of projects in Perth and Brisbane. Mr Packer said successful developers were turning to “smaller projects, more boutique, higher-density areas, good locations”.
“They’ve generally moved away from investor focus (which meant) internal bedrooms, small floor plans,” he said.
“You’re getting more light, bright, airy apartments, they’re getting larger. Well designed, good apartments that owner-occupiers want to live in, but smaller-scale projects where you don’t have to go out and get a huge number of presales. That’s typically what needs to happen in a down market.”
REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the flood of investors and offshore buyers had “led to a lot of projects starting that would have otherwise not been able to start”.
“In many cases, particularly in Melbourne, developers selling to Asia were able to get projects up and running from that buyer group which from there have been sold more broadly into the market,” she said.
Concerns about apartment quality, amenity and overdevelopment have led to a number of states implementing minimum size requirements in the past few years to clamp down on so-called “dog boxes”.
Ms Conisbee said the changing environment meant developers were now having to set their sights on the three owner-occupier groups — first homebuyers, downsizers and upsizers.
“Downsizers are a key market, what they’re looking for is often quite bespoke apartments. They want greater choice in the layout, bigger apartments, they’re a bit more fussy about the type of fit-out,” she said.
First homebuyers, while more price driven, are also more discerning. “The better developers at the moment are looking at more communal areas, more places to hang out,” she said.
“They’re trying to create places that people want to live in as opposed to small apartments that don’t offer the best sense of community.”
David Mao, executive director with real estate investment firm White & Partners, told the Deloitte conference he still saw plenty of opportunities in the falling market.
“We see value everywhere — western Sydney, the north, the south,” he said. “We’re maintaining our discipline as long as we find the right asset at the right price.”
White & Partners sees the market as “not so much a down market but more of a moderating market”. “The run-up particularly in the last five years has been quite tremendous because of the low interest rate environment,” Mr Mao said.
“You saw asset prices reach historical highs. What we’re seeing currently is not so much that it’s down but it’s moderating such that the long-term average is reached.”
Paul Zahara, executive director of Austar Fund Management, was optimistic about the outlook for the market.
“I think we’re in a fortunate position where if you look at previous downturns there’s been grave imbalances between the supply and demand situation,” he said.
“We’ve got generally a balance between supply and demand at the moment. Even though we’ve got affordability issues, the supply and demand situation isn’t bent out of shape. That’s a dramatic contrast to previous downturns, 1991, 1974.”
A property cycle can come off a peak in one of two ways. “It’s like a balloon, you can either pop the balloon or you can let the air out,” Mr Zahara said.
“This time we’ve done a pretty good job of letting the air out of the balloon, we haven’t seen the major pop. For me 1991 was a major, major crisis. We’ve done a very good job this time of managing that decrease in the property market.
“The banks pulled back, the government’s gotten involved, developers have realised what’s going on.”
Why Iris Capital chose Broadbeach for their first Gold Coast apartment project
After initially focussing on Sydney’s fast growing south west corridor, Iris Capital, founded and led by entrepreneur Sam Arnaout, has now extended its reach over the past decade to become a developer of integrated residential and mixed-use developments in a number of booming suburbs across the country.
The company now holds a $5 billion enterprise value, having significantly expanded its footprint over the past year through a number of land and hotel acquisitions.
We recently caught up with Iris Capital CEO, Sam Arnaout to discuss why the group chose Broadbeach as their first Gold Coast project.
“It was the first and only location that I would consider undertaking such a spectacular residential/resort with coastal luxury as its core design focus,” Arnaout said.
“Only Broadbeach and this current Neicon Plaza redevelopment site offered us the opportunity where everything is at our buyers fingertips. This has allowed Iris to design this mixed use coastal luxury development in a landmark location, where our two premium towers will preside over a world class recreational podium and premium ground floor retail and dining.”
“Choosing Broadbeach as the address for our V&A project in the lively heart of its dining and retail precinct has allowed us to put our brand on our first luxury foray into Queensland.”
Colliers’ Director Residential, David Higgins, who is handling the market of V&A, says Broadbeach is comparable to Sydney’s Double Bay.
“Being from Sydney, I often think that Broadbeach is our Double Bay with the dining, high end retail, laneway cafes, beautiful Kurrawa parkland, the beach, and the amenity that is uniquely Broadbeach all within a five-minutes walk,” he said.
Recognised as the heart of the Gold Coast, Broadbeach offers a host of nearby amenity, further adding to the likability of the sought-after suburb.
“The walkability of the location to over 30 restaurants, GC Convention Centre, Pacific Fair, The Star Casino, the Beach and Kurrawa SLSC makes it the most lifestyle rich village locations to undertake a premium development,” Higgins said.
Main Beach, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach are distinctly different real estate suburbs and attract very different buyer demographics says Higgins.
“Main Beach has a small, limited choice of dining and café options, where the lifestyle is focused around the renowned Tedder Avenue, which attracts an older buyer type to the very quiet village location.”
“Surfers Paradise features a more prominent nightclub and late-night venue scene, with destinations attracting singles, tourists groups and the young-at-heart.”
“Broadbeach has a much wider appeal both domestically and internationally, where you are spoilt with the supreme choice of dining, entertainment, bars, shopping all at the residents fingertips.”
Revered as “the most desired location” for developers looking to hit the family owner-occupier market, Higgins says Broadbeach marks itself as the place that can do it all.
“This area attracts a more mature, family-buyer market, sometimes even multi-generational buyers, who want the village location, where they can park there car below their apartments and walk to everything when either residing or choosing to live in Broadbeach.”
Taking its name from Broadbeach streets, Victoria and Albert, the project will comprise 398 apartments over two towers of 40 and 56 storeys, with a subtropical recreational podium, featuring two levels of premium offices and commercial facilities, and a fresh food and dining retail on the street level.
Designed by DBI Architects, residents will live among world‐class amenities, with both towers offering an elevated recreational podium with a 25-metre lap pool, a gym, a yoga deck and resident’s lounge as well as kid’s area, a Zen garden, an outdoor dining and barbecue space, all surrounded by lush green landscaping.
Once complete, V&A Broadbeach will create the first high end residential, retail and culinary precinct in central Broadbeach since the Oracle towers more than a decade ago.
“The family orientated downsizer buyers are the main demographic who are looking for larger apartments in Broadbeach and who share a history with a long love of the area,” said Higgins.
“This comes from spending many childhood family memories holidaying or enjoying Broadie apartments, with strong childhood memories of the village of Broadie. Having a memberships and wanting to be close to the Kurruwa SLSC and the family park is also important to owner occupiers.”
“For the investors, they are always looking for the two or three-bedroom apartment with a beautiful view in the heart of Broadbeach, where they can look forward to the strong proven returns from a very established holiday and conference rental market.”
“Many southern downsizers are seeking the village location where walkability, amenity, luxury and convenience is at the top of the purchasing requirements,” Higgins added.
Article source: www.urban.com.au
Airlie Beach: The laid back town that’s the definition of a tropical paradise
The coveted coastal town of Airlie Beach has long been a popular holiday destination, and for good reason: it’s famed as the gateway to the Whitsunday region, with 74 islands and the Great Barrier Reef at its doorstep.
Given its year-round tropical weather, palm-fringed beaches and ever-growing cosmopolitan charm, a growing number of high-end home-hunters from Australia’s major cities are arriving in town, armed not just with a suitcase for the weekend, but with a goal to stay for life.
With tropical holidays abroad coming to a halt in recent years, the demand for luxury homes across Queensland’s prestigious coastal pockets has spiked significantly as buyers set their eyes on all-encompassing coastal retreats, like those to be found in Airlie Beach.
“The recent uncertainty of overseas travel has pushed people to secure lifestyle properties on or near the water, therefore increasing our local market by some 100-200 per cent,” says Mark Beale, principal of Ray White Whitsunday.
“Part of our town’s appeal is also the fact that buyers aren’t restricted with heritage-listed homes, meaning they can build that dream beach house exactly as they’d like.”
Regardless of its glamorous appeal, Beale notes how the town’s laid-back vibe is a major drawcard, allowing affluent buyers to live incognito.
“Simply put, the way of life in Airlie Beach is about getting out on the water with friends and family,” he says.
“We all have the opportunity to jump on a yacht every Wednesday and go sailing, explore Whitehaven Beach and deserted islands on the weekends, and get our city fix every couple of months.”
Originally from the Sunshine Coast, Alita DeBrincat, her husband and two kids relocated to Airlie Beach in 2008 for work.
She says it didn’t take much convincing that this would be where they would happily live, work and play.
“You get your first sight of our paradise home as soon as you come over the hill and see a glimpse of our turquoise waters and bobbing boats – every day, this view truly makes you smile, and you get lost in what adventures lie ahead,” DeBrincat says.
“The local community is also amazing. Our street is known as the Sunset Squad; we get together for street parties or a friendly Sunday afternoon game of bocce.
“I particularly love summertimes in Airlie Beach because, I say, the hotter the better – any excuse to take a dip in the pool, lagoon and, of course, the ocean.”
Article source: www.domain.com.au
Why it’s all about Broadbeach in 2022
The central, always in demand Broadbeach is the next Gold Coast hotspot set to see a wave of new apartments.
It’s been one of the busiest spots in 2022 already, with a number of prominent developers, both local and interstate, seeking to build apartment towers in the sought-after spot south of Surfers Paradise.
Mosaic Property boss Brook Monahan says Broadie is the centre of the Gold Coast now.
“A lot of people talk about Surfers Paradise in the Gold Coast as the hub, but really for actual residents, it’s definitely Broadie,” Monahan said.
“Surfers is heavily weighted toward investors, whereas Broadie is very much a local market, either local owner-occupiers or those with a secondary home.”
Monahan says there’s a lot of nostalgia to Broadbeach for a lot of residents in South East Queensland.
“It’s a very nostalgic place for a lot of people who would have come to Broadbeach and holidayed as kids,” Monahan says, adding that the walkability factor puts Broadbeach ahead of other Gold Coast suburbs.
“You can walk to 75 coffee shops/resultants, the light rail, or the surf club in minutes, as well as being on the doorstep of Pacific Fair shopping centre and the casino, which makes it one of the most appealing areas up and down the coast.”
This year Mosaic will launch their first luxury Broadbeach project to the market.
The 29-level tower, designed by Plus Architecture at 146 Surf Parade, will have 96 apartments, starting from large two-bedders, some with multi-purpose rooms, to three-bedroom apartments and skyhomes.
Broadbeach was a no brainer for the Sydney-based Iris Capital’s first Gold Coast apartment development, Victoria & Albert.
“It was the first and only location that I would consider undertaking such a spectacular residential/resort with coastal luxury as its core design focus,” Iris Capital Chief Executive Sam Arnaout says.
“Only Broadbeach and this current Neicon Plaza redevelopment site offered us the opportunity where everything is at our buyers fingertips.
“Choosing Broadbeach as the address for our V&A project in the lively heart of its dining and retail precinct has allowed us to put our brand on our first luxury foray into Queensland,” Arnaout says.
David Higgins, Colliers Director of Residential who is handling the sales at V&A, says Broadbeach is recognised as the heart of the Gold Coast lifestyle precincts.
“The walkability of the location to over 30 restaurants, GC Convention Centre, Pacific Fair, The Star Casino, the Beach and Kurrawa SLSC makes it the most lifestyle rich village locations to undertake a premium development,” Higgins says.
“Being from Sydney, I often think that Broadbeach is our Double Bay with the dining, high end retail, laneway cafes, beautiful Kurrawa parkland, the beach, and the amenity that is uniquely Broadbeach all within five mins walk.”
Evan Raptis, co-Managing Director of the family-ran Raptis Group, says that while economic conditions have been good, Broadbeach has been among the most sought-after addresses in Australia.
“The pandemic has made a lot of people reset their priorities: with a laptop and good WiFi, they can live where and how they want, and that’s underpinning much of the demand for Broadbeach right now.”
Raptis has had a longstanding connection with Broadbeach, developing projects in the suburb for over four decades, their most recent being The Gallery Residences, completed late last year.
They have a solid work book in the area too, with plans in 2022 to launch three projects; a 40-level Koichi Takada-designed tower dubbed The Sterling at 6-8 George Avenue, a 41-level tower on Chelsea Avenue, and a 35-level tower at 5-9 Anne Avenue.
Raptis says the buyer demographic is quite eclectic, which is representative of all the different amenities that Broadbeach offers.
“There are a lot of young professionals in the suburb as well as a lot of early-stage retirees. We’re seeing a lot of interest for three-bedroom apartments. Young professionals are seeking a third bedroom for when they may start a family, while retirees want to have the space for the children and grandchildren to visit,” Raptis says.
“But beyond age groups, the common bond between buyers is their interest in leading a healthy life. Parks, bike and walking trails and the beach are all outside the doors of residents, keeping them fit without the need for a gym membership.”
The local developer Anthony Quinn of QNY Group, who is plotting a boutique owner-occupier tower on his recently acquired 511 sqm block at 21 Broadbeach Boulevard, says Broadbeach is the live, work and play Mecca of the Gold Coast, which is endorsed by its number one ranking walk score.
“Broadbeach has always been in demand,” Quinn says.
“Through each good property cycle Broadbeach delivers a large share of the projects for the Gold Coast.”
Quinn says it’s not so much about Surfers, but more about what each of the suburban pockets offer.
“Both Main Beach and Broadbeach are unique in their offering and cater to different demographics and markets,” Quinn says, adding that the buyers are a healthy mix of downsizers and young professionals, with a strong market for owners and renters
A recent entrant to the Broadbeach market is the Brisbane-based West Homes.
West Homes Director Brett Kennedy says they chose that part of town because it has always had higher quality apartment buildings, great access to the beach, restaurants, Pacific Fair, and a much quieter and calmer pace of living that Surfers doesn’t offer.
“There’s less tourist trade in Broadbeach, and a lot more owner-occupiers,” Kennedy says. “People actually live there, they’re not just visiting like most of the Surfers Paradise market.”
Kennedy grew up on the Gold Coast, and has always been aware of the value of Broadbeach. “It has always been a go-to destination,” he says.
West Homes has just lodged plans for a 22-level tower of just 20 apartments at 75 Old Burleigh Road, a site they secured late last year.
Each apartment will have nearly 400 sqm of internal living space, unprecedented even for the whole-floor apartment trend that has swept the Gold Coast over the last 12 months, as developers pivoted toward more high-end, owner-occupier friendly stock. One apartment, on level three, will have 430 sqm.
Inarc Design describe the sculpted tower as an “urban lighthouse.”
GV Property Group’s Antonio Mercuri, who sells amalgamated sites to apartment developers up and down the coast, says Broadbeach is a suburb for everyone.
“It’s a beachside coastal city suburb by the ocean, surrounded by parklands, and is in the pinnacle of three Gold Coast city locations; the Star Casino precinct, the Gold Coast convention centre, and Pacific Fair.
Mercuri is marketing a prime 1,294 sqm site on Armrick Avenue, with approved plans by Rothelowman for a 22-level, 84-apartment tower.
“Armrick Avenue (park front) is the next best thing to beachfront because of the expansive views over the bowls clubs / parks lands, while still being located beside the beach,” Mercuri says.
“The attraction of Broadbeach to developers is the mixed buyer pool, alongside the blue sky value add (which going up), and taking advantage of the favourable high density zoning (unlimited height potential subject to council approval).
Mercuri says there are three areas of Broadbeach which all have high demand, value, and attraction to both developers and buyers.
“The northern pocket of Broadbeach is a huge catchment area for locals (coming from suburbs like Broadbeach Waters, Isle of Capri etc). It’s just outside the fringe of Broadbeach hub area and close enough to enjoy but still be in an area of it own.
“Then there’s central Broadbeach, the hub of Broadbeach which incorporates the Anne Avenue precinct, while the southern pocket is popular due to its closer proximity to the Broadbeach Primary School.”
Article source: www.urban.com.au
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