How a few streets can make a big difference to property values

As always, keen to see what is happening in the Perth apartment market, PropertyESP recently took a look at settled sales for the East Perth area from 2015-2018.

Looking just at apartment houses, apartment units and penthouses we found that the East Perth market was showing signs of price recovery across the board.

east perth graph 1 2018

But when we broke East Perth into precincts we found that Wellington Square compared to Claisebrook and the remainder of East Perth, definitely demonstrated a price difference.

east perth graph 2 2018

And this was evident whether talking about apartment houses, units or penthouses or even 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms.

east perth graph 3 2018

east perth graph 4 2018

Who would have known?

It is quite evident that while sales vary across suburbs they can also do so within suburbs and hence before you purchase land for development it really is best to check your facts.  At the end of the day it can play a major factor in your pricing and profit and hence it is essential to know how the sums add up!

If you are seeking that level of detail then contact Sam at PropertyESP because we are all about drilling down into the nitty gritty! And we are the only company in Australia that provides this kind of insight!

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The numbers have it – why the proposed changes to Scarborough should be embraced

You may have seen the recent article in the West Australian outlining the research undertaken by 3 Oceans on the Scarborough foreshore with 890 respondents.

This research sought to determine the level of support or opposition to their proposed 43 and 35 storey developments on the corner of Scarborough Beach Rd and West Coast Hwy.

Not surprisingly, overall 63% of the respondents supported the proposal and this was mirrored regardless of whether it was a Scarborough based resident, City of Stirling or Perth based resident.

The number one reason for wanting the proposal to proceed?  Respondents felt the area needed a revamp (56%), it would bring in more tourists (44%), it would create more jobs (32%) and it would be good for local business (31%).

The Scarborough area has languished somewhat for close to 20 years and this has been directly attributed to previous governments’ reticence to support density.  But after spending $100 million on the Scarborough foreshore, this area is now ripe for ongoing investment and it is critical that the current Government embraces the proposed changes to allow the revamp of Scarborough to truly come into play.

Just like Hillary’s Boat Harbour, Graham Farmer tunnel and Elizabeth Quay, there has been resistance from a small vocal proportion of the community.  And yet once delivered, the benefits have been both recognised and celebrated – and at PropertyESP we can’t help feel that this will be the case for Scarborough as well.

The fact is, as a developer, if you want to hear the honest views of the mass majority then you have to be the one to action it.  3 Oceans took the bold step of hitting the ground to hear people’s opinions and by taking this courageous step they were rewarded.

The weight of this community support is undoubtedly invaluable.

If you too would like to strategize about your upcoming project and how to counter the negative minority voice, then contact Sam at PropertyESP – because as many in the property sector know – this is our forte!

Women are taking over the world (did you get the memo?)

After a number of recent events including International Womens’ Day, PropertyESP Director Samantha Reece thought she would share some insights into how women are forging ahead with property ownership.

“Westpac’s annual Home Ownership Report recently revealed that women are overtaking men when it comes to home ownership.

A survey of more than 1,000 Australian home owners and first-home buyers found that women are ahead of men in most categories:

  • more women have bought a home to live in (women 28 per cent of survey respondents compared with men 20 per cent)
  • more women have bought an investment property (16 per cent compared with men 13 per cent)
  • more women are renovating (29 per cent compared with men 27 per cent)
  • and more women are selling a property (17 per cent compared with men 14 per cent).

The report also found that more women than men ‘strongly believe’ that ‘owning your own home is a reflection of your success in life’ (up 26 per cent on last year) and that ‘property is a pathway to wealth’ (up 10 per cent on last year).

Female first-home buyers were twice as likely as men to consider good investment potential in a home as essential (35 per cent vs men 18 per cent), and were also twice as likely to consider buying an investment property in the next five years (22 per cent vs men 11 per cent).

Overall, 71 per cent of women are ‘considering housing actions in the next five years’, as opposed to 61 per cent of men.

And data from the ATO shows the number of female taxpayers receiving rent has risen from just under 14 per cent in 2010-11 to 15.4 per cent in 2014-15. By comparison, over that period men only saw an increase from 14.7 per cent to 15.9 per cent. The ATO data also indicates that approximately 47 per cent of all investment properties are owned by women.

With an increase of 3000 females in the workforce in WA over the last quarter, it is evident that women are securing greater financial independence and hence making their own business decisions when it comes to property.  This is also affected by the fact that the average age of a woman who marries in WA is now 29 and the State recorded the highest proportion of divorces nationally at 48.3% in the 2016 census.

But more close to home, PropertyESP recently conducted research with buyers of the Stockland Completed Homes and found that women had a huge influence over the final purchase.  While the husbands took their wives to other houses that were cheaper and bigger – it was futile – because when these women inspected the Completed Homes, it was literally love at first sight!  There were also cases where the women sourced additional income from lenders and family in order to stretch their budgets and buy what they wanted!

These trends will ultimately have an influence over how a company markets and sells their properties – especially on a face to face level in the sales office.

The question is – are you ready for this new wave?”

Appetite for additional car bays prevalent

Recent research conducted by WA Apartment Advocacy has shown that while 70% of the 174 respondents were happy with their allocated parking bays in their apartment development, an astonishing 50% would be prepared pay an additional $25,000 for another car space.

Of the 30% who were not happy with the number of allocated parking bays, the majority of these were residents with just one car bay.

We have often heard the mantra from developers that they would be happy to provide additional bays if buyers were prepared to pay for it and this data now suggests that the appetite for extra parking is in fact prevalent.

This largely stems from the fact that 50% of the respondents were still reliant on their vehicles for work, shopping and leisure and while the Metronet will alleviate this situation, it is still somewhat in the distant future.

Interestingly 15% of respondents who did live close to public transport were prepared to forfeit their car bay and save the $25,000 on their apartment price.

The data also showed that 30% of the respondents were unhappy with the allocation of visitor parking in their development, with many citing that residents were using these bays as an overflow measure.

For some time now Local and State Governments have been seeking to lower the ratio of car bays to apartments and yet the research does demonstrate that this planning move is somewhat premature.

The research also begs the question as to why developers are not seeking to sell car bays as an ancillary aspect to the apartment itself.

Further improvements that residents were seeking to their parking woes included electric car charging points, dedicated car washing/cleaning bays, larger parking spots and greater security.

This research – if nothing else – clearly shows that developers need to be researching their buyer’s needs before making any assumptions.  This will undeniably assist with their own design process as well as overcoming imposts by planning regulators.

If you are interested in hearing more about WA Apartment Advocacy and its research results register at www.waaa.net.au.

 

Perth does offer apartment choice

PropertyESP just completed some research on behalf of the Property Council examining the number of 3+ bedroom apartments located in the Perth LGA.

Contrary to popular belief, PropertyESP actually identified 1135 sales of 3+ bedroom apartments from 2012-2017, with the bulk of these in East Perth (697).

But other locations including Crawley (134), Perth CBD (127) and West Perth (134) also reflected these larger apartments.

But what we also witnessed was the decline in sales for these larger apartments with 279 sales recorded in 2012 and just 95 in 2017.

It makes us wonder if this decline is due to these apartments being tightly held onto or alternatively a lack of supply?

Over 900 of these sales were also apartment houses in contrast to penthouses or home units and interestingly it was these apartments that reflected an increase in median price from $690,000 in 2012 to $860,000 in 2017.

On the other hand penthouses which were selling at a median price point of $1.7 million in 2012 are now selling at $1.5 million and home units (smaller complexes without lifts) which had started at a median price point of $534,000 in 2012 were priced at just $477,500 in 2017.

12 Jan blog

However, considering trends with baby boomers and the family sector, apartment developers will have to consider increasing the ratio of three bedrooms within the City, beyond a token gesture.

Data has shown that Perth is second to Sydney across the nation for the number of families residing in apartments.

Plus nationally only 5% of our seniors in fact choose a retirement village when looking to relocate out of their traditional family home.

Perth is evolving and people are choosing to reside in the City because of its strong employment base and vitality (as a result of improved infrastructure) and on that basis we need to reflect this in our ongoing housing options.

If you are seeking this kind of intelligence (and who wouldn’t?) then contact the team at PropertyESP.  We make sense of property.

Build to Rent is one (very viable) option for affordability

Samantha Reece, Director of PropertyESP recently attended the Property Council Build to Rent (BTR) breakfast and found the session so interesting, she thought she would share.

BTR is a new term which has only recently crept into WA’s vocabulary, but in the USA and UK this is a housing model that has begun to gain real traction.

In the USA the BTR sector is the second largest asset class. The listed USA BTR REIT sector alone has a combined market capitalisation of $144 billion, over $50 billion larger than the entire ASX REIT sector.

In the UK, (perhaps the market most similar to Australia in terms of cultural views on renting versus buying) BTR has only existed for about 6 years, however with the support of government investment funds, incentives and concessions, has grown rapidly from a standing start to over 80,000 purpose BTR apartments.

And here is the key – Government investment.

These models have been successful because it is a JV between private and public sector with investment from institutions.  In turn tenants can move into these apartments/homes and secure a ten year lease at CPI giving them security of tenure.

What is also interesting to note, is that the BTR model can be applied just as well to greenfields as built form.

With this model holding $2.1 trillion in real estate value world-wide it has become a preferred investment model because of its liquidity, relatively low capital expenditures (each apartment has its own building manager) and the risk adjusted returns.

But in order for this to get off the ground in WA we firstly need a favourable regulatory environment as well as tax ratings with banks and government then contributing 80% of the funds.

Sound impossible?  Well obviously it is not because Australians are investing a billion dollars in BTR in the USA and UK as we speak.

For too long we have been talking about affordability and now we are seeing the ramifications for not taking more urgent action.

Housing Choice Australia just recently released results that showed 806,100 households in Australia were seeking reoccurring rent assistance.  A further 1.3 million people can’t afford to purchase a property and this is expected to grow to 1.7 million.

In contrast there has been an increase in just 4.5% of social housing stock.

The BTR model defines social housing as in fact economic infrastructure.

You build houses to accommodate people who need to work in these areas such as nurses, police, teachers and the like.  The fact that they are housed in close proximity to their workplaces reduces the need for other infrastructure such as public transport and roads.

In this instance social housing is seen as long term investment for the benefit of many generations.  And that is essential.  Based on current trends it is likely that my own children will struggle to own their own homes in years to come.

National Developer Mirvac to their credit are already trialling this model in the East Coast and it is the bold, that in fact will create a new housing choice in Australia and in return – reap the gains.

There are certainly a number of disruptors currently in the property arena and the next five years are going to be interesting times.

Let’s hope that BTR is in that mix.

 

 

 

 

WA has every reason to be feeling confident

Samantha Reece, PropertyESP Director recently spoke at the Perth Property Expo about why the West was the best investment option nationwide.

In preparation for her dialogue, Samantha undertook her usual research and found some very interesting facts:

  • In the 2016/17 year iron ore revenue from WA increased by 31% to $67.3 billion
  • In the same period gold broke the 200 mark, which hasn’t occurred since 2000/2001 – selling 205 tonnes
  • Tourism grew by 1.3%
  • Building approvals increased by 27% from just August to September 2017
  • Unemployment rate fell to 5.7% on par with the nations average
  • Consumer confidence has reached an all-time three year high
  • And 30% of the population believed that the economy would strengthen in the next year while 41% believed it would stay the same

This coupled with the avalanche of new infrastructure, about to descend upon Perth including:

  • $65 million Yagan Square
  • $400 million redevelopment of QV1, Forrest Chase and Raine Square
  • $1.6 billion Perth stadium
  • $500 million Canning City Centre and Carousel expansion
  • $2.65 billion Metronet
  • $200 million Murdoch medical precinct
  • $235 million Canning Hwy/Bridge redevelopment

And there is no doubt that that Perth is about to transform from a City, into a cosmopolitan capital.

Certainly in ten years Perth will be entirely different City and its evolution will create more opportunity and diversity.

We however, need to be aware of just how much WA has got going in its favour – and while it can not compare to the 2011 boom time – it is certainly showing signs that are extremely positive – and it is this good news, that we should be celebrating publicly! Spread the word!