Strata survey shows satisfaction with fees

Research conducted with 150 apartment owners this month by the WA Apartment Advocacy has shown that 69% believe that the strata fees they are paying represents good value for money.

The respondents to the survey were from a wide range of demographics with annual salaries ranging from under $40,000 right through to over $130,000 and with apartments located from Kwinana Beach right through to Hillarys and as far East as Armadale.

Typically those with higher incomes were paying over $1000 per quarter in strata fees, with the bulk (39%) paying between $500-$1000/quarter.

Ms Reece Director of WAAA stated that interestingly it wasn’t until residents were paying over $500 per quarter did they start to have amenities in their development such as a swimming pool, gym and entertaining precincts.

“What the research demonstrated was that while 48% were happy with paying the current strata fees, 48% would prefer to pay less and as a result have less amenity,” Ms Reece said.

“Our state wide research conducted in 2017 verified that only 30% of residents were utilising amenities such as a pool or gym in their apartment development.

“However an additional 20% enjoyed knowing it was there, even though they were not accessing the facilities.

“It is important that when people are considering an apartment and the associated strata fees, that they are realistic about what amenities they are going to use and the frequency of use, before they commit.”

But as Ms Reece stated, most people did not look at strata fees in comparison to maintaining a home.

“Our research has shown that when you are considering the costs associated with a home’s maintenance and insurance, maintaining a pool, paying for gym membership and the like, in most instances the fees associated with strata management are more cost effective than owning a traditional home,” Ms Reece said.

“I am sure if you were to add up all the Bunnings receipts over a year you would be surprised and shocked about the expense and time it takes to maintain your average home.

“At the end of the day strata fees should be seen as an investment in order to maintain your asset so that it represents well at the point of resale and consequently buyers need to think of the long term when reflecting on strata fees.”

If you found this research interesting than maybe we can help uncover something unique about your projects?  If you would like to talk further than contact Samantha Reece on 0452 067 117.

 

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700 is the magic number (Part 2)

Following on from our previous post re Colin Keane’s land report, we will now explore what is happening across Perth’s corridors.

At present there are 165 active estates in Perth achieving an average of 3 sales per month.  At our peak in the mining boom this rate was 8 sales per estate.  We are currently selling at 17% capacity and again at our peak we performed at 60% capacity.  And we will need to see 1300 sales/month before we will see prices improve (which is double the 700 that Colin Keane is suggesting we should be aiming for).

The North East corridor is the best performing sub market with 25% of all activity across Perth.  There is currently 129 lots sold per month but it ideally should be selling 175 lots and as such is 26% below capacity.  At present, capacity is in line with target and hence when the market returns to normal, this will be the first sub market to perform well.

27 july 2018

North West Perth represents 20% of the market share and this is linked to its proximity to the coast. Its monthly target is 140 sales and this corridor is currently achieving 89 sales pcm.  On this basis this corridor is performing 36% below target.  However unlike the North East, this market is 159% oversupplied.

27 july 1 2018

South West (Baldivis) also represents 25% of the market share. With 120 sales pcm and a target of 175 sales/month this corridor is performing 31% below target. This area however is the worst oversupplied with 302% excess capacity (currently 1257 lots on the market).

27 july 2 2018

The South East sector also represents 25% of the market share and 102 sales pcm and a target of 175 sales per month. Performing 42% below capacity, this market is also reflecting 242% excess capacity with 625 lots on the market.  This area is also overvalued by $7000 on land prices.

27 July 3 2018

And finally Peel represents 5% of the market share with 21 sales pcm and a target of 35 sales per month.  Performing 40% below capacity, this area has 324 lots on the market and hence representing 463% excess capacity.  Land in this corridor is also $20,000 overpriced.

27 July 4 2018

It is quite evident that if we can attract the 1000 people per month than this will have a significant influence on the health of our land sales and this is now our crucial focus.

While Colin stated we didn’t have to worry about overseas net migration, what we do need to do is cut our interstate migration by 50% (from 3000 people moving to the East to 1500) and this would have the desired effect we need.

But until we reach that target of 1000 people per month, the Perth land market will continue to face challenges and more so in the South West and Peel regions.  If you hold land in these areas, then you need to be considering innovative marketing strategies to stand out from the competition.  The good news is that PropertyESP is renowned for our marketing prowess, so contact Sam today on 0452 067 117 and we will troubleshoot your sales!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

700 is the magic number for Perth

A recent presentation by land guru Colin Keane, has shown that Perth could achieve optimal sales with just a few tweaks to market conditions.

There is no doubt that population growth is a major key to changing the dynamics of the Perth land market and as Colin stated, all we need is 1000 additional people per month in our state to allow us to achieve the optimal target of 700 land sales per month. And the good news is, we are already on our way, with Perth the only state to have grown nationally from overseas migration in the last 12 months with 16% uptake.

Currently selling 420 lots per month, Perth’s median price point of $224,000 is certainly the cheapest when you consider our other cities including Sydney ($468,000), Melbourne ($330,000) and South East QLD ($263,000). It is also interesting to note that Perth’s land prices are undervalued by approximately $6000 while Sydney is overpriced by $70,000 and Melbourne $42,000.

However when also considering Perth in contrast to our counterparts and our median lot size, we appear to be the smallest nationally with our median size 375sqm in contrast to Melbourne (400sqm), Sydney (447sqm) and SEQLD (436sqm).  And it is this sameness that is also depressing our market to a certain extent.  Variety after all is the spice of life!

For every 100 people employed in Perth we are assured 45 land sales and again this contrasts starkly to the East with the ratio in NSW 14:100 and Victoria 24:100.  However as Colin stated, if you consider Geelong which is the 2nd largest land market in the nation, the majority of its land sales growth has not necessarily come from employment, with this centre also reflecting an unemployment rate which is 18% above the state.

As Colin stated, of the extra 1000 people per month in WA, we only need 40% employed and the remaining 60% just need to choose Perth as their preferred home.  And with WA creating employment growth 30% above the forecast, all we need to do is become experts in tourism marketing!

As we see it at PropertyESP, Perth needs to start promoting our good news about mining investment ($64 billion committed), our affordable pricing and our great lifestyle and the rest will take care of itself!

We can certainly be the creators of our own destiny and this is very reassuring – because with a concerted effort we can achieve the magical number of 700 land sales per month!

If you like the proactive way that PropertyESP thinks – then you should chat to our team about how we can catalyst your sales with our marketing prowess.  Call Sam on 0452 067 117 for an insightful chat!

Apartment research shows interesting trends

 

National online real estate company REA just recently released some results based on research that they conducted on a national level with 12,618 apartment buyers (of which there were 415 respondents – on par with a poll).

PropertyESP has reviewed this information, from a marketing perspective, which is one of our key areas of strength.

Firstly, what was very interesting to note, was the increase in WA owner occupier buyers in the apartment market since 2015, which grew from 41% to 60% in 2017.

When considering the mix of apartments in any development, it is imperative to consider your local demographic profile and even undertake research in the marketplace to understand what this market is seeking.  We have known many developers to be stuck with one bedroom apartments, while the three bedrooms sold first.  While one bedrooms may give a higher yield – this is only the case, if they in fact sell!

30% of these buyers were also considering townhouses in conjunction with apartments with the intent of reducing the amount of maintenance time, as would be expected, from a traditional home.  As such apartment developers don’t just face competition from other apartment developments – but other small housing options as well, such as townhouses.

The research indicated that the time of conversion to sale was approximately 4.5 months.  43% of the buyers were also reading something related to property on a daily basis and hence this tends to demonstrate that regular social media posts/e-news are able to assist with promoting your project in this realm.  This is especially so if you need to nurture buyers over a 4.5 month period.

Buyers were interested in market insights, advice about buying off the plan and apartment designs and amenities in the property related literature.

When asked what were the benefits of buying off the plan, respondents indicated:

  • Locking in current market price (49%)
  • Modern features (47%)
  • Brand new – no one has lived there (45%)
  • Cost savings (45%)
  • Customised finishes (45%)
  • Flexibility to choose floor plan (40%)

However what restricted their decision to buy off the plan included:

  • Unexpected costs/going over budget
  • Funding the purchase
  • The stress of construction
  • Not knowing what to expect

When asked what influenced the purchase of their apartment, respondents indicated:

  • Price (62%)
  • Location (49%)
  • Developer’s reputation (48%)
  • Access to public transport (46%)

When asked what amenities buyers were looking for, respondents indicated:

  • Storage in the car park (64%)
  • Fully equipped gym (42%)
  • Outdoor entertaining spaces (42%)

74% indicated that some kind of incentive influenced their purchasing decision, with 62% indicating a preference for the developer to pay stamp duty, 58% stating free upgrades and 45% a rental guarantee period.  However this is not always the case and we have witnessed projects in Perth, which have in fact put up their prices in the last six months.  In contrast some areas are oversupplied and hence incentives are a sales tool to generate traction with some buyers.  Again it is on a suburb by suburb analysis.

What was also interesting to note was how buyers evaluate a developer’s reputation.  54% quoted the developers track record with previous projects, 40% indicated a long history in the market and 30% positive word of mouth.  On that basis companies need to be mindful of not just marketing their projects but also their company brand.  It all ties in together.

If you are, like us, excited about the future of the Perth apartment market and you are keen to gain a competitive advantage, please contact Sam to discuss further at info@propertyesp.com.au.

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!

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?”