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.

 

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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!

 

 

Is retirement redundant?

Samantha Reece of PropertyESP recently attended the Property Council Retirement Conference as a panel speaker.  Here’s is Samantha’s synopsis.

“There is definitely some myths being busted about seniors living in the WA market – and especially because it looks very different from 20 years ago, when the retirement village concept really gained some traction.

But nowadays only 5% of our senior’s population live in a retirement village and much of this population, by the time they reach the senior’s age bracket,  have only just had their kids leave home (like me).

As such this cohort are not thinking about anything other than enjoying this new found freedom  and the term retirement is too much like “slowing down!”

Recent research by the WAPC showed that 75% of the State’s seniors were not living in age specific housing.  64% stated they had not moved from the family home because of lack of suitable locations, 44% because of financial reasons and 32% suitability of the choices available.

As such our future seniors’ population will be looking for flexibility and the new village models are in fact now offering several different housing choices including townhouses, apartments and high end care, all in one location – with the intent of matching the resident as their needs change.

Furthermore these villages have a variety of spaces which allow for reflection, activity and socialisation and hence add further value to their offering.  Vale the lawn bowls I say!

Retirement villages are certainly great for the economy and with a model of 211 villages by 2026 the WA economy can expect a contribution of over $40 million with wages and the like.

So while this model may stay – what is clear – is that the model of the retirement village that is predominant in WA, is about to evolve and change.  The question is, are you part of the movement?”

 

Where does suburbia fit into the Perth equation?

PropertyESP recently attended the PIA State Conference which was aptly termed “Rocking the suburbs.”

Minister Rita Saffioti opened the conference and posed the question – does every suburb wish to be rocked and went on to explain that in the East, the focus in the 1990’s was all about the inner ring and that suburbs were seen nearly as a second class choice.

In contrast – Perth is the exact opposite – even some 27 years on.

Our population growth certainly has been part of the reason for this evolution with some residents happy to travel over an hour into the City for work while living in our burgeoning outer suburbs.  This is true regardless of age.

But what is evident in the Eastern States, is that now, some three decades later, the inner city is reserved solely for the wealthy.

Interestingly 83% of lawyers work in our CBD, 62% engineers, 39% white collar professionals and 26% health workers – however this is not reflected in their choice of housing suburb.

This is partially because house sizes have not declined drastically and yet the range of housing choices in the CBD continues to cater for 1-2 person households.

The Minister therefore believes that we will see a shift whereby suburbia will become more like business districts and the City will evolve into an amenity district.  This certainly aligns with their Metronet model.

At PropertyESP we believe that Perth will follow the same pattern as the East, with the CBD becoming a desired location over the next decade.  But first we need to see greater choice of housing and added amenities such as schools in order to cater to a broader cross section of the community.

But on the tail of that, there are many suburbs that were established in the 1970’s to 90’s that really do lack any sense of pulse and hence in order to retain their residents, their Councils will also need to be progressive in the provision of services and development of community spirit.

There is no doubt that Perth is in a flux of change and as a result of significant investment in the inner CBD and key suburban shopping centres, we will see the rise of preferred suburbs over the next 5-10 years.  But that also means that there will be many suburbs that languish.

The question is, are the LGA’s prepared to rock the boat and their suburbs and evolve with WA’s changing needs?

 

Apartments transform suburbs – and for the better!

Curious to see what has happened with the recent 2016 census, PropertyESP took a look at 3 suburbs that have been transformed by apartment developments to see what other changes to the suburb this had brought.

East Perth – originally an industrial suburb, EPRA (now MRA) was established in 1991 to redevelop and urbanise the suburb.   It did so with the development of Claisebrook Village, with introduced 1450 new dwellings as well as retail and commercial properties on the site of the former East Perth Gasworks, scrap yards, contaminated industrial sites, empty warehouses and railway yards (Source: MRA Claisebrook Village Fact Sheet).

In the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, East Perth (which is broader than just Claisebrook Village) had 1631 occupied private dwellings that were apartments and flats (making 81.2% of all occupied private dwellings in the suburb).  By 2016, this had risen to 4018 apartments and flats (88.8% of occupied private dwellings).  The big transformation of East Perth occurred between 2006 & 2011, with the addition of 1160 occupied private dwellings that were apartments and flats (a 67% increase), and between 2011 & 2016, with the addition of 1125 occupied private dwellings that were apartments of flats (a 39% increase).

What else changed in East Perth over this time?

  • There was a change from these apartments and flats being predominantly rentals to owner occupied.   In 2006 and 2011, the level of owner occupancy was hovered around 34%.  By 2016, 64% of occupied private dwellings that were apartments or flats were owner occupied.  Over the same period, the level of owner occupancy for apartments and flats in Greater Perth was unchanged (around 32%).  With the redevelopment, people are choosing to own and live in apartments and flats in East Perth.
  • Median household incomes for the suburb have surged ahead of Greater Perth.  In 2006, the median household income for East Perth was $1106 per week … on par with the $1086 for Greater Perth.  By 2016, median household income for East Perth had risen to $2301, well ahead of the $1643 for Greater Perth.
  • The types of households attracted to the suburb has changed.  In 2001, 46% of East Perth households were lone person households and 29% were couple households.  By 2016, the two were on par – 37% lone person households and 36% couple households.  Both groups have remained relatively stable across Greater Perth over the same period.  Whilst families have not been attracted to East Perth in droves – they currently make up 16% of households – they have risen in number, up 251% from 210 households in 2001 to 737 households in 2016.

Burswood – another older suburb that gained new life and widespread awareness with the building of the (then) Burswood Casino in the 1980s.  The suburb was officially gazetted in 1993.  Subsequent apartment developments in a similar vein to East Perth have continued to change the suburb but it’s location on the eastern bank of the Swan River provides for a different lifestyle experience to East Perth.

The 2001 Census of Population and Housing counted 187 occupied private dwellings that were apartments and flats (making 37.4% of all occupied private dwellings in the suburb).  By 2016 this had risen 183% to 530 occupied private dwellings that were apartments or flats.  More importantly, this changed the housing profile of the suburb, with 57.2% of occupied private dwellings being apartments or flats.  The really big transformation in Burswood occurred between 2006 & 2011.

What else changed in Burswood over this time?

  • As was observed in East Perth, there was an increase in owner occupancy of apartments and flats in the suburb.   In 2001 and 2006, the level of owner occupancy was hovered around 21%.  This rose to 36% in 2011 and 41% in 2016.  Apartments and flats in Burswood are still the domain of renters, but it has seen a doubling of owner occupancy levels over 15 years.
  • Median household incomes for the suburb have surged ahead of Greater Perth.  In 2006, the median household income for Burswood was $1091 per week … on par with the $1086 for Greater Perth.  By 2016, median household income for Burswood had risen to $2273, well ahead of the $1643 for Greater Perth.
  • The types of households attracted to the suburb has changed as well.  In 2001, 38% of Burswood households were lone person households and 31% were couple households.  By 2016, the situation has reversed – 30% lone person households and 38% couple households.  The proportion of family households has also increased, up from 18% in 2001 to 23% in 2016.  In numbers, they have risen 14% from 87 households in 2001 to 213 households in 2016.

Cockburn Central – the first purpose built TOD in the Perth metro area.  It was named in 2007 and was counted as a separate suburb for the first time in the 2011 Census.  The 2016 counted 403 apartments or flats as occupied private dwellings, making up 70.8% of the 569 occupied private dwellings in the suburb.  At 10 years of age, there’s not much  history or transformation to explore.  But as a purpose built regional centre for the surrounding area and designed with density and connectivity in mind, it serves as an interesting comparison to the other suburbs.

Firstly geography, Cockburn Central is 24km from the Perth CBD, connected by the Kwinana Freeway and Transperth rail.  That makes it further from Perth than East Perth and Burswood.  It has a number of employment opportunities close by, and is also well placed to connect to employment opportunities in the Perth CBD and the SW metropolitan industrial areas.

Who is living in Cockburn Central?

  • Cockburn Central is very much a renters suburb.  At the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, 71% of occupied private dwellings that are apartments or flats are rented, higher than for Cockburn Central properties in general (58%).   The level of renting is higher than for Greater Perth.
  • Median household income for the suburb is similar to Greater Perth – $1625 per week.
  • 37% of households are lone person households (similar to East Perth), 34% are couple households (lower than East Perth but, like East Perth, the proportion of couple households is growing).

With the newness of this suburb, it does tend to however indicate that it may follow the same pattern as Burswood and East Perth in time.

As PropertyESP has always attested – apartments in the housing mix does tend to attract a more professional resident with higher disposable incomes and that is good for the LGA overall.  If you would like to know what is happening in your suburb of development contact Sam Reece at info@propertyesp.com.au.  We love to get into the nitty gritty!