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!

 

 

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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?”

 

Night time economy part of WA’s future

With all the inner city development occurring, a colleague of PropertyESP recently attended the Australian Night Time Economy (NTE) conference in Melbourne.

This conference dealt with the fact that the night time economy, which for so long has been associated with bars, restaurants and adult entertainment in fact was evolving and in the UK this economy represented $66 billion in trade alone (or 6% of GDP).

Closer to home, Brisbane’s NTE grew by 25.2% from 2009-2014 from $4.97 billion to $6.231 billion.

With changing work habits, multicultural diversity and in fact a 24 hour global clock, we are less and less inclined to think that night time is just for hedonistic activities.

But this means that if we want to transform some of our City into true night time economies we need to think across planning, place making and regulation.

This means that we need to consider pop up markets in car parks.  And temporary installations. And be more liberal with parklets.

This also means that we need to entwine our fashion, food and entertainment outlets and more so be open for custom.

That means that sometimes we have to take a risk and in fact subsidise these concepts to allow for creativity and sense of destination.

With so many areas undergoing rejuvenation in Perth at present – this is the perfect breeding ground for innovative night time solutions.

The question is – are we going to seize this opportunity?

The team at PropertyESP dare you too!  The time is certainly ripe for disruption!

Desire for East Perth to gain 24/7 heartbeat

Samantha Reece recently attended the East Perth session of the Cities Summit that has been co-ordinated by Member for Perth John Carey.

Over 60 people attended this session which comprised of businesses, developers, residents and interested parties.

Quite predictably the session dealt with the areas strengths, its problems and what the community would like to see occur.

East Perth was liked because of its walkability, the gardens and open spaces, Claisebrook Cove and the fact that the area felt calm and relaxed.  In particular the residents enjoyed the fact that while they were living in the City it felt like they were in fact residing in a suburb.

However, there were certainly rumblings about the impact of foot traffic once the Stadium was completed and inexplicably this turned into concerns about safety.

But what was very clear was that East Perth has a Monday-Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm heartbeat and hence outside these times East Perth appears somewhat of a ghost town.

Some of the residents however enjoyed this low profile stating that they could travel to Northbridge and Perth for their entertainment.  But this tends to fly in the face of what a TOD (and that is the basis for East Perth) is all about.

There was a sense that East Perth was missing small bars and night activation and that the vacant business premises detracted from the overall vitality.

The community certainly wanted to activate the area around Perth Mint and also turn Wellington Square into a pleasant space to recreate in – rather than avoiding it all costs.

The audience talked about movies in the park, markets at the WACCA car park, setting up pop up shops in the vacant premises and overall a more cultural atmosphere.

This obviously has a cost factor associated with these activation strategies and while John Carey may be seeking the City to hire a place maker for East Perth – it also needs people.  There is no doubt that East Perth has been undercooked for density – like Subiaco – but this is an aspect that can be rectified as we move forward.

With the Stadium due for completion in 2018 this will certainly increase flow through traffic – but will they in fact stay and recreate in East Perth?  And this is very much the issue of the chicken and egg scenario.  Do you create the amenity so that people stay – or do you wait for the crowd and then create the activation?

Either way – there are some real opportunities for East Perth on its horizon and this community can either embrace it – or turn their back on it.  But from the conversation we observed, there is a real desire to turn East Perth into a 24/7 destination and that will take input from all parties and not just a place maker hired by the City of Perth!

Compare the data – the devil is in the detail

We had a client contact us the other day with a Realestate.com report and asked us how our services compared.

The report provided this snapshot for unit sale prices:

10 March graph 1

Now for those of you who know Landgate – when they use the units classification that includes townhouses, duplexes, flats and also apartments.

But when PropertyESP looks at sales for apartments – we take away the rest of the data that is not relevant and then we get graphs such as these:

10 march graph 2

And this:

10 march graph 3

Or this:

10 March graph 4

Or even this:

10 march graph 5

The question is – what data gives you more guidance?  Our data analysis is priced according to the number of sales records we review.  So if you have 250 sales to look at the price is $750.  If there are 500 sales then $1500, 750 sales $2250.

If you are serious about understanding the market and what is happening in your locale an investment of $2250 will give you the data you need to configure your next development and set the pricing. Basically – it guides you on what is selling, in which location, so that you can build a development that will sell (rather than having apartments that you can’t shift).

It is all about the detail and that is what PropertyESP does best!

If you would like to know more contact Sam Reece on  0452 067 117.

Fremantle’s vision continues to grow

Fremantle has been in the news lately with the recent announcement of the $250 million Kings Square project now being a physical reality.

But after Samantha Reece attended the official launch of the “Oval to the Ocean” function, which was hosted by the City last night, we have come to the realisation that Fremantle is setting its sights even further afield.

In the last two years the City has attracted $500 million of investment including the Heirloom apartments ($60 million), Knutsford St apartments ($18 million), Atwell Arcade ($7 million), MSC Building ($8 million) and Quest apartments ($15 million).

But with the Ovation of the Seas docking yesterday for the first time in the Fremantle Harbour, the Council is now keen to refurbish the outdated passenger terminal and create an attractive entrance for visitors into the town centre.

Currently being used as a car park for imported vehicles, the City has recognised that they are wasting prime real estate within South Quay and have set 2029 as its date to celebrate not only the bicentenary of the establishment of the Swan Colony but also the launch of this new precinct.

Predicting private investment of $3.5 billion and 3700 new jobs, the City is both ambitious and proactive for South Quay and in this climate, that is the ideal mix.

In conjunction the City has prioritised the Fremantle Oval and Hospital precinct and a master plan is under way with the intent to host sporting and community events all year round, as well as establish a WAFL Centre for Excellence.

It appears that Mayor Brad Pettitt and his Council are seeking to restore Fremantle to its heyday of the Americas Cup and quite frankly, it is long overdue.

The City has been strategic with approving apartments to house another 4000 residents within its CBD and this will increase its discretionary spend from $11 million to $70 million and this will only bolster the local businesses as well as economic prosperity.

This City not only has a vision – but it is actually fulfilling it – and for that we wish to commend the staff and Councillors.  It takes guts and determination to move a community forward with such momentum and the City of Fremantle is demonstrating that in the right climate anything is possible.

If you are wanting more information than contact the City directly – they have made it quite clear that they are open for business and this proactive approach is very refreshing indeed!

The Springs shows robust results

It seems that not everyone is as much of a fan of The Springs in Rivervale as PropertyESP is and so we conducted an analysis of settled sales from January 2014 – June 2016 to just work out what was really happening in this location.

Looking at 348 sales in that 2.5 year period there were a number of positive points that we felt should be brought to light.

By far the two bedroom sales have been ahead of one bedroom, with 2 bedroom apartments representing 55% of sales in 2014, then 60% in 2015 and 77% in the first half of 2016.  This compared to one bedroom sales of 45%, 40% and then 23% for the same correlating periods.  This could be heavily influenced though by what is on offer.

Over the two year period, median sales price for the apartments in The Springs has been $501,000 and price per square metre of $4910.

One bedroom sales achieved a median sales price of $420,000 and two bedroom $538,000.  Despite this price variation, when you compare price per sqm it is evident that the two bedroom apartments achieve the price they do, purely based on size.

Between 2014-2015 one bedroom prices only fell by 6% while two bedroom apartments fell by just 2%.  This was also reflected in the price per square metre results.

There was also a small price premium for those properties located opposite green space and the river over those located further away.

However, just like Scarborough, The Springs is completely vanilla in its offering.  The majority of apartments sold were 2 bedroom or 1 bedroom apartments. 97% of the sales were of apartments where the apartment complex had an outdoor entertaining area and 90% a gym and pool.  As such, having the amenities such as gym, pool or entertaining area had no influence over the price per square metre between the projects.

With the area already offering a large number of apartments, any new entrants should be considering alternative amenities as well as various bedroom configurations in order to provide a distinctive point of difference.

While The Springs appears to be weathering the current market with a degree of robustness, it is evident that in order to stand out from the crowd, incoming developers need to be more creative in their offering.

It will certainly be interesting to see how The Springs evolves over the next 12 months with the opening of the 4.5 star Aloft hotel and then the stadium in 2018.

Regardless, this is a location which is sought after due to its proximity to the river, freeway, airport, stadium and casino and on that basis is a precinct to be closely monitored over the next 18 months.