Renters seek more

The WA Apartment survey – the first of its kind in WA – recently interviewed 113 renters who have shown that while apartments are their preference, they are seeking more in terms of amenities and space.

The survey showed that 39% moved from a house into an apartment and went from 2-3 bedrooms to 1-2 bedrooms.

However when asked what they would choose next, while 73% said they would consider an apartment, their preferences were clearly for 2-3 bedrooms.  This linked to the fact that 20% were using a bedroom as a study/home office.

Convenience was also a major driver when choosing an apartment, with 91% of the renters in walking distance to public transport, 90% to cafes, 86% to a grocery shop and 84% to services such as hairdressers.

Renters also tended to look first for apartments in Perth, East Perth and West Perth before then expanding out to encompass Mt Lawley, South Perth, Highgate, Subiaco, Leederville and Northbridge.  This was because most renters wanted to have a direct route to work, with 86% stating the travel time to work influenced their decision when choosing an apartment.

84% also indicated that safety and security was a major influence in their renting decisions along with being able to lock up and leave, low maintenance and affordability (75% respectively).

However what was also interesting, was that while 44% had no prior experience living in an apartment, 82% would still recommend apartment living.

There is no doubt that apartment living is becoming an evolving trend for renters, but just like owner occupiers – bigger is better!

If you are keen to learn the full results of the WAAA survey (and guarantee your investment success) contact Samantha Reece on 0452 067 117.  You can be assured you won’t find this level of information anywhere else!


Subiaco looking to put some spring into its step!

So the other day the Sunday Times unveiled a proposed water park for the Patterson Stadium for when the football moves to the Perth Stadium in Burswood.  See more about the story here.

While some in the property sector quaffed at this proposal – it was not far short of what really needs to happen in Subiaco.

While I am of an opinion that the water park concept is not the right mix for Subiaco – this town centre does need something to replace the current visitors, who undertake the weekly pilgrimage over winter, in the name of footy!

Subiaco has always had a draw card and one by one these have slowly diminished eg Subiaco markets, Patterson stadium etc.

And this for me tends to spell a period of economic difficulty for the locale unless the Council acts now.

Subiaco Council has to see the reality of the situation and start undertaking activities to entice a draw card to their suburb and hence inject a new vitality into the area.

If the Council fails to act decisively or with strong leadership then Subiaco will undoubtedly languish for some time.

The fact is, when the Subiaco TOD was created, it needed to be denser so that in fact the population could sustain Subiaco and its upmarket brand.

Post the redevelopment, the Council could have approved ongoing high density but they chose to not again.

If the Council again fails to act on the opportunity that is presented to them – then this could be Subiaco’s death knoll.

The suburb has always been known for its conservative nature – but if you are slipping further down the decline – that is generally the time to question, if in fact it is time to break out of the mould!

But one thing is for sure – Subiaco will need to be wise in its choice and prompt in order to counteract the potential fallout.

Infill makes business cents

So we have been looking at examples of infill and the benefits its holds for small businesses and in particular service and retail.

This is especially so when we consider the increasing level of negativity that we are seeing in some Councils towards infill, as a result of resident’s action.

With the increasing proposals for density, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of action groups forming who are active, co-ordinated and aware of the approvals system ( While small in number, the fact that they are active, in comparison to the silent majority, means that they have had some sway with planning outcomes.

While examples in Australia were scarce, we did come across some great case studies in the USA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) which demonstrated the following:

  1. A national analysis of office and retail properties found that on a 100 point scale, a 10 point increase in walkability was associated with a 9% increase in market value and a 7% higher net operating income.*
  2. A study that classified 66 places within the Washington DC metro region found that a 19 point increase in walkability (out of 94 possible points) was associated with an 80% increase in retail sales and a nearly $7 per square foot increase in retail rents.**
  3. Walkable places clustered near others in larger walkable districts performed better than more isolated walkable places. Gross retail rents in walkable districts were nearly 50% higher and retail sales were nearly 125% greater.***
  4. In Livermore California, a $12.5 million streetscape project converted a four lane highway to a two lane pedestrian orientated main street.  In the three years following completion of the project, downtown retail sales grew 15%.****

For smaller inner city centres such as Subiaco, it is quite evident that there is a need to generate a sense of activity and vibrancy to compete against upmarket retail centres such as Karrinyup.

With the loss of the Domain Stadium, Subiaco retail in particular, will experience a significant impact with the absence of this regular influx of visitors.

As a retail business there are a number of ways you can increase revenue, such as:

  • Increase your prices
  • Reduce your costs
  • Increase the number of people who visit your outlet

It just makes sense (cents) to us at PropertyESP, that by having an increase in population, you can provide a more consistent income base, especially when you see from our other research, that infill also tends to attract professionals with higher disposable income.

We have summarised this data into a strategy for the Property Council (as Samantha is Chair of the Infill Committee) and on that basis we are hoping to activate the business community to now start becoming vocal about the benefits of infill.

I hope that you will also join us in this worthy cause!

* Gary Pivo and Jeffrey D. Fisher, “The walkability premium in commercial real estate investments” Real Estate Economics: 1 MAR 2011

** Leinberger and Alfonzo

*** Leinberger and Alfonzo

**** Dono Andrea L “Livermore California: celebrating wine country” Main Street story of the week. National Trust for historic preservation 2009.