Why are luxury apartments trending?
A rooftop pool, swanky spa and in-house cinema may seem beyond your reasonable real-estate possibilities, but apartment living makes luxury more accessible than ever. Cutting-edge design and dazzling finishes define the best blocks on the market, which take cues from five-star hotels with their lavish lobbies and lounges. Some even come with a concierge who facilitates deliveries, dry-cleaning and other day-to-day demands.
However it’s not all about opulence, but rather, convenience. A body corporate or strata firm looks after all the general maintenance of a complex, and many residents delight in the lock-and-leave lifestyle if affords (namely, travelling to the coast on weekends rather than mowing the lawns).
Who makes up the market?
Today’s luxury apartment inhabitants are an inter-generational bunch. Millennials are increasingly choosing to rent for lifestyle and buy where they can afford – so while they might have invested in the aforementioned weatherboard in the ‘burbs, they’re opting to live in a slick urban apartment kitted out with high-end amenities.
Then, there are the Baby Boomer downsizers. “Many homeowners have gained equity over the years and can comfortably sell and have sufficient funds to buy a quality apartment with funds left over,” says Tarbey. “Also, personal security is an issue confronting older couples, and apartment living gives them a strong feeling of safety.”
Finally, it seems we’re taking cues from mega-cities like New York and London. Families with children now make up a quarter of Australia’s total apartment population, with the figure increasing by 56 per cent between 2011 and 2016, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
What to look out for …
Future buyers and renters alike should approach the luxury apartment market with a considered eye. “Find a complex that has a high owner-occupier scenario, as this can guarantee minimal disruption,” advises Tarbey. “When there’s a high level of investor-ownership, movement within the complex is frequent.” If you’re looking to buy, check that the strata fees are in line with other comparable complexes and that there’s a solid sinking fund – this will be your safety net for communal expenses, from exterior painting to a broken elevator to water damage. Adds Tarbey, “Be mindful of the position and orientation of the apartment – a west-facing apartment isn’t ideal in the Australian climate [due to intense afternoon sunlight].”