OFF THE WALL

Why Colling­wood is a hotspot for off-the-plan apart­ment buy­ers

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE - PETER FARAGO

COLLING­WOOD is lead­ing the premier­ship race for offthe-plan apart­ment buy­ers in Mel­bourne.

The sub­urb topped the list of realestate.com.au’s New Apart­ment Hotspots. The list shows in­ner-city ar­eas are in hottest de­mand with off-the­p­lan buy­ers, with Mel­bourne CBD, Carl­ton, Brunswick East and Rich­mond also fea­tur­ing.

Hamp­ton, New­port and Wil­liamstown also made the top 10 list, with buy­ers at­tracted to de­vel­op­ments of­fer­ing bay­side views.

The list mea­sures views per devel­op­ment in each sub­urb on the realestate.com.au web­site.

Evan Cath­cart from 360 Prop­erty Group said that Colling­wood’s lo­ca­tion and life­style were key for buy­ers.

“There are parts of Colling­wood that are 1km, or a 10 minute walk, from the CBD,” he said.

“From my ex­pe­ri­ence, most peo­ple buy­ing off the plan in Colling­wood are pre­dom­i­nantly young pro­fes­sion­als. They’re close to their white col­lar jobs in the city and have bustling cafes, bars and restau­rants at their doorstep.”

Mr Cath­cart said Colling­wood was hot with more so­phis­ti­cated buy­ers com­ing into the mar­ket over the past cou­ple of years.

“When we sold our first projects three to four years ago, Colling­wood was quite grungy. Now it’s more gen­tri­fied,” he said. “With such a young, vi­brant de­mo­graphic in­fil­trat­ing Colling­wood, a lot of res­i­dents ride bikes and walk into the city.”

One scheme trans­form­ing a for­mer industrial site is the $220 mil­lion York­shire Brew­ery project, the largest off-the-plan devel­op­ment presently on the mar­ket.

The SMA Projects devel­op­ment will have about 350 apart­ments with one, two and three bed­rooms. Prices start at about $400,000 and there are her­itage townhouses cost­ing $1.5 mil­lion.

Sales agent Jake Eisen said a mix of first-home buy­ers and in­vestors were the main groups buy­ing in the com­plex, which he said is 80 per cent sold. The project was launched last May and con­struc­tion is set to be com­pleted in De­cem­ber.

“Where we’re sit­u­ated, it’s pretty hard not to find us,” Mr Eisen said.

“There’s a lot on the mar­ket — but there’s not a whole lot of (apart­ment) ac­tiv­ity in Colling­wood right now.

“There’s been a lot of owne­roc­cu­pier and in­vestor de­mand, con­sid­er­ing the low prices. You’ve got one bed­rooms for around the $400,000, which are cer­tainly af­ford­able for peo­ple who want to live within 500 me­tres of the city. And you’re 50 me­tres from Smith St.”

Mr Cath­cart said stamp duty sav­ings were a sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor in the pop­u­lar­ity of off-the-plan apart­ments in Vic­to­ria.

“When you buy an off-the- plan apart­ment in Vic­to­ria, you get stamp duty sav­ings that are more sig­nif­i­cant than other states,” he said.

“For ex­am­ple, pur­chas­ing an off-the-plan apart­ment for $500,000 can save up to $25,000.”

Head of de­vel­oper sales at REA Group Toby Balazs said realestate.com.au’s New Apart­ment Hotspots painted a strong pic­ture of con­sumer de­mand.

“The sub­urbs (on the list) are re­ceiv­ing the most views per devel­op­ment, show­ing huge de­mand for that area,” he said.

The New Apart­ment Hotspots list is com­piled by tak­ing the most viewed apart­ment de­vel­op­ments in the Buy and New Homes sec­tions for each sub­urb over the course of three months to Jan­uary. It com­pares the num­ber of views on de­vel­oper list­ings against the num­ber of avail­able de­vel­op­ments in that sub­urb.

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