OFF THE WALL
Why Collingwood is a hotspot for off-the-plan apartment buyers
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.