Fam­i­lies build city life

Herald Sun - Property - - NEWS -

THE Aus­tralian dream of a full block in the sub­urbs may be a thing of the past as an in­creas­ing num­ber of fam­i­lies opt for in­ner-city apart­ments.

Come 2031, cou­ples with chil­dren will ac­count for 9 per cent of house­holds in the City of Melbourne, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study by the coun­cil.

This means fam­i­lies will oc­cupy al­most 8000 homes, with a ma­jor­ity of these in­evitably be­ing apart­ments.

“Right across the board we are see­ing a lot of younger fam­i­lies priced out of their de­sired ar­eas so they are look­ing at apart­ments in­stead of houses,” Mar­shall White Projects direc­tor Leonard Teplin said.

“I see it be­ing a grow­ing trend in the com­ing years as peo­ple re­alise they don’t have to com­pro­mise on lo­ca­tion be­cause of bud­get.”

Ground floor apart­ments had been pop­u­lar with young fam­i­lies as they pro­vided room to grow while not break­ing the bank, Mr Teplin said.

In Ston­ning­ton and Boroon­dara, a de­sire to be close to top schools was draw­ing buy­ers to ar­eas where they can­not af­ford houses.

“If you are look­ing at a house in these ar­eas you are of­ten look­ing at a sin­gle-fronted prop­erty that is a bit out­dated, and you are still pay­ing $1.2 mil­lion to $1.5 mil­lion,” Mr Teplin said.

“Mean­while you can buy an apart­ment with all the bells and whis­tles for $900,000. It’s an ob­vi­ous choice for young fam­i­lies.”

The grow­ing de­mand for apart­ments from fam­ily buy­ers in these ar­eas was shown in a re­cent de­vel­op­ment on Boisdale St, Sur­rey Hills, where six of the 36 apart­ments were bought by young fam­i­lies.

“They are buy­ers who want to be in the school zones and can get a bet­ter value prod­uct buy­ing an apart­ment,” Mr Teplin said.

REVEL De­vel­op­ment Group direc­tor Daniel Cas­par agreed that af­ford­abil­ity and de­sir­abil­ity were driv­ing the trend.

“CoreLogic RP Data fig­ures show that over the year to Fe­bru­ary, Melbourne home prices rose 11.1 per cent, so it is re­ally no won­der that many peo­ple are be­ing priced out of the mar­ket and are be­gin­ning to re­con­sider the tra­di­tional be­lief that chil­dren should be raised in a house with a back­yard,” Mr Cas­par said.

“This men­tal­ity is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly out­dated with apart­ment liv­ing grow­ing in favour among those who are look­ing for a life­style of greater con­ve­nience and lower main­te­nance at a more rea­son­able price point.”

The Re­flec­tions de­vel­op­ment in North Melbourne is mak­ing a con­certed ef­fort to sat­isfy the grow­ing de­mand for fam­ily friendly apart­ments within the Uni­ver­sity High School zone.

“While a mere 4 per cent of the 20,000 apart­ments ap­proved for the in­ner city in late 2014 had three-bed­rooms or more, we are now see­ing de­vel­op­ers adapt to the chang­ing mar­ket, of­fer­ing apart­ments of a more gen­er­ous size and scale,” Re­flec­tions sell­ing agent and direc­tor of Eton Prop­erty Group Bradley Dean said.

While the me­dian house price in North Melbourne is $880,000 ac­cord­ing to CoreLogic RP Data, two and three-bed­room apart­ments in Re­flec­tions start from $359,000.

Mr Dean said gen­er­ous floor­plans and a lo­ca­tion close to park­land, child­care fa­cil­i­ties, health ser­vices and trans­port set the de­vel­op­ment apart.

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