Families build city life
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“If you are looking at a house in these areas you are often looking at a single-fronted property that is a bit outdated, and you are still paying $1.2 million to $1.5 million,” Mr Teplin said.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“This mentality is becoming increasingly outdated with apartment living growing in favour among those who are looking for a lifestyle of greater convenience and lower maintenance at a more reasonable price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.