The heart of the ac­tion

Be­com­ing an owner oc­cu­pier in an in­ner-city dwelling can of­fer ad­van­tages for the scrupu­lous buyer, writes Hay­ley God­dard

Herald Sun - Property - - DEVELOPMENT -

BUY­ING in Mel­bourne’s ma­ligned CBD apart­ment mar­ket can pay off. De­spite fears of an apart­ment glut, owner oc­cu­piers and in­vestors can find worth­while hous­ing op­tions in the city, ac­cord­ing to REA Group chief econ­o­mist Nerida Con­is­bee.

Ms Con­is­bee, who is speak­ing at the Prop­erty Buyer Expo in Mel­bourne this week­end, be­lieves owner oc­cu­piers can do “re­ally well” if they con­sider high-rise liv­ing in the city’s cen­tre as long as they aren’t look­ing to make a quick profit.

“Mel­bourne is pro-de­vel­op­ment and we do tend to over­build, so if you want to hold on to the prop­erty it is a mar­ket you can con­sider,” she said.

Ms Con­is­bee said apart­ments were an af­ford­able op­tion for in­ner-city liv­ing for buy­ers who might oth­er­wise be pushed 20km out of the CBD, with older units of­fer­ing the best value.

“There are prob­a­bly big­ger bar­gains in es­tab­lished apart­ments than buy­ing off the plan if you’re an Aus­tralian res­i­dent be­cause off­shore buy­ers are re­stricted to buy­ing new,” she said.

For in­vestors, Ms Con­is­bee said re­search on the mar­ket and the type of ten­ant an apart­ment was likely to at­tracted was key.

“Val­ues have gone back­ward but rental growth is there,” she said.

“Make sure you un­der­stand the size of it. There is high con­cern for lower cost and very small apart­ments.”

When de­cid­ing where to buy, Ms Con­is­bee said city apart­ments with views or at the top end of town near Spring St were be a good bet.

“Don’t be too scared but go in with your eyes open. It’s a mar­ket you need to be care­ful in,” she said.

Ms Con­is­bee said ap­proval rates had slowed to put a bit of a stop on fu­ture sup­ply and calm the mar­ket. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit prop­er­ty­buy­er­expo.com.au

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