Bigger units are
Larger, liveable apartments are in demand from owner-occupiers – as well as investors, a property developer tells Sophie Foster
THERE may be much ado about the drop-off in investors looking for units in major capitals, but for some developers who’ve only ever been about owner-occupier product, it’s still all systems go.
Brisbane developer Tom Dooley, of Tom Dooley Developments, said a “pretty broad brush” was being applied to the apartment and unit market at present when there was a clear distinction between smaller product aimed at investors and those designed to be homes for owner - occupiers.
“We’ve never gone to market saying let’s just focus on investors. The reason for that is if you do and if the investment market drops away, probably like it has right now, then those units can only be sold to investors because no owneroccupier will buy them.”
Typically, owner-occupiers want more liveable space and strong locations, he said.
“We’ve developed larger apartments,” he said.
“The smallest unit is 62sq m plus 15sq m of balcony. Our biggest unit’s 155sq m.”
Mr Dooley said given so much focus had been on smaller one- and two-bed units for investors, there was now a shortfall in the rental market for bigger apartments, which saw owner-occupier stock attracting investor interest.
“The three-bed local market is something we’ve always targeted but what that means we’ve also had investors come buy them.
“We weren’t targeting that as investment stock but there’s demand for these three bedders,” he said.
“We’re big on building liveable units. An owner needs to be able to live in our property long term.
“That attracts a lot of owneroccupiers but also means apartments will be good investments.”
Mr Dooley’s Gasworks Residences was seeing an average price a square metre of $6522, with the average two-bedroom apartment at 110sq m.
He said more than 90 per cent of buyers in his Skyring development in Newstead had a 4000+ postcode “and we’re finding that again in Gasworks Residences”, he said of his newest development.
He has had 60 contracts so far for Gasworks Residences, 95 per cent of whom were owner-occupiers – “mainly empty nesters, downsizers