Owner-Occupiers Set to Overtake Investors in Apartment Market


Owner-occupiers are overtaking investors in the apartment market, while overall apartment sales decreased 11 per cent for the first quarter of 2018.

Consultancy firm Urbis reported the launch of 39 new projects yielding more than 5,600 apartments in the three months to March. Australia-wide apartment sales contracted 11 per cent from 1,380 across inner and middle-ring markets.

While apartment sales decreased slightly for the quarter, the decline was not felt nationally, with the Gold Coast increasing 33 per cent and Perth’s market increasing 18 per cent, according to Urbis’ quarterly Apartment Essentials report.

Related reading: Developers Favour Townhouses in Slowing Property Market

Gold Coast owner occupiers accounted for 65 per cent of total apartment sales
Gold Coast

“Though they may be our smaller cities they are by no means our least popular for apartment dwellers,” Urbis national director of property economics Clinton Ostwald said.

“In Perth and the Gold Coast owner occupiers accounted for 42 per cent and 65 per cent of sales respectively, continuing the trend in the rise of the owner-occupier market.”

Perth’s apartment sales were the highest level of sales recorded since early 2016.

“It really is a barometer of the Perth economy, post the mining boom the decline could be felt, however with the economy benefiting from a rise in mining sector investment to maintain its expanded capital asset base, this is flowing through to the local apartment market,” Ostwald said.

Related reading: Apartment Approvals Fell 11.5% Last Month

Perth’s apartment sales had the highest level of sales recorded in four years, according to the Urbis report

In Brisbane owner-occupiers accounted for 34 per cent of total sales.

Sydney was the only market to favour local state investors, who made up 43 per cent of total sales, followed by owner-occupiers at 35 per cent.

“In Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and the Gold Coast we monitor buyer profile information. Across all these markets, we have seen a preference for owner occupier or local state investor sales, which could be driving the increase in larger apartment product,” Ostwald said.

“With changes to foreign investor banking regulations, developers are starting to move away from investor stock, and are tapping into the local market.”

The report reveals the most popular selling product as two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments accounting for 52 per cent of total sales, a similar finding to the previous quarter at 51 per cent.

Related reading: Australia’s Construction Sector Continues to Expand into 2018

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