The Lancaster Apartments at Williams Landing

The Lancaster Apartments at Williams Landing are more attractive than houses to some home buyers in the west.

MELBOURNE’S west is one of the few parts of the city where first-home buyers have the chance to find a house for under $600,000.

But there are young buyers choosing the apartment lifestyle in the area, despite scope to find affordable housing just a few minutes down the road.

Hoppers Crossing has a median house price of just $465,000, according to latest CoreLogic figures.

But Nick Kukic ignored all this and bought an off-the-plan apartment in the neighbouring suburb of Williams Landing in June this year.

Oxford Apartments, Williams Landing - for Herald S

The Oxford Apartments in Williams Landing is one of several complexes planned for the suburb.

Price was a factor in his purchase at the Oxford Apartments, but the first-home buyer’s key motivation was lifestyle.

“It was definitely the apartment lifestyle,” Mr Kukic said.

“It’s easier for me to manage. I’m living alone and I’m not home a lot of the time, so having a house might not have been that good.”

The location will make for an easier commute between his two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment and the CBD, with the added bonus of being in a location he was familiar with.

Two-bedroom apartments in the complex started at $365,000.

Oxford Apartments, Williams Landing - for Herald S

A render of the proposed interiors at the Oxford Apartments, Williams Landing.

Cedar Woods state manager Patrick Archer has tracked sales at the Williams Landing development closely and said Mr Kukic was not alone.

“We see a general group of buyers who don’t want to have the maintenance of a house,” Mr Archer said.

“There’s a mix of families, first-home buyers and downsizers taking them on.

“There’s more to life these days than mowing the lawn on the weekend.”

First-home buyers accounted for almost half of the owner-occupiers at the Oxford Apartments and the Newton Apartments that had been the first apartment offering in the suburb.

Mr Archer said he was expecting the trend to continue with the launch of the Cedar Woods’ latest development, the Lancaster Apartments.

The Lancaster Apartments at Williams Landing

The Lancaster Apartments at Williams Landing, developed by Cedar Woods.

It will include a mix of 42 apartments with one-bedroom and two-bedroom floorplans.

Mr Archer said he expected most buyers would be owner occupiers.

The Lancaster Apartments’ two-bedroom apartments start at $415,000, and one-bedroom apartments from $315,000.

The region’s apartments were also showing positive signs from a capital growth perspective.

“We have established a market for it here over the past year and we are seeing some improvements in the pricing as well,” he said.

The Lancaster Apartments at Williams Landing

Space and design were a focus for the Lancaster Apartments where prices start at $415,000 for a two-bedroom floorplan.

The first apartments built at Williams Landing, a development called Newton Apartments, had its first off-the-plan sales in late 2015 — and building was completed in May this year.

Since then two apartments have been resold.

In 2015 the average sale price for a pair of two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments was $342,000. This year the two averaged $386,000, a $44,000 (13 per cent) lift.

A render of the Newton Apartments development in W

A render of the Newton Apartments development in Williams Landing.

However, Real Estate Buyers Agents Association vice-president Cate Bakos said first-home buyers in particular needed to consider the long-term financial aspects when choosing a house or an apartment.

Most of the value of a house is the land, not the building, Ms Bakos said. Apartments have a higher portion of their value tied to the structure — which typically depreciates with time.

Normally, this means houses make higher capital gains.

“That doesn’t mean that all land is good … and it doesn’t mean all off-the-plan investment is bad,” Ms Bakos said.

What it did mean was that buyers needed to consider their needs from the property.

“At the end of the day, you can be smart about about the purchase, but you have to make sure the property caters to the lifestyle you want to lead,” she said. “You have to be emotionally happy with the decision.”


Source: Realestate.com.au