What downsizers are looking for at the top end of the market

As reported by Kate Farrelly | Full story here

The Bates Smart-designed Encore 1788 aims to deliver everything wealthy downsizers are looking for.

Space to entertain in style and host guests alongside decadent main-bedroom suites, room to store wine collections and designer clothes, the ease of walking to fine-dining restaurants and harbourside parks, and the option to lock up and leave at a moment’s notice – many of today’s downsizers have a deep appreciation for the finer things in life, and deep pockets to match.

According to independent real estate consultancy Property Planning Australia, the current generation of downsizers, aged between 57 and 75 years, own more than half of Australia’s national wealth and claim the highest home ownership of all demographic cohorts, with an estimated $2 trillion in property assets.

With much of their wealth tied up in the family home, this generation is able to unlock plenty of money when it comes time to downsize, opening the door to luxury apartment living in prime locations.

Downsizers are seeking prime locations. Photo: Vaida Savickaite

Developer SJD Property Group has focused on understanding the desires of wealthy downsizers and is well-positioned to deliver the creme de la creme of boutique apartment living with the release of Encore 1788.

A collection of just 15 world-class dwellings right next door to the acclaimed development 1788 in Double Bay’s Cross Street, this Bates Smart-designed project aims to deliver everything wealthy Sydney downsizers are looking for, and perhaps a little more. 

Ray White Projects managing partner Eddie Mansour, sales agent for the project, says 11 of the 15 apartments have already sold, with a deposit accepted on a 12th. He believes this demographic is looking to replicate the size and serenity of their family home while dialling up the indulgence factor.

“In terms of design, there’s no compromise,” Mansour says, explaining that SJD Property Group chose to maximise apartment size over numbers.

Encore 1788 is coming to life next door to the acclaimed development 1788 in Cross Street.

“With both projects – 1788 and Encore 1788 – the number of apartments in the buildings has been reduced from what was originally DA-approved,” he says. “In Encore 1788, there were originally 21 apartments, and that was modified down to 15 apartments to create luxury spaces.”

Mansour says the Bates Smart design was inspired by “timeless art deco” and is in keeping with the streetscape – characteristics that particularly appeal to the eastern suburbs downsizer market, where buyers are unimpressed by a “rendered box”.

“Encore 1788 has got a real charm with beautiful curves evoking the luxury and glamour of the 1920s,” he says.

Mark Cadry, principal at BuyEast Buyers Agency, says that, alongside simplicity of maintenance and single-level living, wealthy downsizers are also seeking “quality of product”.

“They want places that are going to be built to a higher spec compared to what the standard builders are producing,” he says.

SJD Property Group chose to maximise apartment size over numbers at Encore 1788.

This means more generous room sizes, higher-quality joinery, and a well-thought-out floor plan which capitalises on natural light. 

“They want good outdoor space and larger living areas to accommodate the entire family for dinner or the grandkids for a sleepover,” Cadry says. 

He says while some buyers like to customise an apartment bought off the plan, others love not having to get involved, especially if a highly skilled interior designer has been engaged to elevate the appeal and functionality of a home.

And almost as important as what’s inside an apartment is what’s directly outside. Cadry and Mansour agree that, at Double Bay, all the amenities needed by wealthy downsizers a daily basis are located within a level walk.

“You’ve got such a big selection of cafes and restaurants, you’ve got most of the major banks, you’ve got clothing boutiques, you’ve got lawyers, you’ve got doctors – everything is at your fingertips,” Mansour says. “This is the place to be.”

In short, it’s the kind of lifestyle that is increasingly popular with high-end downsizers.