Why some buyers are choosing apartments over houses – and it has nothing to do with price 

As reported by Kate Jone | Full story here

A mixed bag of buyers is looking for apartments, and for many it’s an active choice that doesn’t come down to the bottom dollar. Photo: RossHelen

From rooftop pools to generous floor plans, today’s newest apartments offer buyers so much more than before. 

It’s why many buyers, regardless of their budget, are choosing apartments over houses as they find strong appeal in location, design, amenities and a low-maintenance lifestyle. 

The 2021 census revealed that, of the nation’s 10.8 million private homes, 16 per cent or 1.7 million were apartments and 13 per cent were townhouses. 

A mixed bag of buyers is looking for apartments, beginning with first home-buyers prioritising affordability and going right through to families and downsizers who prefer a central location and strong transport connections.

The types of apartments these buyers purchase commonly hinged on their budget and lifestyle, says buyer’s advocate Nicole Jacobs.

Buyers are prioritising their ideal location over the traditional home-and-land dream. Photo: Vaida Savickaite

“There will always be segments of the market that look at apartments over houses for reasons such as stage of life,” she says.

“First-home buyers may find them more affordable, especially if they don’t want to compromise on the suburb they are living in. They’d rather have an apartment with the convenience of transport, cafes, restaurants and nightlife over land and playgrounds. 

“And downsizers – or, as I like to call this segment, upscalers – who often seek luxury, large apartments, usually in the same suburb they lived in their large home, but don’t want the maintenance of a large garden and everything that comes with that.”

Cashed-up Baby Boomers represent a large slab of the apartment-buying market and now they are being joined by younger buyers. 

Jacobs, who works with wealthy buyers at the luxury end of the market, has seen a trend towards younger purchasers or “rightsizers” who want to trade in their large houses for apartments that offer house-like proportions and upscaled amenities.  

The Centennial Collection offers upscaled amenities such as a rooftop pool. Photo: Supplied

“I would say 20 per cent of our clients are seeking an apartment lifestyle earlier than they traditionally used to – 40 to 50-year-olds as opposed to the 50 to 65 age range,” Jacobs says.

“They are utilising the benefits of releasing equity to travel, favouring something new and luxurious with less maintenance and the ability to live on a single level with lifts and walking distance to cafes and lifestyle opportunities.”

The lure of a relaxed lifestyle within a vibrant community has pulled buyers towards The Centennial Collection, a new development on the edge of Centennial Park in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

With architecture and interior design by SJB, this luxury development by Stargate Property enjoys a prime parkside position.

The two 10-storey buildings will house 62 apartments, each with very spacious floor plans of between 150 and 300 square metres. 

The combined appeal of a prime location, high-end finishes and impressive amenities such as a rooftop terrace and indoor pool has seen the first stage of The Centennial Collection sell out. 

The location of and views from The Centennial Collection are quintessential Sydney. Photo: Supplied

“I think the main reason that the buyers are attracted to these apartments is the fact that we’ve got a fairly unique location, bordering Woollahra and close to Paddington, Sydney City [and] Centennial Park and still within Bondi Junction, with amenities such as transport and Westfield shopping centre,” says Ray White Projects director Marcello Bo.

“The views and the location are exceptional. We thought we’d offer something unique in terms of floorplans, layouts and finishes.”

Early buyers are typically empty-nesters ready to move into a home with less maintenance, without compromising on size. 

“Downsizers don’t want to maintain large homes with gardens, and pools, especially if their kids have moved out,” Bo says.

“We’re going with a high level of finish, which is essentially what buyers who are downsizing from Woollahra, Double Bay [and] Bellevue Hill are looking for.”