Several industry experts have voiced their opinions on what they are expecting from the property industry in 2017, and what can be learnt from 2016. Here is the first of two collections of their comments.
Marshall White projects director, Leonard Teplin
The buying public is becoming far more shrewd and less willing to compromise on inferior layouts, location and services. Meaning those who didn’t get the location and design of their projects right last year found it difficult to make sales.
Comparatively those who invested in amenity and design came up trumps, with developments in the wealth and private school belts proving the most desirable and profitable. 308 Carlisle Street and 525 High Street are prime examples of this with both projects, which consist of 38 and 45 apartments respectively selling out within just nine weeks.
Looking to the year ahead, a project’s success or fail will continue to be underpinned by the sales and marketing strategy. The work done upfront, in terms of defining a unique selling proposition and identifying how to effectively communicate this to your target audience, will make or break a development.
Developers must consider the different steps involved in taking their projects to market, how they can in-build a greater element of flexibility here (i.e. allowances for customisation), reinforce a positive message and increase prices without increasing their own exposure.
Grocon head of residential, Christian Grahame
2016 was a year that showed continued strength in the apartment market overall. We saw apartments continuing to increase in popularity particularly in the middle suburbs of Melbourne. Pleasingly, local owner-occupiers re-merged, demonstrating that well-designed projects in areas with amenities and services are in demand. Grocon’s ‘Greenwich’ project in , near sold out in just over a month late last year, with buyers attracted by well-considered design and its charming leafy neighbourhood setting.
However, an overreliance on offshore and investor sales alone, without regard for liveability, worked against some developers, as buyers and financiers became increasingly discerning, and foreign investor taxes were increased by state governments.
In 2017 Grocon will continue to target high amenity neighbourhoods in Melbourne, and Sydney with good design, for owner-occupier and investors alike. In Melbourne we believe that the government’s recently released apartment standards will help to ensure that new projects will have an increasing focus on good design, and that’s good for everyone.
Milieu property director, Michael McCormack
2016 demonstrated that purchasers and banks are becoming increasingly more discerning of developments off the plan.
Purchasers are after smaller density, high-quality projects in great locations and are willing to wait for the right one.
The sale conversion process and timeline has increased as a result of buyers doing their homework, looking around and not making quick decisions.
We have learnt that disclosing all the information up-front is actual a great thing; buyers are now trying to find a distinction between the good and the great and are looking past the glossy imagery and great marketing collateral. We are providing prices, sizes, floor plans and other in-depth details of a project as well as our beautiful imagery and branding. This has helped win the attention and trust of our buyers.