Apartments in the City are based on a dollar per square metre rate. Usually this relates to an investor’s return and therefore apartment investors are very keen to compare square meter rates. It doesn’t work so well out in the suburbs as
many apartments include/exclude decks, have carparks as extra; therefore it becomes quite difficult to truly compare. Apartments in the suburbs are more like houses, in which case they should compare to a price point of a house. Currently purchasers expect that apartments should cost 50% of a stand alone home, however in reality an apartment currently sits at closer to 75% of a home in the same area.
Looks fantastic on the brochure, pool, concierge, large lobbies, gyms and movie theatres etc. However the reality is that once the developer has built this, it is up to the owners to continue to pay for the upkeep and these become part of the body corporate charges. Also if the developer has specified painted or wooden surfaces, these can require a lot of maintenance, which can be very costly. It’s very important to research the materials used in the construction on the exterior and the projected common area charges, as there is little point living in an apartment and paying $100,000 a year in body corporate fees.
People move to apartments for lots of reasons; financial, security, lock up and leave or they just want change. Apartment living has different dynamics. A closeknit community, security and wide outlook are great, but the flip side is cars parked underground and not adjacent to your home (so don’t forget your glasses), shared facilities are not exclusive, rubbish needs to go down the lift, etc. i.e. there are differences so ensure you analyse them up front.