With a focus on creating places where people not only live but benefit from well into the future, Lendlease has spent decades shaping Australia’s skylines. We spoke to Ben Christie, Head of Apartments for Lendlease’s Urban Regeneration Business, for his learnings from the past year – and plans for the future.
Ben highlighted the convenience and low-maintenance lifestyle of modern apartment living in Melbourne’s CBD as having remained a big drawcard for Lendlease’s customers in 2018.
“There is healthy demand for apartments that is expected to continue in the medium term, supported by Melbourne’s share of migration and strong population growth. Melbourne remains the nation’s fastest-growing capital city, with estimates that it will overtake Sydney to be Australia's largest city by 2026.”
Ben sees the current property market as an encouraging one for buyers, with great prospects over the coming year. “In Victoria, while apartment supply remains significant, there is a relatively low-cost entry point to the housing market,” he says. “Melbourne’s apartment market presents a great investment opportunity for consumers, including first home buyers and first-time investors.”
Image: No. 1 Collins Wharf
When looking to maximise current opportunities, Ben suggests buyers look for properties in suburbs with strong rental yields, and also take advantage of all financial incentives available.
“In Victoria, first home buyers may be eligible for the Victorian State Government’s $10,000 First Home Owner Grant, available to buyers living in Victoria who purchase a new home. Buyers may also be eligible for other exemptions or concessions on stamp duty, including off-the-plan concessions if your property is your primary place of residence for 12 continuous months.”
Lendlease is in a prime position to ensure these buyers have plenty of choice – it currently has 18 major urbanisation projects across 10 gateway cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, New York, London, and Singapore with a pipeline of over 30,000 apartments.
“Lendlease has a strong track record in delivering award-winning residences,” explains Ben. “We create walkable, accessible city living where people feel a sense of ownership, pride and community. Melbourne’s high-density style living is ideal for students and young professionals who want to live and work in and around the city’s centre to reduce their daily commute.”
Image: Melbourne Quarter
“Our Melbourne apartment offerings including our recently completed apartments at No. 1 Collins Wharf in Victoria Harbour and our East Tower residences at Melbourne Quarter, currently under construction, include a number of these amenities and services for residents.”
Ben says buyers are welcoming the future of apartment living by embracing personalised lobby and concierge services. “We are now seeing purchasers demand more from their building’s amenity and lifestyle offering, such as concierge services and recreational facilities including gyms, pools, shared kitchens and dining spaces, games rooms, libraries, quiet working spaces and access to outdoor parks and open areas.”
Buying property that has a point of difference is also top of Ben’s advice list. “Several apartment towers within Victoria Harbour, including No 1 Collins Wharf, provide prime waterfront living with exclusive harbour and city views. With only 7 per cent of residential properties across the City of Melbourne located within 20 metres of water, this presents a unique advantage.
Ben’s final word for buyers echoes Lendlease’s belief that city living should be about connecting people and place. “Purchasers should look for residences that offer value for money with increased lifestyle amenity – such as dining and retail options, public amenity and open spaces. This provides the opportunity for social and community connection, allowing locals to transition from their private residences to entertainment and dining options nearby.”
This article was originally published in Melbourne’s February print edition of Broadsheet.