Agent Insider - Daniel Cashen

Market Insights
8 years ago
5 minutes

Daniel Cashen is a well-known name amongst real estate circles. Director and joint-head of Residential Sales Victoria for Knight Frank, Cashen, a staple in Melbourne real estate, has been praised by developers and purchasers alike. With over 10 years of property experience working across both residential real estate and property development industries. Daniel has an exceptional network of contacts within the Melbourne property development arena, which will assist to further grow the already rapidly expanding Victorian Project Marketing business.

Melbourne's market today is a strong one - and whilst the perception is that it is dominated by investors, are owner-occupiers the real driving force?

The strongest market in Melbourne is an owner occupier, usually in their late 40s to early 60s. They are usually a couple, and a budget is often priced between $1m-$3m, with a minimum of two carparks. Catering for this buyer profile, we have both Royal Como, and Queen’s Domain on the market - both are completely different from each other, and offer different things. This specific type of purchaser will often come to the display, and are looking for an apartment for a million dollars. But if  it has everything they want - size, two carparks, and a view that won’t be built out - if they can get those things, then they have a flexible budget - they would rather pay more for what they want. The 2 car parks pull is enormous. It can be the greatest value apartment, with a great layout, but if it doesn't have two carparks, they wont buy it. The owner occupier market in quality locations, is generally the strongest market. If you can build the right apartment in the right location whilst ticking those boxes, you’ll sell out 100% local. 

The age old question; location, location, location, or amenity?

I guess it is all about comparing external amenity to internal amenity. The location of the site is an amenity in itself, if the location is one of the driving forces behind the development, then internal amenities aren't, as often, needed. Specifically, with Royal Como, it is in an area where the location in itself is an amenity - there are gyms, pools, shopping, supermarkets, restaurants, cafes - and you cannot discount the views. The location itself is, arguably, in one of Melbourne's best suburbs. You're close to the river, and South Yarra is highly regarded as the trendy place to be. South Yarra is to Melbourne, as Bondi is to Sydney and Soho is to New York. If South Yarra isn't your thing, then the same goes for Elland Avenue in Box Hill. It in a nice quiet street, but is right around the corner from a shopping centre, schools, public transport and provides sweeping views over the eastern suburbs - it is truly remarkable. 

Internal amenity, things such as pools, tennis courts, gyms and dining rooms, are important, but it is the last thing that people look at - they look at where is the building located, what surrounds the building, whether the floor plans are good, and whether it has a view?


What is your advice to buyers looking to buy off-the-plan, aside from researching the developer and builder, which are undoubtedly important, what active advice can you give?

I think the buyers should be looking at what is different about the apartment project they are buying in. Is the floor plan a very good floor plan, or is it just an average floor plan? At the end of the day, from a resale perspective, the uniqueness of the product and the floor plan are the things that hold up over time. You may have the newest, latest and greatest building when you move in, but 10 years after that, you’re in a ten year old building with new buildings within its vicinity. So the floor plans are going to hold the apartments value, if its got good-sized living area, there is a flow between the rooms, space is utilised, and there is clever storage - as well as unique features such as view, balcony size, storage, carparks you are really on the right path. If you’re buying in a cookie cutter building, a building where all the apartments are the same, when the next cookie-cutter comes along, which is next to yours, you’re obviously not going to be as desired as the new one, and you will lose value there.

Specifically, with Royal Como, if you buy something here, the floor plans have been worked on to create something spacious and individual. We sat down with the architect for the project, and went through each apartment individually., There are no two apartments on the same floor that are the same. - they are genuinely all different and unique, with different features and benefits. Its been a priority to work within the space that they had - they haven’t tried to cram in 3 bedrooms into a 2 bedroom space, they’ve worked with the space allowed, and its come out beautifully. In years to come, people will actually walk into those apartments, and see that the floor plans have a longevity and fluency to them - they really do feel bigger than what they really are. 

Daniel Cashen and Knight Frank are selling Royal Como, Elland Avenue and Queens Domain now.