Apartment Customisation on the increase

Market Insights
7 years ago
2 minutes
With apartments becoming the new normal for many people, the expectation surrounding the design of those apartments is rising.
In particular, buyers are looking for the ability to customise an off the plan apartment before it has even begun construction, in exactly the same way someone building a house is able to do with their architect and builder.
Of course, it’s not unusual for buyers to be able to make cosmetic changes to their off the plan apartment. Things like choosing from a selection of colour schemes, choosing their preferred cabinetry or floor finishes and upgrading to higher quality lighting or kitchen appliances.
But beyond this, some Developers are now turning to customisation in a much bigger way, as a key drawcard for buyers and as a way of delivering a personalised and unique home.
We recently wrote about this very approach at a boutique apartment project, The Record in South Melbourne. Developers CornoNero allowed purchasers of certain apartments to customise their layouts to suit their preferences.
With many large, off the plan apartment buildings being designed around the financial efficiencies of duplication, making changes to individual apartments does, of course, have its drawbacks for developers. Any change from the architect’s plans can incur costs and even affect the project’s completion schedule.
But when buyers are prepared to pay for those changes, or, more importantly, choose one development over another on the basis of being able to customise, the approach makes perfect sense.
Says Evoke’s Tegan Reincke, The Record’s Sales Agent: “We’re noticing an increase in the number of developers we work with that are offering customisation, to match the desire from buyers who are owner occupiers to make their homes more personal. With The Record, aside from obvious materials expenses, CornoNero provided the additional architect consultations, engineering consultants and structural work on a case by case basis with minimal or no additional cost to the buyers.”
Certainly, with a higher end apartment, there in a growing expectation that internal walls and room layouts should have at least some level of input from the buyer. And at the higher price point any additional costs of making architectural alterations can easily be eaten up in the overall cost, with the benefit to the buyer far outweighing those costs.
There could be longer-term benefits for buyers too. In a building where every apartment is the same, there could be the possibility of an increased onsale valuation due to the uniqueness of theirs.
Ultimately, we all would like to think our home was different to everyone else’s. So, if you’re on the lookout for an apartment that’s all about you, we envisage this trend towards next-level customisation to be on the increase during 2017.