Downsizers Going Large

Market Insights
8 years ago
5 minutes

Melbourne’s apartment market is witnessing a new trend as an unprecedented number of downsizers embracing apartment living have created a spike in the amalgamation of multiple adjoining small apartments in order to create a single, large, completely customised abode.

In an ever-changing market, the intensifying trend has been underpinned by a surge in downsizers and empty-nesters who have sold their family home and now have an appetite for luxury inner-suburban developments and a strong desire to live in an apartment that’s completely customised and large enough to suit their lifestyle.

With the onslaught of small apartments on the market, developers have taken it in their stride and, for the first time ever, are offering creative solutions for the savvy downsizers who have acquired a taste for large, quality, beautiful apartments, by allowing multiple apartments to be purchased and then amalgamated to create the perfect bespoke home.

Marshall White Projects Director, Leonard Teplin, says combining off-the-plan apartments has become most evident in Melbourne’s inner suburbs where downsizers continue to embrace apartment living.

“Never before have I witnessed such high demand for super luxury, three and four-bedroom apartments; with so many smaller apartments on the market, developers have had to adapt and are now offering a more customised approach in order to keep up with the demand.

“Recently, we had one purchaser buy eight one-bedroom apartments and turn them into one large 390sqm home.

“As recent as 18 months ago, this would have been completely unheard of, however these purchasers are active, they are very receptive to the concept of apartment living in blue- chip areas, and they’re willing to pay for the privilege.

“Due to the fact that we can now customise the existing off-the-plan stock in the market and cater to these buyers through the amalgamation of multiple apartments, we believe this trend will continue will into the future,” Teplin said.

One such purchaser, who saw an opening in the market and decided to jump at it, was Steve Cook and his wife, who recently bought two adjacent two-bedroom apartments off the plan in Glen Iris with a vision to amalgamate the dwellings and create their dream apartment with all the trimmings of an established home.

“We are your classic downsizers. We were really ready to move a little closer to the city and loved the idea of being able to tailor something into what we wanted – an apartment that’s roomy, light, large and open with little to no maintenance required.“ We’ve been able to work on the floorplan together with the architects and by consolidating our apartments, we’ll end up with two separate garden areas, three spacious bedrooms and a beautifully open, bright, north facing home,’ Steve said.

Marshall White’s Leonard Teplin said the new trend had been underpinned by the surge in luxury boutique apartment developments on offer in Melbourne’s leafy-green inner suburbs which, until recently, had been dominated by quarter-acre blocks and traditional homes.

“As the trend is driven by empty nesters and downsizers, price isn’t always an issue - these purchasers are driven by the desire to remain in the suburb they love while downsizing from the family home.

“They understand the need to downsize but they still want enough space for a substantial entertaining area, room for the grandkids to stay over once in a while and enough space for the family pet, so for most a standard two-bedroom apartment is just not large enough.

“As apartment living continues to soar, we’re finding there’s not enough stock currently on the market to cater to these specific buyers, which is why it’s integral to be able to provide an opportunity to amalgamate existing off-the-plan apartments.

“Developers are now starting to identify this strong demand from downsizers and are catering to these buyers by offering a series of luxury ‘extras’ as standard within their developments - anything from timber floorboards, open fireplaces through to entire apartments that have been designed by renowned interior designers, in an effort to keep up with these buyers who have a taste for luxury.

“The demand for amalgamating luxury apartments is only going to strengthen as these downsizers continue to play an active role in the off-the-plan market, so now is the time for both purchasers and developers to take advantage of the opportunity,” he said.

Marshall White Projects is a leading real estate agency specialising in premium developments across Melbourne, with a variety of premium off the plan projects, including Glen Iris’s Leopold Stonington, Doncaster’s Arbor through to Mordialloc’s architecturally designed White Street apartments.

To see all of Marshall White's projects, click here