Investors Encouraged to Make the Most of Rental Bubble
Perth landlords are being encouraged to leverage current market conditions that are allowing for significant increases in their rental returns, in order to create new pricing benchmarks for when the Covid-19 restrictions are scheduled to end in March 2021.
The property managers behind one of Perth’s largest apartment rental portfolios, M/Property, said that current market conditions are optimal for landlord-led negotiations, with the industry forecasting a possible 20% increase across the rental market.
They believe that while tenancy and rental freezes as a result of Covid-19 have helped to push occupancy rates to an all-time high, the impact is likely to be ongoing as the market opens up.
Kiarna Blythman from M/Property says the industry has not seen this level of activity in 14 years and believes the environment has given investors a chance to review and reset rental prices after a long period of stability.
“Instead of negotiating rents down, applicants are now offering up to $50 a week more than the asking price to secure the property they want,” she said.
“We currently have just one apartment available and eight coming onto the market with a waiting list on our database. This is in vast contrast to our typical pipeline of 20 to 30 apartments and has given us the opportunity to negotiate a new level of revenue for our owners to lock in fresh agreements that benefit the landlord.”
Based on REIWA data, the average apartment rental rates have leaped from $335 to $355 per week since the June 2020 quarter, with limited stock and increasing population effectively putting more pressure on the market.
“We are very aware that some landlords have been disadvantaged by the Covid-19 policies and have been unable to evict tenants or review rents. However, as the deadline for restrictions will soon be lifted, now is the time for landlords to take action,” Kiarna continued.
“If property owners are successful in increasing weekly rent prices in a time of extraordinary demand, there is a strong possibility their actions will help to adjust pricing benchmarks for the long term. The accelerated pace and total sum of these price shifts may be difficult to achieve when the market opens up again.”
M/Property specialises in the marketing and management of residential apartment leases and currently has a combined experience of some 50 years.
For more information visit mproperty.com.au
Perfect for Como Downsizers
Known for its large stately homes and idyllic river-side setting, Como is undeniably one of Perth’s most enviable addresses and, over many years, has proved itself as a perfect environment for hundreds of families. However, as children grow up and leave the nest, residents have invariably been forced to look outside the suburb boundaries to accommodate downsizing.
M/26 by Match is a boutique apartment complex located in the heart of Como. It is designed specifically for people who are well-accustomed to quality living and partial to staying in an area that has served them well for decades.
Mr Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group, said the company’s market-led design process identified a fairly significant gap in the Como marketplace. He believes the M/26 by Match apartment complex has delivered a highly sophisticated and inviting environment that is perfect for people wanting to downsize.
“We couldn’t imagine living in a suburb for most of our lives only to find it had very few home options for when it became time to downsize. The challenge for us, of course, was to create an environment that could make the transition from large home living to an apartment as simple and stress-free as possible,” Mr Clark said.
“You only have to visit the M/26 by Match display apartment to experience a standard of luxury that is unique, not merely to Como, but across Perth.”
M/26 by Match comprises just 40 stylish and well-considered apartments, most with exquisite views of the Swan River and Perth City.
It is located within a tree-lined street just minutes’ walk from the popular café strip and famous art deco Grand Cygnet Cinemas, as well as a short stroll to the Swan River and easy access to the Freeway and CBD.
“Each luxury apartment has been designed to exude elegance and sophistication, with an importance placed on space, light and airflow. Attention to detail has been paramount, as our intention was to create an atmosphere that melded into the Como environment,” Mr Clark continued.
“And while the apartments have been designed for a downsizer market, there are many other market groups, such as young professionals, who are attracted to these qualities and the proximity to Perth’s CBD.”
Internally, there are two colour schemes available; light and airy Hamptons-style and bold and moody Manhattan. All finishes are of a high quality with floorplans that allow each apartment to open up and make the most of the stunning location with full-height glazing.
“The apartments and their location have already proved to be extremely popular with residents. This has been particularly beneficial for those who opted to use their apartment as an investment. Renters just love the space and many opportunities have been snapped up after the first opening,” he said.
“As a design-focused apartment developer, it is truly a pleasure to offer such an acutely niche and beautiful property to the market. We welcome all our new residents and wish them the very best in their next stage of life.”
M/26 by Match includes one and two-bedroom apartments with large balconies, high ceilings and stunning sunscreens. The building has created a distinctive addition to Mary Street, Como, with the installation of a stunning artwork sculpture by Ayad Alqaragholli at its entry.
For more information contact www.m26apartments.com or call 0432 660 066.
Three Awards in Three Years for M/Construction
As the dust settles on this year’s coveted Master Builders Western Australia Excellence in Construction Awards, M/Construction is making more room on the shelf for its third victory in the same amount of years.
This year, our dynamic building company took home the award for ‘Best Multi-Unit Development between $5-10m’ for its work on the sophisticated and understated M/28 by Match in South Fremantle.
Designed by David Barr from David Barr Architects alongside Cameron Chisholm Nicol Architects and developed by Match, this latest award puts a spotlight on the attention to detail that M/Construction is increasingly being recognised for.
It also provides even greater assurance for those seeking to engage M/Construction in private building contracts, or those looking to buy an associated Match apartment ‘off-the-plan’.
Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of parent company M/Group, has reflected on the significance of a third win in three years, particularly in light of the highly competitive construction environment.
“To receive the assurance of a high-quality builder is arguably the most important factor when making building decisions or buying an ‘off-the-plan’ apartment,” he said.
“M/Construction has consistently delivered not just high-quality work, but a standard of construction that has attracted the attention and kudos of the industry at large.
“This latest award is a testament to the unique systems and processes the company has in place. We are extremely proud of M/Construction’s ongoing achievements and what it means for its internal and external clients.”
Director of M/Construction, Michael Read, is thrilled by the acknowledgement and recognition from industry peers.
“Being able to repeatedly impress the judges over consecutive years says that the result is not by chance,” Michael said.
“We have an incredible team behind each project, backed by processes that ensure that nothing is overlooked.
“We truly believe we have introduced a new standard of building methodology to the landscape, and it is so great to be recognised for it.
In 2019, M/Construction won the Best Multi-Unit Development between $10-20m for Form by Match, Port Coogee and in 2018, the company took home the award for Best Multi-Unit Development between $10-20m for M/24 by Match, Leederville.
M/Construction is currently working on the construction of M/27 by Match in Parry Street, Fremantle and is available for discussions regarding independent opportunities.
S.E.C. building meets its Match
The City of Fremantle’s plan to boost the number of people living and working in the city centre has reached another important milestone, with construction starting on the M/27 by Match apartment development on Parry Street.
The development, to be undertaken by M/Group’s building division M/Construction, will include 40 apartments adjacent to the heritage-listed former S.E.C. substation.
The S.E.C. building was restored by M/Construction in 2018 to accommodate a food and beverage venue or be used as boutique office space.
M/Group was previously involved in the award-winning heritage conversion of Fremantle’s historic Dalgety Woolstores into the Heirloom apartments, as well as numerous other projects in the Fremantle area.
Mr Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group, said he was thrilled the company was playing an important role in Fremantle’s revival.
“We’re very excited to have construction commencing on our latest project in Fremantle,” Mr Clark said.
“After the great success of the Heirloom project, which really ignited the apartment boom in Fremantle’s East End, we’re delighted to be involved in bringing life back to another of Fremantle’s heritage treasures.
“Match has had significant involvement in Fremantle and its stretch of coastline for almost a decade with many varying projects catering to people from all walks of life.
“There really is no other place in the world like Fremantle, and with the revitalisation that is currently underway we’re very confident it has a bright future.”
Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was great to see another major development getting underway in Fremantle.
“Many years ago the council recognised that Fremantle’s economy had stagnated and we needed to get more people living and working in the city centre,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“In response we put in action a long-term plan to make Fremantle a more attractive place to invest and restore our seven-day-a-week economy.
“Changes to planning regulations to allow greater building height and density in return for improved design and sustainability measures, a common sense approach to the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings and investments in major transformational projects like the Kings Square Renewal project were all central to that plan.
“It’s taken a while, but it’s really exciting to now see that work paying off with construction starting on the M/27 apartments and all of the other new developments that are happening in Freo.”
The S.E.C. building was originally constructed in 1933 for the Fremantle Municipal Tramways and Electric Lighting Board before being taken over as a substation by the State Energy Commission in 1952.
The substation ceased operation in 1980 and was converted into the Western Power Energy Museum, which operated until 2010.
The heritage works on the building included the restoration of existing brickwork, refurbishment of metal window frames and the restoration of existing large timber sliding doors.
Renewal Puts Freo On Cusp of Change
What key drivers attracted you to develop in Fremantle and what is it that makes it attractive from a developer’s perspective?
Interestingly, our initial focus on Fremantle raised some eyebrows. In the early days we did significant work building a reputation as an inner city developer. All our projects were strategically located around the CBD and we actively promoted a new form of urban living specific to this area. It appeared in vast contrast to the eclectic beach and port side environment of Fremantle, but to us it held similar hallmarks.
What Match is very good at is identifying strategically located sites with good infrastructure and growth prospects. We laid our first claim to land in the early stages of South Beach Estate because we saw enormous potential.
Many find it hard to pigeonhole Fremantle due to its location and diverse population. However, it is without question a place where people want to live and we believed we could offer something unique to the mix.
Give us a brief overview of your Fremantle-based projects (past and current)
The Summer, South Fremantle – COMPLETED
Australia’s first Green Star Multi-Residential Building offering 36 luxury apartments with ocean views.
Heirloom by Match, Fremantle – COMPLETED
Highly celebrated and award-winning adaptive use of Fremantle’s iconic Dalgety Wool Stores heritage building.
M/28 by Match, South Terrace, Fremantle – COMPLETED
A boutique development of just 20 apartments and 6 commercial spaces located in the very heart of the eclectic South Terrace community.
M/27 by Match, Parry Street, Fremantle – UNDER CONSTRUCTION
A boutique development of just 40 park side apartments and conservation of the heritage listed substation building located in the midst of Fremantle’s historic and cultural centre.
Somersault, Fremantle – COMPLETED
An apartment complex of 58 affordable living residences inspired by the materials and textures synonymous with Fremantle.
Sublime, North Fremantle – COMPLETED
Just 16 beautifully appointed apartments incorporating exteriors with colours that reflect the nearby “Dingo’ flour mill.
Match has also extended its interest along Fremantle’s Coastal Corridor into areas such as North Coogee and Port Coogee including apartments and terrace homes.
There’s now a long list of developments planned or underway in Fremantle – what do you think has recently made it attractive for development?
Fremantle is definitely a place where increased development activity greatly improves the area’s atmosphere and appeal.
As Perth’s second largest CBD, the transition from a tourism and industrial location to a central residential and lifestyle hub has required both good planning and a period of adjustment. As more people are attracted to the area, they stimulate demand for residential product and, in doing so, creates an atmosphere that resembled some of the best and most populous cities in the world.
The factors that today make Fremantle so attractive could not simply be switched on. Match identified the City’s potential a long time ago but knew it would take capacity to build capacity. It is so great to see what has emerged since we arrived over a decade ago.
What are your anticipations for Fremantle’s future property market and the town itself?
Match has invested heavily in Fremantle and, in particular, its coastal corridor. We now have quite a significant footprint of projects in and around the area. We wouldn’t have made Fremantle our focus if we didn’t believe in its growth and potential.
There are very few places in Australia, if not around the world, that offers such a vibrant urban atmosphere with outstanding community infrastructure, as well as access to a coastal lifestyle. This is unique and unique translates to value.
We believe the town will continue to evolve as more people move into the community. Fremantle will continue to be a sought-after location, and quality product will become the differentiator in the property game.
We have been extremely lucky to work with a city council that is both visionary and takes a collaborative approach to development. Good planning underpins the success of any environment, and shutting the doors on development completely could have been disastrous for Fremantle.
What many might not realise is that what we are seeing now is the result of a considered approach that has been in the works for over a decade.
Strategic development sites, such as Heirloom, have been instrumental to opening key areas of the City to the public and reinvigorating the area’s incredible history.
There have been many bold moves taken over the years by the City of Fremantle, so it’s great to see everything come together for them and the community.
Comments by Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group
Bigger Not Always Better
Developers of smaller apartments projects across Perth say some of the state government’s recent measures to stimulate economic activity and employment in light of COVID-19 are good in theory, but may not meet expectations in practice.
Among the measures is a streamlined assessment process for ‘significant developments’, defined as those projects with an estimated cost of at least $30 million or new residential buildings proposing more than 100 dwellings.
Developer and architect Barry Baltinas hopes the approvals process for the smaller, high-end apartment projects he focuses on could also be streamlined.
“These smaller projects can get off the ground very quickly, helping to create jobs and incomes for Perth families at a time when that is very much needed,” Mr Baltinas told Business News.
“Now more than ever, buyers are putting their health and the health of their family in focus, and boutique living aligns with that.”
Baltinas’s latest project, the $19 million Habitat Residences in Applecross, recently completed construction and features 14 apartments and three penthouses.
Mr Baltinas said the lack of shared facilities at the projects had proved to be a drawcard, particularly in recent weeks.
“It not only means fewer maintenance costs, but brings fewer health implications, which is obviously top of mind for many buyers right now,” he said.
“We’re seeing more activity in the market, in particular from those downsizers who have not been greatly impacted financially by recent events.”
M/Group managing director Lloyd Clark said there had been a lot of speculation about the potential negative impact of COVID-19 on the property industry, but the company’s apartment arm Match, which mostly develops 30-40 dwellings over three to five storeys, had not adjusted its pipeline.
“Boutique product holds its value,” Mr Clark told Business News.
“It’s important to note that the apartment market is heavily impacted by continued population growth, and an emerging generation that values central urban living over the half-acre block.”
Mr Clark said this would continue to increase demand for quality product in desirable locations.
“If the government’s mandate is to stimulate the economy and fast track project development, it needs to approach all areas of the property sector equally,” he said.
“We believe it is absolutely counterproductive for the government to favour one style of dwelling over another in any capacity.
“There is a whole market sector that would never consider high-density living, so disadvantaging them with time delays does not service anyone.”
Excerpt from Business News – 22 June 2020
A Terrace Home Affair for Match
Most people know that Match has been a significant trailblazer for the Perth apartment living scene. This well-earned distinction was bestowed over two decades ago when the company founders challenged Perth’s planning code and pushed design parameters to protect our streetscapes from large unsightly ‘cookie-cutter’ apartment product.
The introduction of cutting-edge boutique apartment design into our urban environments was something many had not seen before, and the company’s ability to secure highly visible and strategic lifestyle sites made everyone sit up and notice.
Today, Match is still delivering a stunning range of apartment designs and the market is now fully aware of the benefits apartment living can provide.
So, why is the company shifting its attention to Terrace Homes?
After its enormous success in the apartment sector, Match recently stunned its followers by introducing two projects that have moved away from its recognised apartment formula.
M/31 Terrace Homes and M/32 Terrace Homes are located in Landcorp’s visionary Shoreline Precinct in North Coogee.
The two projects are idyllically positioned just metres from the coastline and, like all other Match product, are distinctive in design and layout.
Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company, M/Group, said the new category of housing was an exciting shift for the Match design team, but was not such a huge leap in terms of the company’s design philosophy.
“Every one of Match’s projects is distinctive in many ways, because we design specifically for the location and the residents we hope to attract to it,” he said.
“There is no doubt that Perth’s perception of apartment living has changed over the years, and that more and more people are moving away from the half acre block on the fringes of the city to a more lifestyle-driven atmosphere closer to the action.
“When we secured these incredible sites at Shoreline, we saw an opportunity to give our residents an experience that sits somewhere in between.”
M/31 Terrace Homes by Match are well-appointed three-bedroom terrace homes that include open plan layouts that integrate indoor and outdoor living. Each home comes with a double carport, private and sheltered courtyard, and is architecturally designed to maximise light, space and breeze.
M/32 Terrace Homes by Match is based on a unique architectural style that uses beautifully landscaped laneways and a central lawn area to create a sense of privacy, serenity and space. The terrace homes are designed to be ultra-modern and their floorplans are spacious laid out across three stories.
“As the apartment market has evolved, so too has Match’s desire to keep meeting the demand of people who want the best out of their lives and their home environments,” he said.
“We helped to break the mould of apartment living back in the early 2000’s, now we’re looking to bring even more to the table in terms of innovation and style.”
Prices for M/31 Terrace Homes by Match start from $550,000 and M/32 Terrace Homes by Match start from $685,000.
Can isolation inoculation hold for apartments?
Prices and sales of apartments are stable, but developers are calling for more stamp duty reform.
Western Australia’s property developers hope the physical isolation that has helped mitigate the worst of COVID-19 in this state will also insulate the local apartment market from a contagion of a different kind.
While sales of off-the-plan apartments on the east coast are reportedly down 15 per cent or more in recent weeks, that trend is yet to fully materialise in Perth, at least anecdotally.
Apartments in central Perth have remained relatively resilient during the past three years in terms of maintaining their resale values, according to research analysts PropertyESP.
Director Samantha Reece said this resilience, paired with Perth’s location, had so far buffered the market from the economic fallout of COVID-19.
“For the first time in history we are actually glad that we’re isolated,” Ms Reece told Business News.
“While there will be some national companies that feel the effect from the east coast – there is a bit more of a lag happening there than here – those companies based in WA, I believe, will actually continue on business as usual.”
That appears to be the case for Subiaco-based Stirling Capital, which recently achieved practical completion at its 26 on Charles mixed-use development in South Perth.
Stirling Capital sales and marketing director Daniel-Paul Filippi said just a small number of the 28 boutique apartments and four levels of commercial office space remained for sale.
“In terms of valuations, we’ve had zero impact,” Mr Filippi told Business News.
“I’ve had all the major valuers through our Charles Street project and we’ve had no problem.
“People are waiting to see if there’s going to be those sorts of big drops that have been reported [on the east coast]. We didn’t have a lot of foreign buyers anyway, so I don’t see as much impact.”
Mr Filippi said the market’s saving grace could be the resources sector, as one of the key drivers of the state’s economic activity.
“The fact is, WA is still ticking along, so everything is indicating that maybe WA and Darwin will be the least affected by all of this,” he said.
M/Group managing director Lloyd Clark said there had been less disruption on projects than initially anticipated, with inquiries returning just as quickly as Perth moved through the easing of restrictions. Mr Clark said inquiries had also tended to be more qualified and ready to buy.
Given that market confidence, the group is pushing ahead with plans to start construction on its M/27 apartment development in Fremantle.
“In terms of valuation, Perth is in a unique position comparative to the rest of Australia,” Mr Clark said.
“Our property values were already at the lower end of the property cycle, and apartment prices currently represent excellent value for money.
“While the fallout of the pandemic might create value variances in other states, I believe it is unlikely in Perth.
“In light of the activity over the last few months, I would expect to see apartment prices on our projects hold as the market restabilises and returns to growth in 2021.”
M/Group is progressing plans to start construction on its M/27 40-apartment development in Fremantle.
Apartment developer Paul Blackburne is also expecting prices to remain steady, and said COVID-19 had not yet affected sales, with most of his apartment stock already sold.
Blackburne’s Marina East development, located in Ascot Waters, finished construction in May with 80 per cent of apartments sold.
“The past 12 months have been our highest-selling year on record with $203 million in sales in just the first nine months,” Mr Blackburne told Business News.
“Now that things are opening up more and the major threat of the crisis is most likely over, people have started buying in larger volumes.
“Prices had gone up for four months in a row. The next year would have seen 3 to 5 per cent growth.”
Outlook Data compiled by real estate services firm JLL revealed that apartment sales in the inner city were down 3.9 per cent in the 12 months to the fourth quarter of 2019.
However, apartment sales activity was up 12.5 per cent in the fourth quarter on the preceding three months.
JLL manager of strategic research Ronak Bhimjiani said this had most likely been fuelled by the 75 per cent stamp duty rebate on off-the-plan purchases.
Additionally, Mr Bhimjiani said apartment values increased by 1.7 per cent in Perth between November 2019 and February 2020, a figure not seen since mid-2013 during the peak of the resources boom.
“The long-awaited recovery in Perth’s apartment market is likely to be delayed, as COVID-19 keeps conditions challenging in the short term,” he said.
“However, it is important to note that current economic and property market data does not yet fully capture the full impact of COVID-19.”
Any anticipated drop in demand could be partially offset by supply, with construction expected to cool off beyond 2020.
Mr Bhimjiani said there were about 380 apartments across a handful of smaller boutique developments likely to be completed in 2021.
Meanwhile, for larger developments previously set for 2021 completion, he said project timelines had been pushed out to 2022, with further economic uncertainty potentially limiting new starts.
“Many of these projects that are in the early stages of marketing or at the development approval stage could slip into later years or be abandoned if sufficient pre-sales are not achieved and economic conditions do not improve,” Mr Bhimjiani said.
“The impact on pricing will ultimately be dependent on the supply versus demand dynamics in the Perth apartment market.”
Finbar managing director Darren Pateman said stamp duty relief would be the best way to boast sales and development activity.
The ASX-listed property development company recently announced it had completed construction of its One Kennedy Maylands project, with sales of $23.5 million secured to date, representing 43 per cent of apartments.
Mr Pateman said there hadn’t been any immediate shift in apartment values, with all recent Finbar contracts at pre-COVID-19 pricing.
“The Perth market was already at one of its most affordable levels pre-COVID, in contrast perhaps to eastern states markets, which were experiencing far higher levels of growth,” Mr Pateman told Business News.
“WA has done it tough for near on five years and pre-COVID we were clearly entering a recovery phase, while eastern states markets have been boiling over for some time.
“Extending the stamp duty rebate beyond off-the-plan sales to projects under construction and new completed stock to encourage commencements will allow vital capital to be redirected to new job creating projects for thousands of Western Australians.”
Mr Pateman said this would help revive the WA economy as it moved into the recovery phase post COVID-19.
Mr Blackburne shared similar thoughts and said further stamp duty reform could also lead to long-term reductions in local council rates, with the greater rates flowing from higher-density developments better supporting council operations and budgets.
Mr Clark agreed and said the role of government was critical to maintaining buyer confidence, which could be achieved by additional stamp duty relief by way of rebate or discount.
“This is about keeping the market moving in the right direction and buyer incentives are proven and successful in this space,” he said.
“Government and industry alike have a significant role to play here.”
Business News – Katie McDonald, Thursday, 4 June, 2020
Subiaco offices at unrepeatable value
Why rent when it’s cheaper to buy, says Amanda Spagnolo, who is selling two new offices at 217 Hay Street, Subiaco. “It is remarkable value for prime commercial real estate,” Amanda, project sales manager at M/Property, said.
They are the last remaining offices in the Rhythm by Match building, which has a total of 27 commercial offices and 9 apartments. Priced from $285,000 plus GST, No.11 is 75sq.m and comes with a car bay. No.18 is slightly bigger and has two bays. The 87sq.m office is on the market from $335,000 plus GST. “They are being offered at well below replacement value, creating an incredible opportunity for the future,” Amanda said. “Both have never been occupied so are brand new ready to fit out as desired.”
Other tenants in the building include a newsagent with a licensed post office, accountant, life coach, real estate agent and a beauty salon. The architect-designed building stands out from other commercial offices in the strip because of its timber-cladded façade. At its centre is a patterned, perforated screen that provides natural light into the common areas. For more details, phone Amanda on 0432 660 066 or email@example.com
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