For a growing number of homebuyers, an apartment is no longer a stepping stone to a house – it’s a lifestyle choice and a chance to live in one of Sydney's most sought-after suburbs.
The “Australian dream” used to mean owning a freestanding house on a quarter-acre block. But affordability and a shift towards urban living are changing all this. More and more Sydneysiders are choosing to swap their backyards and two-car garages for communal BBQs and the convenience of walking or taking public transport to work.
And it’s not just young professionals and downsizers, an increasing number of young families are embracing apartment living too. For buyers in the Eastern Suburbs it’s an opportunity to live in one of Sydney’s prized postcodes, close to the city and beaches with good schools and transport links.
“There’s been a shift towards buying apartments because it’s a more affordable way for people to be on the property ladder in an area they want to live in,” says mortgage broker Justin Doobov of Intelligent Finance.
“And the Eastern Suburbs tick a lot of boxes for buyers. It’s that golden rule of location, location, location.”
Developers are also recognising the rising demand for architecturally attractive apartments in key locations – and they’re offering more family-friendly features such as communal gardens and playgrounds.
At the Inglis Newmarket Stables site in Randwick, Cbus Property is constructing a new residential neighbourhood. The masterplan project, Newmarket Randwick, will include new apartments and townhouses set in landscaped gardens with a park, playground and a laneway with shops, cafes and restaurants.
For many buyers, an apartment is no longer a stepping stone to a house – it’s a lifestyle choice. With this in mind, here are just a few of the advantages that go hand in hand with apartment living.
Apartment buyers are becoming increasingly savvy about architecture, fixtures and finishes, and expect their home environments to be high spec.
For major off-the-plan projects like Cbus Property’s Newmarket Randwick developers have been bringing together “dream teams” with several top architecture and landscaping firms working together to produce innovative and exciting designs.
Being close to parks, beaches and cafes and restaurants encourages people to get out and about, whether that’s meeting friends for coffee, going for a stroll or hitting the gym.
“20 years ago people hosted dinner parties in their homes,” says Intelligent Finance Managing Director Mr Doobov. “Now we’re more likely to want to eat out with family and friends. There are so many great places to eat in the Eastern Suburbs and people want to live close enough to enjoy them.”
Sense of community
When you’re sharing a building there’s a good chance you’ll see your neighbours regularly, perhaps in the lift or lobby or the communal BBQ area.
Some developments are specifically designed to help residents feel part of a community. At Newmarket Randwick, the new café and shopping precinct will be an area to meet friends and neighbours and will connect the new neighbourhood with existing streets in the suburb.
“The project will create a new community that feels grounded in the suburb,” says architect Matthew Allen, Studio Director at Bates Smart, who developed the Newmarket Randwick masterplan with landscape architects Arcadia. “We’ve maximised opportunities for residents to get to know their neighbours.”
The lower maintenance that comes with strata living is a big draw for many apartment buyers, according to Mr Doobov.
“Although clients sometimes complain about strata fees, it costs a lot more to maintain a house,” he says. “With an apartment, everything beyond your front door is taken care of. You don’t have to mow lawns or remember to take out the bins. If the light in the lobby goes out, someone fixes it.”
Living close to trees and green spaces has benefits for mental and physical health, and developers are doing more to make the natural environment a critical part of projects, whether that’s giving green-fingered residents space to dig in a communal garden or to grow veg in balcony planters.
Architects working on the designs for Newmarket Randwick want residents to be able to look out of their windows and appreciate the beauty of the site’s established trees and new landscaped gardens.
Mr Allen says: “I’ve worked on a lot of Sydney projects where the focus has been on distant views. The views from the Newmarket apartments will be of the immediate natural landscape.
“When we were designing the buildings we thought about people being able to look outside and see a beautiful fig bough.”
To find out more about Newmarket Randwick, visit http://www.newmarketrandwick.com.au/