25/04/2006 - 22:00

Buyers sold on the inner-city lifestyle

25/04/2006 - 22:00

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Perth’s inner city continues to be a major investment focus in the local market amid strong off-the-plan apartment sales and major investments in new city residential and infrastructure projects.

Buyers sold on the inner-city lifestyle

Perth’s inner city continues to be a major investment focus in the local market amid strong off-the-plan apartment sales and major investments in new city residential and infrastructure projects. 

The city of Perth recorded the highest rate of growth of all local government areas in Australia last year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with 1,400 more people moving into the inner city, representing a jump of more than 13 per cent in the city residential population.

As at June last year, 11,821 people with an average age of 32 had made the CBD their home.

Lord Mayor Dr Peter Nattrass said the council had purposely introduced development incentives over a number of years to increase the amount of multi-storey residential developments in the inner city.

These include a rate relief program, 50 per cent rebate on planning fees, larger plot ratios, and quality standards such as noise reduction treatments to increase the “livability” factor of new developments, he said.

Dr Nattrass said he was concerned about the limited amount of retail infrastructure in some precincts, in light of the large increases in the city population during the past decade.

“Some precincts require more infrastructure but unfortunately you need more than 200 people to support a supermarket or get a chain interested. Some chains have been sniffing around but the population is not at a level just yet to support them,” he said.

Colliers associate director research consultancy, David Cresp, said there were about 6,500 apartments in the CBD and that the population was reaching critical mass.

“There are 2,000 apartments planned for completion in the next three years, with a majority already sold off the plan,” he said.

Of those planned, about 156 apartments are on the drawing board of the East Perth Redevelopment Authority, which is expected to announce the successful tenders for up to six lots, ranging from 1,608sq m to 3,2856sq m in the Queens Precinct, within the month.

The precinct land over four hectares in East Perth comprises the State Chemical Laboratories on the corner of Plain Street and Adelaide Terrace, which is earmarked for a major supermarket, and the former Perth Bus Depot site.

Coldwell Banker Pro Property executive director Brett Wilkins said off-the-plan city apartment sales were now commonplace, with very few developments getting off the ground without pre-commitment from buyers.

“Developers will make sure the feasibility is there before going ahead and this can mean holding back to ensure they get the best prices,” he said.

“It’s still a challenging market at the moment with very little stock available and higher construction and wages costs to deal with.”

Mr Wilkins said the demand for inner-city residential was mainly fuelled by the ‘empty nester’ baby boomers with retirement in mind and professional couples with no children.

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