20/12/2019 - 11:59

Design, amenity top of mind for WA homebuyers

20/12/2019 - 11:59

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Western Australian homebuyers are more in tune with design and surrounding amenity than their eastern states counterparts, with the vast majority of respondents to a recent survey also believing current market conditions are ideal to buy property.

Proximity to water, views and amenities are some of the highest priorities for WA apartment buyers, Mirvac says. Photo: Mirvac

Western Australian homebuyers are more in tune with design and surrounding amenity than their eastern states counterparts, with the vast majority of respondents to a recent survey also believing current market conditions are ideal to buy property.

The findings were part of national developer Mirvac’s third biennial housing choices survey, which attracted more than 2,000 responses.

Mirvac head of residential Stuart Penklis said more than 80 per cent of WA respondents said design, surrounding amenities and lifestyle factors were a top priority when purchasing a property, compared to an average of 60 per cent of respondents in other states.

“In our segment of the market, and with our buyers that we are seeing in WA, there is absolutely a focus around the importance of quality and design excellence in the internal features of apartments,” Mr Penklis said.

“What we found is that both internal planning, good efficient designs that are very liveable, both in apartments and housing, but also aesthetics, seem to be a key focus of buyers and very much a key attribute of the buyers that we’re seeing in WA at the moment.

“There is absolutely a flight to quality and people appreciate how great design improves amenity and lifestyle, in both apartment and housing. 

“What we are seeing in Perth at the moment is there is a greater appreciation for design excellence. 

“I think we have seen the market start to improve in WA, and without question we are seeing peoples’ aspirations for higher quality product and design excellence coming through.”

More than 80 per cent of WA respondents said they considered now a good time to buy, while older homebuyers in WA were found to be more likely to self-fund property purchases than approach a major bank.

Mr Penklis said the survey also revealed that 50 per cent of WA respondents worked from home at some point in the working week, a trend the developer was responding to through the design of its apartment buildings and detached housing products.

“Some of the new things we are introducing in apartments is communal areas within a building, so people can co-work in a space rather than be isolated in an apartment,” Mr Penklis said.

“That’s seeming to be a popular offering and a piece of amenity that will be very much part of apartment living going forward. 

“If people are working from home, and want to have a meeting, they don’t have to come into your apartment, they can actually come to the co-meeting space in the building. 

“That will be a trend that continues to gain traction across the country.”

The survey also revealed a contrast between generations’ buying priorities, with younger buyers gravitating to Mirvac’s Leighton Beach apartments offering, and older buyers more attracted to the developer’s Claremont project.

“From a Gen Y perspective, accessibility to public transport is a priority,” Mr Penklis said.

“We see that with buyers at our Leighton project in WA. 

“Being close to the train station is really driving a lot of those younger buyers into that project. Views and connectivity to public transport, being able to utilise public transport to get to work is really driving a lot of those buyers. 

“Then you look at how the baby boomers responded in the survey, they are probably a bit more focused around traditional, more affluent suburbs. Claremont is more of a baby boomer-type product type.”

Mr Penklis said the survey was designed for Mirvac to get a better understanding of its customers, and would shape the next wave of the company’s developments.

“We take these learnings, and we make sure that the learnings from this survey and the learning from our past customers and current customers that are settling projects inform the future design of our projects across Australia,” he said.

“And we make sure that the learnings from this particular survey and the responses out of WA actually influences designs for our future projects in WA.

“One of the key focus for us is to make sure that the housing and the apartments that we design and deliver really satisfy the needs of customers not only today but well into the future,” 

“Being able to pick those trends and what’s changing is critical.”

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