TOUGH TIMES: Nigel Satterley says too many apartments are being built for the market to absorb.

Satterley stirs apartments debate

Prominent land developer Nigel Satterley has predicted more pain to emerge from Perth’s apartments market, forecasting widespread price falls and more projects to fail as pressure builds on developers.


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Mr Satterley's comments reflect an alarming but very real situation in WA. This rapid increase in building of new apartments was meant to feed the continued mining boom which stopped two years ago. One has to be blind to ignore the apartments oversupply in Perth market. Does anyone have any ideas how this unprecedented flooding of new apartments in Perth can be stopped to prevent a bad situation from going worse?

Nigel has a vested interest in downplaying the residential unit market as it detracts from his core business which is syndicated residential land subdivisions. People buying units are not buying his land. Perhaps he could enlighten the public on the current oversupply of land, the current sales rate and the major Banks' attitude to land subdivisions instead of "researching (unit) product over 4 storeys" and constantly carping on about the unit market.

Osborne Park, WA
Satterly Group are not in the apartment market - Nigel Satterly's comments perhaps are trying to influence people towards his house and land packages?? Perth's apartment density lags Brisbane significantly and lags Melbourne/Sydney density heaps. So a short-term softening of Perth market is no reason to predict a collapse in prices. In fact I think demand for better lifestyle living will continue to drive demand for quality modern apartments in great locations over the next five years. It has done so in all other major cities in Australia and Perth's size is now demanding more higher density living to cut down on travel times.

Nigel as usual is talking up his short-term book. If you believe that Perth will grow to be our nation's third city, then Perth must build up, not out of the CBD- Alkimos is as far North as we can grow- if this North-South city is to cope with traffic congestion. Therefore building affordable apartments in proximity to public transport corridors is the way to go - a theme of Aldo von Eyke at a "Cities of the Future" by the Perth City Council in 1965. Remember our history- or we are condemned to repeat its lessons.

The banks conduct significant research into risk before lending. The fact that certain apartment projects have failed to meet pre-sales requirements plus additionally, developers have been offering all sorts of 'sweeteners' to apartment buyers such as $1,000 deposit, free wi-fi & strata fees for up to two years & still haven't been able to reach pre-sales targets screams of OVERSUPPLY!!! There is likely to be 'blood on the streets' when settlement time comes as market values decline, bank funding dries up, equity in collateral assets erodes & the Mum's & Dads can't complete. . Additionally, Nigel Sayterley is a credible property market commentator regardless of his core business. Don't dispel his predictions too lightly folks. Watch this space !

Perth, WA
A little bit too much of an invested interest in this article maybe Nigel! Everything that the government is supporting in WA is to build a vibrant bustling city and inner-city fringe apartments are a huge thing that bring this all together.

Perth is starting to fall in love with the idea of living in apartments – with only 18% of new dwelling approvals in Perth in 2014 being for apartments. This was 58% in Sydney and 43% in Melbourne – so if this is any comparison I think this number is only going to grow! Watch what you say Mr Satterley, I think apartment living is only going to rise!

It’s interesting that a house and land developer is commenting on the apartment market – how is this a trustworthy statement? Good to see Business News looking at both sides of the coin and getting an actual apartment developer to comment. It seems Mr Satterley is just trying to drum up new business!

I agree with the majority of comments listed above. Satterley has a vested interest in house and land and will do what he can to deter buyers from apartment living. There is more to Perth's economy than just the mining boom. There are a number of international students hitting our shores with apartment styles being the most popular form of accommodation

Clearly Nigel has his own hip pocket in mind once again and is trying to frighten people out of the rapidly growing popularity and practicality of inner city apartment living. The value of any product is defined by the supply and demand and people no longer demand the old Australian Dream of a 4x2 with a big garden and a hill hoist to swing on with the dogs. People want modern amenity, close proximity to shops, cafe's , bars, restaurants and to the city where the majority of people now work since mining returned to production phase. The only way is up and that's why the Government is behind and backing over $13 Billion of brand new infrastructure projects under construction within 3km of the CBD. One of the all time simplest fundamentals... "Follow The Government Money".

The fact is that long-term prospers for the apartment market in Perth are very strong. With such long lead times for property development, and with all projects required to pre-qualify via pre-sales, this is all that should matter. Satterley's research, whilst interesting, is one-sided and distracts attention from the emerging realisation that many people don't want to live in the middle of nowhere and spend precious family time stuck in long, congested commutes.

As a first home buyer in Perth who wants to own property but still live in a desirable area near the city, apartments appear to be the only viable option. With an increasing young population in Perth, surely these people are the exact target for the new developments. It’s worked in the other major Australian cities, so why not Perth?

Mosman Park
Nigel seems to have a very short sighted and narrow minded view on the state of the apartment market. There are so many factors to take in to account before taking a position on this and when I've looked at all the stats and facts, it actually looks pretty positive and I will continue to invest in apartments. The key is selecting a good product in the right location, and remembering that real estate investment is a long term strategy. I've just achieved an interest rate at 3.99% on my home and secured a great tenant in my investment property (an apartment) - low holding costs and a good rental return makes right now a pretty good time to own property. There is no denying that Perth will continue to grow and with that growth, a rising demand for good quality apartments in good locations is inevitable. Not to mention the increase we will see from overseas investors when Sydney and Melbourne prices no longer support the same investment opportunities.

Pretty disappointing to hear Nigel's comments. The future is apartment/townhouse inner city living, these ugly outer Rim developments are ruining Perths march towards being a global city. The further we go out, the harder it is to fund centralized infrastructure that benefits all, like public transport, cultural centers and the small bar/ entertainment districts. The old land developers will die out like the dinosaurs they are and Perth will soon embrace the benefits of high density modern living

Correct Nigel. It's been my view for over 3 years that the oversupply of apartments is the cause of the downturn in the Perth property market. REIWA and Landgate Stats prove the point that you cant keep building stock for a market that prefers house and land packages and established homes. And a significant proportion of the 10,000 rental properties on the market are new apartments that are sitting vacant because the buyers have been unable to sell their home so they can move in. This high rise build up strategy is rubbish. There is plenty of land between Two Rocks and Peel to infill without multi-storey apartments. Around transport nodes, inner city and river front areas fine, but that's about the only place apartments will sell or rent.

We "bought" off the plan, never again! My wife & I, wanting to downsize, bought off the plan, two years ago an apartment in Burswood area...slow sales, but required number of apartments to proceed was reached and a builder was nominated earlier this year. Email mid Jan - announcing a financial review meeting 15 Feb 2016. They reassured us that we would know immediately after. The apartment complex's name hasn't appeared anywhere in the lists of projects shelved yet. A full month has nearly passed - I have sent a number of emails, but I have yet to receive one reply! Appalling business practices like this will make us never to listen to the sales people again...a wasted two years.

This man sells 1980's faded suburban dreams to disillusioned buyers; his attitude towards a modern form of real estate and urban planning is the same of a troglodyte maintaing that caves are the best form of residence. Instead of pointing the finger to what he obviously sees as his opposition, he should start downsizing himself before it's too late and his MacMansion loses more than half its value.

David Airey, what a joke. 2-3 years ago there was not enough rental properties in Perth and your solution is to build more houses in Two Rocks and Peel region, when majority of tenants work in or close to the city. Get out of your western suburbs cove and try driving from Two Rocks to the city and be there by 8.15am on a Monday morning and see how fresh and ready for a full day's work you are. You do realise there is no train that services north of butler and the freeway stops at Currambine? That's 39km short of Two Rocks. When are people going to realise that younger people aren't interested in spending 2+ hours a day commuting.

Nigel, as an expert in all things property in WA, can you please provide the total number of unsold titled lots of land along with the total number of unsold titled apartments so that I can clearly see whether there is more of an oversupply of land or an oversupply of apartments.

It's all about location for me. I don't want to be living in a suburb that requires a 45 minute commute into work each day when I can live in a high quality residence right near all the amenities that I require and can get to work in 5-10 mins each day. That's an extra hour I can use to be productive as opposed to sitting around in traffic.

Gen Y are enjoying life too much – preferring to live closer to the CBD where lifestyle, amenities and entertainment are a key choice when deciding what sort of house they’ll live in. Gen Y’s make up 24% of Perth’s population, I don’t doubt that they are going to be a driving force in demand for Perth’s apartments.

Looks like an article to push people to buy house and land packages to me. Perth is finally catching up to the likes of Melbourne and Sydney and building more inner city apartments. Our population is predicted to rise to around 3 million in the coming years so its clear that we need more affordable housing close to the CBD for people to live.

I'm not sure how or why Mr Satterley is commenting on behalf of the banks but I think the amount of cranes in the Perth skyline provide enough evidence that the banks are more than happy to still be lending in Perth. I am in the first home owner demographic myself and the majority of the people I know in the same position as me are looking at apartments in and around the city as opposed to blocks in the burbs. I guess your opinion depends on whether you are actually in the market to buy a place or you are trying to sell blocks of land.

Satterley Property Group land developers, aren’t they? It’s interesting that Mr Satterley makes no reference to the slow house and land sales? I know I would much prefer to live in an apartment near the city rather than Satterley’s projects out in the suburbs! Apartment living is the way of the future!

Looks like the jury is in Nigel! While you are out in the (way) outer newly created suburbs denuding the land of trees and natural bush and destroying the habitats of native fauna consumers are looking to the inner city areas where a new generation of boutique developers are producing product for today's and tomorrow's generations.

We just need an international event and decrease in corporate taxes and we'll be fine. Be sure to join the Facebook "WA REAL ESTATE" group. We have nearly several thousand members and keep track of updates in the market several times per day. Michael McPhail, we're particularly waiting on you to join! Didn't you study property development?

It is now November 2016 and Nigel was right on the money. Have an apartment in Rivervale and have lost $30000 since purchase 4 years ago.

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