BIGGER is not necessarily better in Perth’s burgeoning apartments market, with new research showing buyers prefer smaller buildings to high-rise projects.
A survey commissioned by developer Psaros in collaboration with the Conservation Council of WA and the Property Council of Australia showed 79 per cent of respondents believe inner-city Perth should have a mix of mid-rise apartment buildings and townhouses, rather than high-rise developments.
The survey canvassed the views of 542 residents in inner-city Perth.
However, recent approvals or applications in Perth are expected to change the dynamic of the market significantly, with two towers at 49 and 43 levels flagged for Kings Square, while a 52-storey tower has been approved to be built on the edge of the CBD at the old Megamart site on Beaufort Street.
South Perth has also attracted a number of large-scale developments, with Finbar Group given the green light to proceed with its 38-storey Civic Heart project, containing 294 apartments.
Westbridge Property Group has won approval for a 39-storey tower just down Labouchere Road in March.
Psaros’s research showed there were 148 projects either under construction or having secured construction approval in the inner city, with 31 per cent being a boutique size of 21 to 60 apartments.
Projects comprising 20 or fewer apartments made up 29 per cent of the city projects, while developments with between 61 and 99 apartments accounted for 15.5 per cent.
Apartment projects exceeding 100 dwellings made up 24.3 per cent of new projects, but accounted for the lion’s share of total dwellings, at 74.8 per cent.
Psaros chief executive Danny Psaros said the survey findings were significant given the range of apartment options in a market that has turned significantly in favour of buyers over the last 12 months.
“What our research found is that while buyers are clearly embracing the advantages of apartment living, most don’t want to be part of mass-produced buildings that are often noisy and can tend to feel crowded,” Mr Psaros said.
“Apartment buyers want a certain lifestyle and they’re narrowing their focus to smaller, exclusive developments which offer what they’re looking for.”
He said the company’s 34-dwelling Fiore development in West Leederville was a good example of where he believed the market was heading.
Mr Psaros said about half of the apartments at Fiore had already been sold ahead of a scheduled construction start later this year. “The other important aspect of smaller, boutique developments is that there is a greater security of delivery, which gives buyers heightened confidence in the project,” he said.