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Baby-boomers increasingly attracted to apartments

Baby-boomers increasingly attracted to apartments, market analysis shows

Monday, 26 October 2015

The Auckland apartment market has come of age with baby-boomers increasingly attracted to, and are prepared to pay for, well-designed and spacious apartments in a master-planned community, says Pete Evans, national director of residential property marketing at Colliers International.

Mr Evans’ comments follows the publication of Colliers’ latest analysis of who is buying apartments at Alexandra Park’s proposed mixed-use urban village and why.

Earthworks have begun for the construction of the first building in the Auckland Trotting Club’s former carpark on Green Lane West. Over two thirds of the apartments for stage one have been sold in recent months.

Responses by buyers to Colliers market survey show that 82% will be owner/occupiers, with just 18% investors so far. This bucks recent numbers and allegations floating around the media that certain investors made up 40% of residential sales in the Auckland housing market.

What’s more, overwhelmingly most buyers are currently living within five kilometres of Alexandra Park.

Another result that may surprise some is that 79% of buyers were 45 years of age or older – made up of 37% older than 60 and 42% between the ages of 45 and 59. Just 21% were 44 years old or younger.

“I think a lot of people still presume those buying apartments are investors wanting to put the likes of students in them or young people who can’t afford their own standalone house. Well these numbers blow those out-of-date perceptions out of the water. What we’re seeing with Alexandra Park is more mature Aucklanders increasingly and deliberately opting for apartments and in many cases selling up the family home to do so,” says Mr Evans.

When questioned on what aspects of the Alexandra Park urban village development they rated the highest, the fact that it sits in the sought-after double grammar zone was not a leading aspect. Rather respondents rated ‘design/layout/size of apartment’ the highest, followed by its location, and thirdly the overall design of project.

“Another presumption many would have with this Epsom project is that people are buying up to be in the grammar zone. Well while that’s been an important consideration for some, for most buyers it’s more about the fact the apartments are beautifully designed, on freehold titles in a great location with much attention paid to ensuring attractive outdoor urban design, and delivering a real sense of community in a safe and secure environment.”

Mr Evans says buyers have also been attracted to environmental aspects and advantages on offer, including delivering a Smart Energy system, the installation of LED lights and roof-top solar panels which will also mean energy bill savings for residences.

“Twenty years ago many thought apartments were the domain of the young, central city, and were too small and not a good option for the average middle-class middle-aged Aucklander. Well 20 years on and it’s the baby-boomers who are the largest growth market, seeking spacious, well designed, quality apartments in well-planned environments which will deliver a strong capital gain over time,” says Pete Evans.

Chief executive of Alexandra Park Dominique Dowding says with the majority of stage one now sold, stages two and three of the development have now come on the market known as Sightline Green and High Street.

“Our development is a very solid and attractive proposition for a wide range of ages and stages. However what we’ve seen so far is mostly locals and long-time Aucklanders buying up. As well as all the space, design features, views and location, many say to me they love the idea of having great coffee, alfresco dining options, and a gourmet grocer just downstairs,” she says.

“Lifestyle and community is increasingly important to many people. What’s more our new urban village will create a real heart and focal point for the Epsom area,” says Ms Dowding.

Another thing that is proving popular with buyers is the stunning on-site apartment display suite. It is open from 12pm to 4pm daily or by appointment by calling 0800-275-484 or visiting www.apliving.co.nz

ENDS

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