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The latest happenings in the Melbourne property market. For our Essays and The Secret Agent Report, see our Research page.


Category Archives For: Apartments

The Secret Agent Report – Better Apartments: Before There Were Standards

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

This month, Secret Agent reviews the quality of apartments built in the last 6 years and compares them with Victoria’s new Better Apartments Design StandardsIf constructed today, how many of these apartments are actually compliant? In which criteria do we observe the highest fail rates?

Access the Better Apartments: Before There Were Standards report now!


The Secret Agent Report – Terraces & Townhouses: Price Per Internal Square Metre

Diagram showing how Secret Agent's price per internal square metre index is calculated compared to the current industry standard

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

In this report, Secret Agent proudly presents our Price Per Square Metre Index for period homes and townhouses in inner Melbourne. This is Melbourne’s first price per square metre report based on actual internal usable space, and not land size.

Access the Terraces & Townhouses: Price Per Internal Square Metre report now!


In 2016, We Paid More for Older Apartments

Illustration showing that buyers paid 38 thousand dollars more for low-rise, older apartments in 2016 compared to newer apartments

This week, Secret Agent compares new and old apartments around inner Melbourne to see which were more valuable in 2016.

The sample included 1674 apartment sales across inner Melbourne’s suburbs and the CBD from January to December 2016. New apartments are those built from the 90s onwards, excluding any recent off-the-plan apartment sales. Old apartments include Art Deco units and flats located in 60s to 80s brick buildings. Read the full post


The Price of Better Designed Apartments

Illustration showing an A-grade apartment receiving adequate sunlight, having views outwards, cross-ventilation and sufficient private outdoor space.

How much more are we willing to pay for a cross ventilated, well-lit apartment with a balcony and open views?

In March this year, apartment design standards will be implemented into the Victorian planning system. Apartment design standards will ensure all future apartments in Victoria are desirable, safe, healthy and sustainable. New developments in Victoria will only be permitted a planning permit if they meet these standards. A 2015 community survey found that the top concerns of apartment amenity were “access to daylight, functional space, and natural ventilation”, as well as noise and energy efficiency. (DELWP, 2)

Standards have been made for 16 elements of design: Building setback, functional layout, room depth, windows, storage, noise impacts, energy efficiency, solar access to communal open space, natural ventilation, private open space, communal open space, landscaping, accessibility, building entry and circulation, waste and recycling, integrated water and storm water management.

It is logical to think that better design standards should produce apartments of a higher quality. This in turn should increase the sale price of these apartments. Secret Agent was engaged to determine the price premium of better designed apartments. That is, how much more are consumers willing to pay for an A grade apartment compared to a B grade and C grade apartment? Read the full post


How much value does a balcony add to an apartment?

Diagram showing that balconies cost 2800 per square metre in 1 bedroom apartments and add up to 11.7 percent more to its sale price

This week, we take a closer look at balconies and other types of outdoor area in apartments. While no doubt desirable, many developers are uncertain how much value outdoor space will create for them. This was reflected in our Supply report, which showed that outdoor space for both one and two bedroom apartments being planned in Melbourne was barely above the minimum suggested in the Victorian Government’s recent apartment design standards draft. Read the full post


Warehouse Apartments in Melbourne: What They Cost

Infographic showing the average price per square metre of 2 bedroom warehouse apartments

Who knew that the walls of former breweries, factories and mills would become one of the most irresistible apartment styles to own and occupy in inner Melbourne.

Warehouse apartments are unique in that they successfully and seamlessly merge historic and trendy. Characterised by their exposed brick walls, steel trusses, sleek interiors and impossibly high ceilings, warehouse style apartments are limited in supply, further adding to their appeal.

In this bulletin, Secret Agent examines inner Melbourne’s warehouse apartment market. Read the full post


What Melbourne’s Apartments Will Cost You

In this update, we present a more thorough look into the price per square metre rates of apartments by suburb, further categorising sales according to the number of bedrooms. These results are shown in Table 1.

The overall average price per square metre rate for apartments in inner Melbourne is $8,687/sqm. 

Overall, the three most expensive suburbs to purchase an apartment  are Albert Park ($13,276/sqm), East Melbourne ($11,914/sqm) and Middle Park ($10,720/sqm). These areas have consistently topped our index.

The least expensive apartments per square metre can be found in Travancore ($6,563/sqm), Kensington ($6,869/sqm) and Flemington ($7,079/sqm).

A few things can be observed when considering apartments with a larger accommodation. In some suburbs, the increase in number of bedrooms also leads to an increase in price per square metre, as seen in the CBD region, Carlton, Collingwood, Clifton Hill and South Yarra.

We can see that most of the inner North and inner West suburbs tend to have decreasing price per square metre rates as apartments grow in accommodation size. However, note that some of the data may be inaccurate due to the small number of sales available for that particular apartment type.

price-per-square-metre-melbourne-apartments-q3

Click to view table in fullscreen mode.


Melbourne, Docklands and Southbank: Capital Growth of Apartments

Secret Agent’s apartment capital growth index tracks price changes of the same apartments over time. Rather than simply using average price changes, basing the index on resales gives a better measure of true capital growth. The index tracks how apartment prices change when buying off the plan, as well as all subsequent sales of the property. This bulletin takes a closer look at apartments in Melbourne CBD, Docklands and Southbank. Note that when talking about annualised growth rate, we are referring to converting the growth rate over one quarter to an annual figure.

Since 2009, CBD and Southbank apartments have been growing in value at about the same rate, with the CBD slightly ahead for all but the first quarter of 2016 (Figure 1). Since the end of 2011, CBD apartments have grown in value by an annual average of 2.83%. while Southbank apartments by 2.60%. Over the whole time period, Docklands growth was well below the other two suburbs, averaging 1.40% over the past five years.

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Read the full post