Monday 30 August 2021

The apartment precinct - The future of apartment living

Apartment Living Chronicles Part 3

It is expected that Australia’s population will expand to more than 35 million citizens by 2050, with a large percentage of its inhabitants living in urban centers. The existing infrastructure and public utilities that were set up to accommodate an urban density model of 8 to 15 detached dwellings per hectare are now largely unsustainable. 

However, the advent of the apartment to replace detached houses has tended to bring with it certain setbacks of their own. They have tended to eat into public space, been heavy consumers of energy and offered lonely, characterless corridors as the only common areas.  And this is not to mention their aesthetic value or lack thereof on our urban landscape. So, what does the future of apartment living look like, and will we remedy the errors of the past?

Progressive architects are looking to design spaces that not only provide dwellings, but also create community infrastructure in sustainable, medium density developments that embrace and nurture the social aspect of community. Rather than limiting their design to purely residential, many cutting edge architects are developing vibrant precincts within apartment complexes for both residents and the public to enjoy. This type of urban development has long been seen in Europe, where communities seem to have the social and leisure aspects of life down pat. So, it is almost inevitable that Australia’s largest cities adopt this successful urban design for the future.

Never has the home and its relationship to community been more important than in the current climate. The best upcoming developments not only provide homes, but also contribute positively to our cities in a sustainable way. Private foyers are becoming public spaces and provide infrastructure and services often lacking in the local community. This not only serves the community at large, but also residents. Additionally, it creates a sense of vibrancy and a buzz of activity for the people living in the apartments connected to these precincts. This supports residents’ wellbeing and creates spaces where neighbours can connect with each other. 

Precincts allow residents a village way of life that reduces carbon emissions and means they are able to live small and shop local. The on-hand convenience of having a trendy restaurant, café or boutique shop a lift ride away, means residents have more time up their sleeve. And the best apartment precincts are close to transport corridors, shops and services. Ideally, precincts have their own green space that not only beautifies the immediate area, but also offers a readily accessible space for leisure and recreation. 

Cramer have an exciting collection of apartments for sale by developers TOGA, who have really embraced the precinct concept for living and incorporated it into their outstanding apartments, retail and green spaces. Here is a selection of our fantastic listings in Surry Hills Village and Wicks Place on the Park in Marrickville, two of Sydney’s most creative, cool and cosmopolitan suburbs.

Thursday 19 August 2021

Post Lockdown Must See – One of the world’s top ten coolest neighbourhoods, Marrickville

The locals know it, and now it’s gone international with Marrickville having been voted by Time Out magazine as one of the world’s top ten coolest neighbourhoods. While we are all stuck in lockdown, use the internet to go sightseeing while your feet cannot, and get to know why Marrickville is fast becoming the most popular Sydney suburb. I’ve popped a few links below for your armchair travels until happy, post lockdown days will allow you to visit the real thing!

The best cuisines of the world are showcased here in Marrickville’s restaurants - try Peruvian at Pepito’s, Mediterranean at Barzaari, Kurumac for Japanese, Pizza Madre for Vegetarian Italian. Some of Australia’s most authentic Vietnamese and Filipino cuisine is there to enjoy and eating out doesn’t cost have to cost an arm and a leg. 

The pub culture in Marrickville is becoming world-renowned and its craft beer halls arguably the best in the country. And for those who love their coffee, the café culture and quality of brew is exceptional in this thriving suburb. Meet with a mate (once the lockdown ends – and it will end thank God) and take your pick from Ona, Matinee or Stix and while you’re there, try the food as it is as good as it gets. And Two Chaps has a vegetarian based menu and is also open at night for pasta and Italian style desserts.

Then for a mean breakfast and bargains galore, explore the Marrickville Organic Markets at the Addison Road Community Centre. These markets are dog-friendly in Marrickville’s typical inclusive style and offer everything from bespoke artisan wares to organic produce and vintage clothing. 

It’s easy to get out and about in this fantastic suburb’s many great parks – take a book and a picnic to your choice of Marrickville, Henson or Enmore Parks. Or to get a great cardio and enjoy water views, try the Cooks River Foreshore walking and bike track. Also check out the brand new, award-winning, architecturally superior Marrickville Library and Pavillion. If you have little ones, the library has a great Rhyme Time, then after take the tiny tots for an excellent adventure at the playground in Marrickville Park. 

A huge factor that contributes to Marrickville’s liveability and lovability is its multi-cultural population that creates a melting pot of all that is great about the individual cultures and shows Australia functioning socially at its best with everyone getting on with everyone. 

Marrickville’s Inner West centrality is greatly assisted by the neighbourhood’s two train stations – Marrickville and Sydnenham – taking you direct to the CBD and the buses connect easily to other popular Inner West suburbs such as Newtown and Enmore. And just before I sign off, let’s look forward to the Marrickville Annual Street Festival - once things open up again and we can all happily return to live as we somewhat know it. 

For more on Marrickville, check out Concrete Playground’s neighbourhood guide.

If you're considering a move to Marrickville, then look no further than Wick's Place. 
View Cramer Property's available residences, including this beautiful two bedroom apartment.

Wednesday 11 August 2021

Why the Sydney property market remains strong

On the surface, it seems to defy logic that the Sydney property market is remaining so strong during one of the major global crises in living memory. However, you don’t have to go digging too deeply to see why property still stacks up as being your best bet, whether this involves investing in or owning your own property.

With money in the bank earning negligible interest, and the share markets being unpredictable and usually only beneficial in the long term, property is becoming the place that so many of us are choosing to park our cash. In Sydney, property has been steadily going up in value for well over a decade now, and the capital gains to be had in property have far exceeded those to be found in any bank. Placing our dollars in hard assets not only fights inflation, it also gives us the reassurance of something tangible during these changing times and most importantly, provides us with a place to live. And when purchased as an investment, return on investment through rent is generally far more attractive than other forms.

Another major driver of the hot property market, also involving interest rates, is the historically low cost of borrowing money. We are able to borrow more now than ever, largely due to the fact that our interest rate will vary somewhere between 1% and 3%, which was previously unheard of. The fact that interest rates have remained low or even further decreased over the last decade stems from the global financial crisis of 2008. And the RBA and banks all indicate rates will remain low in the foreseeable future. All this gives us confidence that rates will remain at all-time lows for the foreseeable future, increasing our buying power which in turn generates property market activity. 

One of the chief reasons the RBA are reluctant to raise interest rates is because owning your own property gives us a sense of wealth, which generates spending both elsewhere in the economy and within our own home. We tend to purchase more things when we own our own place compared to when we rent, and we are prone to want to upgrade our property with far more regularity than in previous generations, and spending more the next time round as we move up the property ladder. The flow on effects of all this include increases in property values, a decline in unemployment, a steadier rate of inflation and more discretionary spending - all good for the economy. 

Now 18 months into this pandemic, our homes have increasingly become our places of work as well. This change of use has a number of ramifications. We are becoming more insular in our way of life, and home is often now where we work, exercise and periodically home-school our children. These extra purposes ideally require extra space, and many of our homes just aren’t user friendly enough. This has created incredible demand and is fuelling the property market as we seek more multi-purpose properties.

With so many of us now working remotely from home, it is imperative that we have a work-dedicated area. This change of use repercussion is that we are now able to write off a percentage of expenses associated with our home as work-related. When paying off a mortgage, every little saving counts, and every dollar saved in income tax when working from home contributes to greater mortgage serviceability potential and can allow us to upgrade to a more suitable home. 

There has also been a big drive towards off-the-plan property that is brand new, intelligently designed and move in ready. Not having to contend with a fixer-upper and having a beautifully designed new property that is move-in ready is proving highly attractive. And off-the-plan has the added benefit of allowing us to plan, prepare and save more while only requiring a 10% deposit. So if you are looking to either purchase your first home, move up the property ladder or invest in a rental property, here are some of the great properties Cramer currently has available.