Off-the-plan goes off: 90 apartments sold in five hours

Aug 25, 2013

The Australian Financial Review / 12 August 2013

‘In five hours on Saturday, Sydney property developer Legacy Property sold 90 off-the-plan apartments at the opening of a new tower in Bondi Junction. Legacy’s team of 50 lawyers and agents made a sale every four minutes. Director Matthew Hyder said the stars were aligned.

“We have had four weeks of auction clearances over 80 per cent and an interest rate cut,” he said. But even he was surprised. “I would have been happy with 60 sales,” he said. Instead Legacy has only three apartments still to sell. Australia’s housing market has been improving since a nadir in May 2012. Since then, capital city values have improved 6.5 per cent, according to real estate analysts RP Data and Rismark.’

‘The Legacy project, Capitol, is in Oxford Street, Bondi Junction, close to Westfield and the train station, with has views of the harbour. Mr Hyder said it “ticks the boxes” for local investors who, through agents CBRE, make up most of the buyers. But it is not cheap. Studio apartments start at $575,000, equivalent to the median price of a house in Sydney. Buyers pay, on average, $14,500 per square metre and for the best, up to $17,500 per square metre. Mr Hyder said supply was the issue. “Waverley Council fought us tooth and nail over this project but the public are starved of stock,” he said. “It’s not indicative of a functioning model.”’

Extracts from article by Robert Harley