It certainly hasn’t turned out to be the year many people expected, but for others there have been plenty of opportunities in the form of purchasing a new home, either pre-built or off the plan.
So, what is driving people to purchase during one of the worst pandemics and economic downturns that we have seen in a long time?
COVID-19 has put incredible financial and economic stress on many Aussie individuals and families.
For those fortunate enough to be in a position to be considering buying a property, there are several reasons why now may be the perfect opportunity to make your move. In this article, we'll cover 3 of the key reasons why:
Low Interest Rates
Low interest rates are the starting driving force; it’s certainly been a while since we’ve seen interest rates sitting in the 2 – 3% range, particularly for so long, and it is helping people get into the market and make larger repayments on their new homes, getting themselves ahead.
However, it can be harder to secure a loan, particularly if you are sitting on the fine line of whether you have enough of a deposit saved and how secure your job is.
Banks are certainly tightening their lending policies and for people in some industries, it is much harder to secure a home loan.
There are no restrictions to buying a new home, other than perhaps restrictions placed on inspections and auctions by relevant Government authorities, and the methods around buying certainly haven’t changed.
However there are a few things to be doing now that you may not have considered even 12 months ago:
The announcement of Government grants to help people purchase a new home have certainly seen an influx in enquiries from potential purchasers.
Most states have also put into place grants suited towards those building a new home to complement the Federal Government grants.
The HomeBuilder grant provides eligible owner-occupiers a $25,000 grant to build a new home or to substantially renovate an existing home. In NSW, some of the eligibility criteria includes:
You can find out more about the HomeBuilder grant applications in NSW through Revenue NSW.
The First Home Buyer grant is available to first home buyers in NSW, with two sections – First Home Owner Grant (New Home) and First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme.
The First Home Owner Grant offers $10,000 towards the purchase price of your new home. There are a few requirements that need to be met including:
The First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme provides a full or partial exemption on transfer duty, and to apply you must be buying your first home in Australia and it needs to be valued at no more than $800,000.
Less Buyers in the Market
Another factor making it easier for buyers at the moment is that there are less buyers in the market. While the Sydney market is usually quite competitive, with less buyers out there, it can be easier to purchase your new home without the rush there normally is.
Real estate agents have more time to show you available properties and developments, and you’ll generally have a bigger selection to choose from.
The Market Might Be Right But I still Don't Feel Confident Buying Property
It’s one thing to utilise the current grants and economic conditions to purchase your new home if you are able to do so, but you also need to feel confident in actually purchasing your new home, whether pre-built or off-the-plan.
If you are a first home buyer, it can be hard to know what to be on the look out for and what to consider.
If that's the case check out our article on the topic is a great place to start.
The popularity and requests for sustainable and environmentally friendly design and construction have been rapidly growing in recent years. There are some pretty great sustainable materials on the market, as well as designs and builds happening around the world; developers, architects and construction companies are taking notice of what consumers want, and it’s making for some exciting changes in the industry.
What is Sustainable Construction?
Sustainable construction is all about reducing the impact of the industry on the environment, from the design stage right through to the clean up stage. There are plenty of methods construction companies are now using to meet the sustainability requirements of their clients, including:
The construction industry historically has had a large impact on the environment, so with the change towards sustainability there has been some innovative thinking and designing coming through in the last few years.
Popular Sustainable Building Methods
There are a number of sustainable and eco friendly building methods that are gaining popularity with both construction companies and their clients.
Green roofs or living roofs are becoming quite popular on commercial properties and high rise residential builds. A green roof is essentially where grass, plants, flowers, bushes and other greenery is grown on the roofing material. Stormwater is used to help grow the plants, it is relatively easy to manage, white heating and cooling costs are reduced and air quality is improved.
Grey Water Systems
For years, homeowners have been harvesting their grey water, mostly to use on gardens. Commercial property builds are now utilising grey water systems (from everything except for toilets) for irrigation and supplying toilets with water, reducing their reliance on fresh water.
Imagine not having to worry about shades and window treatments in your commercial setting. Electrochromic glass has the ability to move from clear to opaque based on external stimuli including electrical current or UV rays. It essentially removes the need for window shades and films, adapting to the current conditions as required. This, in turn, has the benefit of blocking a vast majority of UV rays.
Solar Thermal Cladding
Heating is a major resource and cost drain for any building, which is why solar thermal cladding is becoming a popular addition to commercial and large residential buildings. This is a passive building method that is designed to hold heat during the cooler months, storing the sun’s energy and passing through to the building for heat retention.
We know that 3D printing has been on the rise in the construction industry for some time, and it is becoming more popular. Traditionally in the construction industry, building materials have needed to be created off-site and moved to the building site which has heavy environmental costs. 3D printing allows for components to be printed and constructed on site, reducing the need for shipping and bringing down the costs of the build.
What’s Next in Sustainable Building Design?
There are always plenty of innovative building methods coming through, and as technology evolves, so will construction methods. There are two very exciting products and processes on the market which will revolutionise sustainable construction further.
Self-healing concrete is in its early stages, but once commercially viable, there will be plenty of doors opening. This material can be used on almost everything including roads and walkways, and removes the need for road crews to shut down streets to repair potholes and cracks.
Architects are also working on a machine that recycles construction waste into reusable materials. The machine would create bricks that can be used for new structures using living organisms that bind pre-existing construction waste. If this machine gets up and running, it will significantly cut down the amount of construction waste in the environment.
With a finite number of resources available, sustainable construction is needed to meet a growing demand. Those who invest in sustainable technologies are recouping their costs through decreased operation costs and a high popularity in their services. There are large gains to be made in the sustainability realm, and the early adopters are certainly seeing the benefits.
Laurus is set to unveil a host of sustainable elements to their latest 150 apartment block in Kellyville, Sydney. Including solar, plenty of greenery and electric vehicle charge stations. More to come.
Laurus has secured a sought after site in booming Alexandria, on busy McEvoy Street.
The new site is awaiting the finalisation of DA approval, with plans to build a high-end, mixed use development that will revitalise the suburb. Plans for the development contain a single commercial tenancy, 34 residential apartments, and two levels of basement parking at 135-139 McEvoy Street.
Laurus is known for its high quality yet affordable properties, and the new site at Alexandria is no different. Residential apartments will be large and comfortable, providing something different to what is already in the area. The overall look and style of the build will be more luxurious than what is already in the suburb.
The residential component of the development has been designed to maximise comfort and lifestyle. Across the 34 proposed units there will be 4 one bedroom units, 25 two bedroom units and 5 three bedroom units.
Five of the proposed units are to be built as adaptable units, capable of being retrofitted post-build for those with mobility impairments.
The yet to be named project is situated approximately 900 metres from Green Square Railway Station and is adjacent to bus services travelling to and from Marrickville and Leichhardt. It is also close to Alexandria Park, a multipurpose sports field with children’s playground and off-leash areas that local residents love.
There are a large number of developments in different stages throughout Alexandria, from those in the planning stage to those that have sold out, indicating plenty of demand for new and modern properties in the area.
Laurus is an established team of industry professionals based in Sydney, delivering an end-to-end service covering everything from conception to completions. Managing Director, Brian Hood, has been involved in delivering over $4 billion worth of work across Sydney including the Sydney Olympic Stadium, Bennelong Point, The Residences Hyde Park and Bondi Pacific.
With Brian at the helm of every project, and Laurus’ reputation for consistently delivering high quality projects on time, the company has established strong relationships with designers and building partners who help bring properties to life.
The Laurus team is ready to hit the ground running with development at the next Alexandria site once full DA approval has been granted, building a high end, boutique product that provides more luxury than Alexandria is used to.
When searching for an investment, buyers tend to be looking at four things – capital growth, aesthetics, location and features. These four factors, combined with a solid rental income, tends to ensure that buyers end up purchasing an investment property that works for their portfolio plans.
For first time investors, it’s easy to let emotions take hold, and buy a property that suits the needs of the investor rather than purchasing a property that best suits the needs of tenant. But Laurus' latest development, Grandfield Kellyville, has produced a much needed, luxury living yet affordable option in the quickly growing north-west Sydney suburb of Kellyville.
It is at times like these, that people are looking to put their money in a stable investment, a place where prices are unlikely to depreciate and plummet quickly, and real estate is that place. Prices in Kellyville are holding strong, in fact on a month on month basis over the last 12 months, prices are slightly increasing.