There’s almost nothing more exciting than buying a home, particularly when it’s your first home or you’ve decided it’s time for the forever home. But careful consideration is needed to ensure that you get the home most suitable to your needs. Whether it be close to work so you don’t need to do a long commute, or close to family and friends, there are some key factors to consider when buying your new home.
House prices and rental prices are currently on the rise across the country, so finding somewhere affordable to live is at the top of everyone’s list. Being able to have more money in your pocket at the end of the week is important, so take the time to sit down and decide on what is affordable for you, taking into consideration all costs of living.
Commuting can take up a lot of your day, and no one wants to be sitting in traffic or on public transport for hours if they can help it. If you work for a business that allows you to work from home, the commute time might not be as much of an issue, however for those who do need to commute daily, it’s essential to not only take in the actual distance to work, but how you will get there every day.
If moving to a new location, doing your research on employment opportunities means that you won’t move to a location with no work opportunities (unless of course you’re looking to retire, or you work online, and this isn’t an issue for you). Taking time to consider income levels in the area, as well as general cost of living is essential.
Real Estate Value
Yes, house prices are currently on the increase but it’s important to think about trends. Looking at past trends for properties in the area, while not an exact science, can give you an idea on long term value for the region. When looking at buying, take some time to look at sales prices from the last two – three months; you will generally get a good idea of whether you are getting value for your money.
Are you moving with a young family? Education facilities should be relatively high on your priority list. If moving to a new state, make sure you find out how the school systems work. Some areas will have school catchments, so it may be a good idea to choose a couple of schools and then look at the homes within those catchment areas. If considering moving to a more regional area, considering the proximity to tertiary education facilities is important.
Climate & Lifestyle
One of the biggest factors to consider is lifestyle and climate. There’s no point moving to Tasmania if you can’t handle the cold winters; likewise, there’s no point moving to Cairns if you can’t handle high humidity. Also consider the facilities around and what your family needs – sports clubs, shopping centres, beaches, camp areas, museums, art galleries and so on.
If an outer city location with views and facilities is on your radar, look at Montane Kellyville. With three rooftop terraces and views out to the Blue Mountains, these two- and three-bedroom apartments offer affordable luxury in the heart of Kellyville.
You may not have heard of it, but you’ve certainly been using it. Property technology, or prop tech, was relatively misunderstood just a few years ago, but now it’s a common phrase used by just about everyone in the commercial real estate industry.
In previous years prop-tech was the domain of more high-end commercial property industry businesses, but now it is an essential tool that is changing the way we do business and grow relationships with our clients. The software that comes under the proptech banner helps with researching, buying, selling and managing properties.
Those in commercial real estate have been using technology to help in these areas for years, but the new technology on or coming onto the market really changes the dynamics of what we can do.
What Does PropTech Cover?
There’s a whole range of software that comes under the proptech area including AI powered 3D property tours, national commercial real estate property search databases, cloud-based property management software and investment platforms.
Within the commercial real estate sector, new technology appearing on the market offers those in the commercial real estate sector the ability to market properties, work with new and existing clients and develop business strategies at any point.
What does PropTech Really Do?
As proptech becomes more accessible, consumers can access more data than they have been able to before, which makes them more knowledgeable impacting the way that real estate professionals and clients work together. Proptech allows consumers to become more savvy buyers or sellers, equipping them with a better understanding of the local real estate market. But this isn’t a bad thing.
More knowledgeable consumers allow commercial real estate agents and developers the ability to share a vision with each other, as well as enhancing communication and collaboration over a project.
The rise of proptech really allows for every point of a project to be streamlined. From Contech (construction tech), development, Fintech (Financing tech), moving and more, there’s plenty of room for creativity and technology to change the way the commercial real estate market works.
Helping to eliminate time consuming tasks, automated processed powered by AI will provide faster and more efficient results. Robots will be able to perform roles 24/7 which means projects can be turned out quicker.
IoT – Internet of Things
IoT, or Internet of Things, has been making itself more well known recently. It is essentially the way that devices and appliances are becoming interconnect via the internet. Things like lighting, heating, white goods, cars and more have sensors which create data that allow us more and better control. Smart homes will use IoT more and more in the future.
You’ve likely heard of blockchain when speaking of cryptocurrency, however it is a secure system that transfers almost immediately making it the perfect platform for transferring documents, agreements, contracts and finances.
3D printing offers two main areas for growth in the commercial real estate and development sector. The first is being able to product 3D models down to the most accurate details which provides a better outcome for all parties involved. The second allows for the printing of specialist building components and parts that are only needed as a one-off. This will replace the more expensive and less reliable small batch production and manufacturing.
It’s not just the software driving changes in the commercial real estate sector. With technology constantly pushing boundaries, and regular advancement in control, delivery, design and development, the proptech revolution is going to make the real estate sector more automated and efficient, potentially cutting costs for all involved.
If you thought the COVID pandemic was slowing down construction in Sydney, it’s time to think again. With plenty of new development projects set to shape the city in the next few years, and an improved transport system, it’s time to look at some of the projects that will add to Sydney’s future skyline.
This $2.5 billion twin-tower structure is set to be located within Sydney’s Tech Central, more specifically in the western most park of the government supported technology precinct next to Central Station. Both towers are designed to sit up to 39 levels and will provide a huge 150,000 sqm of office workspace.
The interesting part? These towers are going sustainable. Developers are looking to power these two buildings through 100% renewable energies. Even better is that the buildings include features such as touchless entry points and solar glass.
Still under assessment, Central Place is sure to make an impact on the skyline.
Another new addition to Tech Central is Atlassian’s new $1 billion+ tower. It is the flagship project within the precinct, made of concrete and timber and topping out at 180 metres. This is going to be one impressive building – a glass and steel façade, solar panels built into the sides of the building and indoor and planted terraces providing natural ventilation and green space.
The Atlassian Tower is currently under assessment, and if it gets the go ahead, will be the tallest timber structure in the country.
As part of the future Victoria Cross metro station located in North Sydney, this 42-story commercial tower was recently approved and will contain around 58,000sqm of office and retail space. It is predicted that the Victoria Cross development will accommodate up to 7,000 office workers. The development provides more easily accessible office space within the city.
Sydney Metro Network
Talking metro stations, by 2024 Sydney is set to have 31 metro stations along 66km of trackwork from Rouse Hill to Bankstown and Westmead, incorporating tracks through Chatswood, under Sydney Harbour and through the city.
This $12 billion project is projected to increase rail transport services across Sydney by up to 80 an hour in the morning peak periods, with up to 40,000 people per hour being whisked across the city.
They might not show on the city skyline but these metro stations will certainly help move people around more efficiently.
It’s a development that is often spoken about and is due to be completed this year. The 72-story building is home to 82 apartments as well as a 349 room, six-star hotel, and is located on the area known as Darling Harbour East.
Upon completion, One Barangaroo will be home to 3,500 residents with a huge $650 million in pre-sales already made.
Set to grow larger, the move from Ultimo to Parramatta means even more features for the Powerhouse Museum. When finished, it will be the largest museum in NSW, featuring a 30-metre-wide domed planetarium.
The new Powerhouse Museum will be the largest investment into the arts and culture sector in a long time – since the Sydney Opera House was built in fact. With an extra 2300sqm of exhibition space that includes 60 creative residential studios, this is certainly a project that will change the landscape along the Parramatta River.
Green Square Town Centre is one of the first new town centres to be built in a long time. The Green Square train station links directly to the airport and the city, there is a new aquatic and rec centre, a new library including an open-air Amphitheatre, a creative centre and a civic plaza.
Residents in the new Elysian Apartments, by Laurus Projects, Mathieson and 360, can take advantage of the new Green Square, with residents being able to enjoy privacy within their boutique apartments and then head out and have everything close at hand.
With plenty of great developments happening over the coming years, the Sydney skyline is set to change dramatically from what it is now. We can’t wait to see how the city looks in the future.
The past 18 months have been an extremely difficult time for the population of NSW and more broadly, for Australia. The unprecedented impact of Covid-19 has been immense and devastating for people all over the country.
However, as a community, we have rallied together to face it head-on. Where for many of us this has meant staying at home or wearing our masks, there are those who have been going above and beyond to keep us safe – our frontline workers. These are the people who have put themselves at risk day after day to look after the broader community.
The team at Laurus Projects would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude towards every single person who has helped ensure that we come out of lockdown with a renewed faith in each other and hopes for a brighter future.
As we start to emerge on the other side of the pandemic, we turn our focus to what the future holds – to better times ahead. This most likely means different things for different people – whether it be seeing family, travelling, attending your favourite event, we all have things we are looking forward to.
We would like to give all our essential workers something extra to look forward to. As a small gesture to say thank you, Laurus Projects would like to offer all essential workers discounted prices on our upcoming ‘Montane Apartments’ development.
The development will be comprised of one, two and three-bedroom apartments in the heart of Kellyville. Each apartment has a superb boutique design, exceptional craftsmanship and the latest in Google home automation. Set against the backdrop of the majestic Blue Mountains, Montane draws inspiration from the surrounding landscape, where urban living meets a more relaxed way of life. Moved by the fresh air, blue skies and the open space of the Kellyville area, Covid will be the last thing on your mind. Take a look at the website; https://www.montanekellyville.com.au/ to explore everything the development has to offer.
If you’re an essential worker considering buying a home in the near future, we’re here to help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch so that we can help make your transition into a post-covid world a little bit brighter.
Large-scale construction projects benefit greatly from advances in construction technology, which improves their safety, efficiency, and productivity. Construction has a lengthy history of invention, which has resulted in significant advancements in the sorts of structures that may be produced.
Let's take a look at some of the upcoming technological trends which are set to revolutionise the construction industry in the near future:
Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality (AR) is a digital information overlay that augments a view of the actual world. Construction personnel can look at a job site with additional information put directly on top of the actual world by utilising a mobile device with AR capabilities. This technology can be used to automate measurements, visualise modifications, and provide safety information.
Construction wearables have various productivity benefits, but they may soon gain traction due of their potential for improving safety. Innovations in the wearables section include smart boots which can detect collisions, smart hard hats which can detect micro sleeps to reduce accidents and power gloves which can increase dexterity and strength.
Exoskeletons, also known as exosuits, are wearable devices with motorised joints that give additional support and power during repeated motions such as bending, lifting, and grasping. While exoskeletons were initially used in rehabilitation programs, they are now gaining popularity as a tool to minimise injuries and enhance the efficiency for construction workers. Some exoskeletons are driven by electricity, while others merely disperse weight around the body; nevertheless, they all provide benefits for employees who undertake strenuous tasks.
Construction robots are still a long way from taking over the sector, but a variety of ideas and suggestions are being considered as the industry grapples with labour shortages and the need for social distancing. Some key innovations that we may see in this area in the coming years include:
Drones have already had an impact on the construction industry, and their influence is expected to continue to rapidly expand. Small, camera-equipped flying drones are capable of lowering the prices of procedures that were previously prohibitively expensive. A few of the key ways that drones can be used on construction sites include:
These are just a few examples of the ways in which technological innovations might revolutionise how the construction industry works in the future.
Imagine a dream so big that you won’t stop until you achieve it. Now imagine the pull of that dream being so strong that you make not just one, but three world record attempts within 12 months.
Sailor Lisa Blair is mixing adventure with citizen science as she prepares to tackle the Southern Ocean, one of the most challenging ocean environments anywhere in the world. With storms, huge waves, snow and ice to navigate as well as the well-known roaring forties, furious fifties and screaming sixties, it’s certainly not an area many dare to tread, especially not alone. However, for Blair it’s much more than just a chance to chase a dream and challenge her endurance.
Citizen Science and a Post-It Note Community Campaign
Climate Action Now is a community campaign tackling climate change, one small post-it note at a time. Through the Climate Action Now campaign, Blair promotes and encourages individuals to take positive action against climate change through focusing on solutions rather than on the problem. After inviting the community to write post-it notes with their best environmental action plans, Blair digitally transferred these messages onto a hull wrap that encases her yacht.
The goal of the campaign is simple: inspire people to make positive changes in their life to support our environment.
The Southern Ocean is one of the most remote places on earth, meaning that climate data from the region is very limited. With plans to install an Ocean Pack Race Research unit on her yacht, Blair will be able to capture key data on CO2, salinity levels, temperature and barometric pressure. She also plans to couple this unit with a micro plastics sampler, allowing scientists and researchers to further study the ocean.
Laurus Projects Partners with Lisa Blair
The team at Laurus Projects felt a deep connection with Blair and her mission and have come on board as a sponsor for this incredible journey. With a shared passion for creating a positive impact on the community, it is hoped that Blair’s journey will inspire the next generation to become passionate about saving our environment and climate.
Lisa is setting off this December to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antartica. This is Blair’s second attempt at the record. In 2017 she was one day ahead of the men’s record, when on day 72, three quarters of the way around Antarctica, she suffered a dismasting (where the rigging wire snaps) in a storm. At more than 1000 nm from land, Blair was able to motor into Cape Town, South Africa after gaining assistance with fuel from a passing container ship and building a jury rig.
It took Blair two months to get back on the water, but she completed the trip and became the first woman to sail solo and unassisted around Antarctica with only one stop.
This time, she aims to challenge a record help by Fedor Konyukhov which was established in 2008 of 102 days, 1 hour, 35 minutes, 50 seconds. Konyukhov completed this record racing the Antarctica Cup Ocean Race and is the only person to have raced this “racetrack”. To challenge the record, Blair will conform to the race rules but will complete her journey separate to the race. The rules Blair will follow dictate departure from Albany in Western Australia and that she is to sail between the latitudes of 45 S and 60 S.
It is a total distance of 14 000 nm, with an aim to complete it within 90-100 days.
Ever had a dream to live in a skyhome with expansive views over Sydney and surrounds? You might not be able to afford the price tag, but we can all daydream right? Since living in a luxurious penthouse is out of reach for many, let us take you inside some of Sydney’s most luxurious penthouses.
One Sydney Harbour
Designed by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano, One Sydney Harbour is home to the most expensive home in the Australian market. The penthouse, and the sub-penthouse directly below, sold for over $140 million, with penthouses in Residences Two available for sale.
The Residences Two tower contains two “Skyhomes”, expansive penthouses located on the top two floors of the building. Each penthouse takes up the full floor, up to 670 square metres, with ceilings at three metres in height. This is the epitome of luxury in the heart of Sydney: private lobby, private rooftop terrace, private pool, balcony up to 111 square metres, panoramic views all the way to the Blue Mountains and stunning craftsmanship.
Greenland Centre Sub Penthouse
It might be the sub penthouse, but that doesn’t take anything away from this luxury apartment in the Greenland Centre. Occupying the northwest corner, with a private lift, this home is filled with luxury fittings, bespoke joinery, private balcony and floor to ceiling glass windows.
The Diamond Collection has nine luxury penthouses with some fairly amazing views from almost every corner of the apartment.
The King Penthouse is another step above, filled with natural light, endless views, and designed for absolute luxurious living. The travertine spa is a standout, surrounded by terrace gardens that give you privacy, as well as the restorative features of nature.
The Castle Penthouse
With views over Hyde Park and the city, The Castle Penthouse is one of the most luxurious properties on the market in Sydney and across Australia. Spanning the two top levels of the buildings, this apartment has been well thought out and well designed, with finishes and appliances that complement the overall workmanship that has gone into this build.
With a master bedroom opening out on a sky garden, private internal lift, secure valet parking, concierge service, and in-residence housekeeping and maintenance, this is a stunning apartment with complete luxury living.
The Darling Penthouses
Possibly a little more within reach but certainly still within the luxury setting is The Darling Penthouses. With views of Sydney Harbour and the Harbour Bridge, rotating pieces of art in the master bedroom, a karaoke lounge and floor to ceiling windows to soak in the views, a few nights spent at The Darling Penthouses will certainly give you a taste of what it’s like to live in luxury.
Located within The Star Sydney, one could expect the full luxury experience from the moment you walk through the doors.
Luxury penthouse living may be out of reach for many of us, but you can take many of the design features back to your own build or renovation. In fact, at Laurus Projects, we try to bring many of the features people equate with luxury into our own designs and your new home. Talk to us today about what projects we have underway.
Buying or renting – while it has always been a big decision between the two, there is usually one side that comes out stronger. In 2021 however, it is an even bigger decision – do you pay sky high rents or do you pay sky high property prices.
Interest rates are low – at the moment. While the Reserve Bank has noted that interest rates will likely stay low for at least the next three years, homeowners always need to be prepared for interest rates to rise. The issue is – with property prices so high, will those buying now be able to afford their mortgage repayments when interest rates rise?
The flip side is how long do you remain renting, dealing with increased rent and attempting to save a deposit while house prices rise around you?
The Decision to Rent
For many people, the decision to rent really comes down to either not being ready to buy, or not being able to afford to buy, whether that be in the area they want to live or in general. While rent is often seen as dead money, many of those who rent for lifestyle and work reasons often have opportunities to become rentvestors – that is, rent where they want to live and purchase an investment in a great area that sees good levels of returns.
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons to renting.
Pro: With renting comes more flexibility. You can move from one place to another more easily as your lifestyle or work requirements change.
Pro: You don’t need to pay to upkeep and maintain the property, nor do you have to pay council rates and body corporate fees.
Pro: Weekly rent can be cheaper than a mortgage in many areas, particularly when those interest rates start rising.
Con: Stability can be limited as you don’t really have a say on how long you can stay in the property. The landlord can ask you to leave when your lease ends, or they can sell at any time.
Con: Renting doesn’t allow you to build equity. Rentvesting is a good alternative that allows you to build equity, yet live where you want.
The Decision to Buy
We have all seen the auctions happening where older homes in prime locations are going for well over the reserve price; we have seen the sales figures of relatively moderate homes going for well over what they would have even a year ago. If you have made the decision to just leap into the market, your best bet right now really is to buy brand new. That may mean you buy further out of the CBD or perhaps a little further away from work, but it also means you generally aren’t competing with those who have money to splash around on properties going for well over what they are worth.
As with renting, there are some pros and cons to buying.
Pro: As long as your mortgage is paid, you can’t be evicted from your home. You don’t need to worry about rent increases, and broadly, you can do what you want with your property.
Pro: Properties tend to increase in value over time. Not all properties will increase as quickly as others, but if you sell in the right market, you should see a gain.
Pro: Every payment you make builds equity, giving you freedom in the future.
Cons: Buying can be a heavy hit on your finances. You need to consider whether your financial situation now, and in the future, can support home ownership.
Cons: Purchasing in a bad area or purchasing in an overinflated market could see you with a decrease in property value, and unable to sell your home for what you still have left on your mortgage.
Depending on where you live and your financial situation, it may be cheaper to buy, or it may be cheaper to rent. If you have made the decision to purchase a home, or you are considering rentvesting, a new home is a good decision.
Elysian Apartments and Montane Kellyville provide good opportunities for new homebuyers, investors or those looking to re-enter the Sydney market, while The Hampton Shores in Port Macquarie is perfect for those looking to move to a regional coastal area. Find out more about Laurus Projects latest developments, and start dreaming of your new home.
If you’ve been living in Sydney for a while, or even watching the Sydney property market from afar, you’re probably wondering whether there are any affordable suburbs left to live in. In an area where it seems like prices and demand have been going crazy for years, if you’ve been trying to enter the market, there’s every chance you’ve been dismayed and feel like you’ve been left behind.
But that isn’t the case; there are a number of suburbs within the Sydney region where you can still purchase a property that is affordable, and within commuting distance. Let’s take a look at the cheapest suburbs (by median price) within a 10km radius and a 20km radius of the CBD as well as those a bit further out.
Best Value for Money Suburbs within 10km of Sydney’s CBD
Looking to buy within 10km of the CBD? There’s a good chance you’ve looked until you can look no more but there are some little gems out there that will allow you to live close to the CBD without spending millions.
When looking this close into the CBD, the most affordable options are going to be apartments, and the following suburbs are a good place to start.
Best Value for Money Suburbs within 20km of Sydney’s CBD
Going just an extra 10km away from the CBD brings you plenty more affordable homes to choose from. That little extra distance gives you an opportunity for either a house or a unit depending on your lifestyle needs.
Most Value for Money Outer Sydney Suburbs
Not everyone needs to or wants to live within a close distance to the CBD, and for those people, there are plenty of options further out that are completely affordable. The suburbs we’ve listed below are spread throughout the west, south, and north of Sydney’s CBD.
** Median prices as of March 2021
While prices are going up and properties are getting snapped up quickly, there are options out there for buyers who are looking for homes that are still affordable for the average family.
The Sydney housing bubble – plenty of people have predicted prices to come crashing down, but not even a pandemic seems to have slowed the market. It has been one of the strongest and most consistently growing markets over the last 40 years and it doesn’t look like things are going to change much in the next 12-24 months.
So, what’s causing the current housing boom considering much of the world has been in slow down mode for the last 12 months?
It really is the perfect combination of low interest rates, a shortage of available housing and buyers wanting in the market before prices increase again. According to an article on realestate.com.au, the major banks have forecasted some pretty strong growth over the next two years, with Commonwealth predicting up to 20% while Westpac has a more modest 7.5% over 2021.
One of the hardest things for many buyers to contend with is that there are plenty out there with cash to spend that aren’t even inspecting properties - they are making offers as soon as the listing is placed online, foregoing building and pest inspections, and just taking a chance on throwing out an offer to see if they can snag a home.
Clancy Yeates, journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald, recently pointed out that the biggest difference between the current boom and previous booms, is that this one is being led by owner-occupiers rather than investors. We only need to look back a few years where investors made up close to 50% of all new mortgages whereas now, it sits in the low 20%.
The big question - how far will your money go in the Sydney housing market in 2021? In a market where the median property price can sit in the millions, it’s tough to predict just how far your money is going to go when purchasing a new home.
While the performance of houses is going strongly, units are providing a lower entry cost into the market for buyers, with plenty sitting in the lower-middle price bracket of $600,000 to $800,000 but for some buyers, it may mean moving out of their preferred area and into places like Beverly Hills, Sans Souci, and Peakhurst.
For those looking for a family home, suburbs such as Box Hill, Austral and Airds are going to provide a more affordable option than many other suburbs.
Of course, the other option for buyers looking to make the most of their money, are brand new builds providing something a little different. Montane Kellyville and Elysian Apartments in Alexandria are just two of the new builds making their way onto the market. Both have been popular with potential buyers looking for modern homes without breaking the bank.
What’s going to happen on the property market in the next 12-24 months really is anyone’s guess - unless you have a crystal ball to tell the future, there are numerous factors which could influence whether prices continue to rise or not. What is clear however, is that the longer you wait to get into the market, the less purchasing power your money is going to have.
Getting in while interest rates are low and incentives for new builds are around is going to help stretch every dollar just a bit further.