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.
We recently took a look at the tallest buildings in Australia - but if you thought the Australian buildings were tall, it’s time to think again! Some of the world’s tallest buildings stand at more than double the height of Australia’s tallest building, the Q1 (an impressive 322.5m tall).
As we take a look at these buildings, you’ll notice something a little different – they aren’t all residential. So, this time, we’ve broken our list into two parts; the four tallest residential buildings, and the four tallest non-residential buildings.
Burj Khalifa – Dubai
The Burj Khalifa is a mixed-use skyscraper in Dubai. Standing at 828m, it is the world’s tallest building. To put that height into perspective, it is three times as tall as the Eiffel Tower or nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building. Taking only six years to build, the Burj Khalifa also holds the record as the World’s tallest freestanding structure, the largest number of stories, the highest occupied floor, the highest outdoor observation deck, the elevator with the longest travel distance and the tallest service elevator.
Central Park Tower – USA
Built overlooking Central Park in New York City, the Central Park Tower is the tallest residential only building in the world. Despite being 472m tall, the building is home to just 179 of the most exclusive apartments you’ll find, with the lower floors home to New York City’s first Nordstrom store. It also holds the prize as the second-tallest skyscraper in the US and the western hemisphere, the 13th tallest building in the world, and the tallest building outside of Asia (by roof height).
111 West 57th Street – USA
Also known as the Steinway Tower, 111 West 57th Street is another premium build on Billionaires’ Row in New York City. With just 60 luxury condominiums (14 in Steinway Hall and 46 in the tower), it is one of the narrowest skyscrapers in the world. The building of 111 West 57th Street also included a restoration of Steinway Hall, a landmark in New York City.
432 Park Avenue – USA
Overlooking Central Park, 432 Park Avenue also sits on Billionaire’s Row at 425.5m and includes some of the most expensive homes in New York City, with the media price in the tens of millions of dollars range. With a private restaurant for residents and just 122 condominiums (from one to six bedrooms), 25 studio units and penthouse units, the building has 85 stories above ground including five two-story windbreaks every 14 floors to reduce the wind loading on the tower.
Petronius (Oil Platform) – Gulf of Mexico
This one is an odd one, but it still makes the list. Standing at 640m from the tip of the flare boom to the mudline (sea floor), the Petronius oil platform was once the tallest freestanding structure in the world, before being overtaken by the Burj Khalifa in 2010. The seabed sits 535m below the platform so while it doesn’t actually look that high, there is a lot of building structure going on under the water!
Tokyo Skytree – Japan
Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting and observation tower located in Sumida, Tokyo. In 2010 it became the tallest structure in Japan, at 634m . It is mainly used for broadcasting both television and radio, as well as an observation deck looking out over Tokyo.
Shanghai Tower – China
Sitting at 632m, Shanghai Tower is a mixed-use tower which includes restaurants, shops, offices and hotels. The building is organised into nine vertical zones, which include a sky lobby, a bright, natural light garden atrium and is one of the most sustainably built tall buildings anywhere in the world.
KVLY-TV Mast – USA
Another odd one to add to the list – the KVLY-TV mast is a 629m tall television transmitting mast in North Dakota. For some time, it was the tallest structure in the world, and in the western hemisphere, while being the second tallest broadcasting mast in the world. Built in 1963, at a cost of $500,000USD, the tower was completed in just 30 days.
While these buildings may currently be the tallest in the world, there are some quite large buildings being planned across the world including the Burj Mubarak al-Kabir in Kuwait (1001m), Oblisco Capitale in Egypt (1000m), Dubai One Tower and Uptown Dubai Tower 1 in the UAE (711m each) and Tower M in Malaysia (700m).
It will certainly be interesting seeing these buildings potentially come to life over the next decade.
High density living and working spaces in busy urban cities is the predominantly recognised benefit of skyscrapers. Not to mention the incredible views.
But there's the awe-inspiring feeling of "how on earth is it humanly possible to build something that tall?"
If you've been to Dubai, you'll know that feeling well.
Dubai's Burj Khalifa stands at 828m, which giants anything here down under.
Nonetheless, Australia has some impressive feats of engineering.
Walk or drive through any city in Australia and you are bound to find a skyscraper or two. But have you ever wondered just how tall those buildings are and even perhaps what the tallest buildings in the country are?
1. Q1 – 322.5 metres
Who would have thought that the Gold Coast would have the tallest building in Australia?
Since 2005, the title has stood with the Q1 in Surfers Paradise, standing at an impressive 322.5m when measured to the tip of the spire.
For 6 years it had a place as the tallest building in the world, only to be overtaken by The Marina Torch in Dubai in 2011.
The Q1 is home to Australia’s only beachside observation deck, with an express elevator taking you to SkyPoint in 43 seconds!
Visitors can also enjoy the views with the SkyPoint Climb – taking them 270 metres above sea level.
2. Australia 108 – 316.7 metres
Australia 108 is Melbourne’s highest tower and the second highest in Australia.
With some of the best views across the Melbourne skyline, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Yarra and Port Phillip Bay, this is one pretty stunning building.
With a starburst inspired by the Commonwealth Star on the Australian flag at the level of the resident facilities, Australia 108 is luxury in the clouds.
3. Eureka Tower – 297.3 metres
Another Melbourne local, Eureka Tower was completed in 2006 and is still within the top five of Australia’s tallest buildings.
It once held the place of the world’s tallest residential tower, and from 2006 to 2019 was the tallest building in Melbourne until the completion of Australia 108.
Named after the Eureka Stockade, the design incorporates the gold rush era – the gold crown represents the gold rush, a red stripe represents the blood spilt during the revolt while the blue cladding and white lines represent the Eureka Stockade flag.
The Skydeck occupies the entire 88th floor, with great views over Melbourne’s CBD, Southbank, Docklands, Yarra River, and the Dandenong Ranges.
4. Crown Sydney – 271.3 metres
Located in Barangaroo, the Crown Sydney is yet another spectacular skyscraper.
Standing at a touch over 271 metres, there’s some pretty amazing views over the Harbour. It is Sydney’s tallest building, with construction finishing completely in December 2020.
5. Aurora Melbourne Central – 270.5 metres
Finished in 2019, Aurora Melbourne Central features residential apartments, residents-only facilities, serviced apartments, strata office suites and retail space. It also features direct underground access to Melbourne Central Station and to the largest shopping precinct in the city.
With views across the city, parks, Dandenong Ranges and the bay, these premium apartments added a level of luxury to inner Melbourne.
Tallest buildings under approval, construction or proposal
Some of the buildings above will likely be knocked down the list in the years to come with some rather tall buildings on the horizon including:
The Coronavirus pandemic brought with it an interesting, and probably for many, highly unexpected outcome – a boom for the regional areas. Business shutdowns and relocations to working from home gave people time to think about the changes they could make in their own lives to promote a better work-life balance. What COVID-19 showed is that many jobs don’t need to be done in an office, they can just as effectively be done from almost anywhere. The same with many businesses – you don’t need a shopfront to be successful, you just need the dedication and ability to run your business online.
The ABC recently reported that a record 54,000 new job vacancies became available in the October figures – a 13 percent increase on the 2019 figures. According to Liz Ritchie, chief executive of the Regional Australia Institute, these positions including engineers, doctors, lawyers and accountants - well paid roles that are causing those living in the cities to think about their next move.
It is really interesting to look at where those job advertisement figures are coming from.
In NSW – Dubbo and Western NSW are up 92.6%, the Southern highlands and Snowy Mountains are up 55.9% and Tamworth and Northern NSW are up 45.2%. This is compared to the Sydney market which is down 24.7%.
In Queensland, Toowoomba and the South West have increased 35.7%, the Sunshine Coast is up 24.5% and the Gold Coast is up 18.8%. Brisbane is down 8.7%.
The North West region in Tasmania has seen an increase of 26.3% while Hobart is down 4.9% and in Victoria, Melbourne decreased by 38.3% while Bendigo and the High Country went up 5.1%.
So, what does this increase in regional job advertisements on top of the recognition that people can work effectively from home do to house prices and the decentralisation of the inner city and high-density areas?
In most states, capital growth has been increasing across the regional markets between March and October 2020. CoreLogic notes an increase of 3.3% in NSW, 1.6% in QLD, 3.4% in SA and 3.7% in TAS. Areas in regional Victoria, Orange (NSW), Byron Shire (NSW), the Tweed Shire (NSW), Geelong (VIC) and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts (QLD) have been benefiting from the mass exodus of inner-city areas, but whether this trend continues does remain to be seen.
For others, moving out of the inner city and high density living to outer laying suburbs and regions has allowed them to continue working from home while commuting into the office one or two days a week. Being out of high-density living provides more lifestyle options and was certainly seen as beneficial during lock down periods.
Another factor of the decentralisation of inner-city areas is affordability. Once you start to move out of the CBD and into outer suburbs and regional areas, land and property suddenly becomes (in many instances), more affordable, and first home buyers have really been taking advantage of Government incentives, both federal and state.
While we may not see an increase in single family homes being built in some city areas, what we can expect is what is know as medium density living – that is, housing that provides for a small number of families in the one location. These tend to include:
We could also expect to see an increase in low-rise buildings as opposed to the high-rises we have been seeing in recent years.
The full outcome of COVID-19 on decentralisation and the decrease in high density living still needs to be seen, and it may be a little while before we see its full effects. There is however no doubt that many regional areas are currently benefiting from this decentralisation, and bringing life back to our regions can only be a good thing.