Propell National Valuers WA/NT State Manager Matt Murphy said that ‘during the first eight months of 2012/2013, ending in February 2013, apartments and other higher density homes valued at $521 million were given building approvals, representing a 25 per cent jump compared to the same period last financial year.
‘Over recent months there has been a large number of new apartment developments being advertised for sale as off the plan, with strong demand being recorded from investors who are now attracted by higher rental returns now being achieved in near city areas,’ he said.
‘Buying apartments off the plan is now gaining in popularity as property buyers want to lock in construction prices well in advance of their home being built.’
Mr Murphy offered the following tips to buyers considering an off the plan property.
n Understand that buying off the plan is very different from buying an established property because you cannot physically see the exact property you are buying. It is important to check the actual size of the apartment as the size of a home is important for resale value.
n Find out if the developer has recently constructed a similar type of property, then ask for a viewing so that you can see their work.
n Ensure that the product you are being sold is reflective of what is to be built. For example, when the development is completed, the colour scheme and finishings of the property may not match the images presented on brochures. Check if previous clients were happy with the finished product and for extra peace of mind, ask as many questions of the developer as you feel you need prior to actually making the purchase.
n Take the plans of the development and go on site if possible to determine the potential views of your property – if you are buying an inner city property, city and river views, for example, can add thousands of dollars to the value of the property. However, if the apartment is facing other buildings or even into the wall of another complex, then the resale value of the property may be severely compromised.
n Make yourself fully aware of the layout when reviewing plans of the property – look for issues such as the size and location of windows and the entrance to the property, as these can have an impact on attracting potential tenants and future buyers.