An audit of central Perth apartment sales between 2012-17 has challenged perceptions about a lack of centrally located three-bedroom apartments.
PropertyESP managing director Samantha Reece said that when she examined settled apartment sales over five years, she discovered there had been 1135 sales of apartments in the three-bedroom and three-bedroom-plus range.
Most of these, 697 were in East Perth, 134 in Crawley, 127 in the Perth CBD and 134 in West Perth. Ms Reece said 900 of these were “apartment houses in contrast to penthouses” and the median value of these had risen from $690,000 in 2012 to $860,000 last year.
Penthouses had fallen in price and apartments in smaller complexes without lifts with a median price of $534,000 in 2012 had a median price of $477,500 last year.
However, Ms Reece said there was still a need for more three-bedroom apartments and there was strong anecdotal evidence that three-bedroom apartments were the first to sell.
She noted that over the five years there were six sales of four-bedroom apartments and 25 sales of four-bedroom plus study apartments but no sales of five-bedroom apartments.
As well, the three-bedroom apartments on offer were mostly in East Perth, an area that was unlikely to appeal to families because of the lack of government school options.
“I think we are going to see a change,” she said.
“People are looking for more space, more than 50 per cent of the renters and owner-occupiers I’ve spoken to would prefer a three-bedroom apartment.”
Ms Reece is, with Blackburne Property Group, running a 12-month apartment-living trial in a two-bedroom apartment in the city fringe Oracle tower.
Differing domestic groups, including families with children at a range of ages, are living in the apartment for free in return for talking about their fears, hopes and actual experience of apartment living.
On pricing, Ms Reece said that developers had been slow to offer more affordable three-bedroom apartment options, with many two-bedroom options in a $550,000 to $750,000 range, but a jump to $1million-plus for three bedrooms.