Lowe Group – 2019 Bayside residential trends


24 January 2019



As we move into a new year, it’s important to look forward at how property market trends will impact the Bayside area.

Tim Lowe, Founder and Managing Director of Lowe Group, has close to fifteen years of industry experience and is passionate about providing high-end residential apartments and townhouses to the owner-occupier and downsizer market. With the Melbourne property market dominating headlines, we asked Tim to reflect on the current market trends and predictions for 2019.

Bayside remains a top choice
Despite talk of property value starting to decline, Realestate.com.au reports Bayside properties are still highly sought after and hold their prices very well. Townhouses and medium-density apartment buildings were in highest demand during 2018, primarily due to strong growth in the downsizer market. Furthermore, CoreLogic data shows the municipality’s biggest median price gains were notched by units in Hampton East and Brighton East, which increased by 47.8 per cent and 19.7 per cent respectively. Tim agrees with this, saying “I still see great confidence in the Bayside area, including those blue-chip suburbs like Brighton, and even the likes of Black Rock. These are also areas that have seen good capital growth. Lowe Living are still seeing great sales activity in our current properties selling in the Bayside area.”

Buyer confidence
With the shift in the property market, buyers are much more risk averse than ever before. Their purchase decision will involve a lot more research around not only location but also the confidence in the developers, builders and the property itself. Particularly for people who are downsizing, they’re using the capital in their existing house to upgrade, in terms of quality and a great location. “Our pricing generally responds to what the market is doing. We also focus on developing boutique property that’s well designed and in a good location by finding an anchor to something that others can’t emulate; essentially property that’s rather unique in nature. Alamer Brighton is a perfect example here, featuring four residences only a 100m from Church Street and ranging in size from 350sqm to over 600sqm with premium fixtures and finishes; we’re essentially setting a new benchmark for apartment living in the area. In addition, by offering customisation, flexibility and engagement with the opportunity to personalise, we allow the purchaser to come on the journey with us,” says Tim.

Oversupply of apartments
Media reports generally take a macro approach to assessing the property market, so it’s fair to say when they report on an oversupply of apartments it’s based on a Melbourne-wide overview. An AFR report highlights the apartment market will be under pressure this year with the number of newly completed high-rise units set to increase. Tim explains that “it’s not common that we are competing with completed stock. We generally offer an off-the-plan product. In addition, Lowe Living tend to locate our apartments within residential areas, typically where apartments are undersupplied. We offer a unique product which sets us apart from others in the market. A great example is our upcoming project Lumiere launching in Black Rock, where history shows there has been limited signs of stock entering the market and hence the positive interest we’ve received so far with 33% already sold pre-launch.”

Bank lending and selling property in 2019
Due to tightening in bank lending and until the publication of the final Royal Commission report in February, the AFR reported that prices in Sydney and Melbourne are expected to fall a further 3 to 5 per cent by Easter. This will have a greater impact on investors, rather than the owner-occupier and downsizer markets, which are unlikely to be impacted by these adjustments. “We typically find people coming into our stock because they’re downsizing their equity, rather than being controlled by bank restrictions. Instead it’s more about having confidence in what they can sell their house for the current market,” says Tim.

Selling property is another looming concern for downsizers. Tim agrees it will be harder to sell property in 2019, “I don’t see it turning, it’s just whether people see that it’s going to show progress in 2020 which is when our projects that are currently on the market will be settling. Therefore, those buyers purchasing off-the-plan who are feeling confident that prices will get their strength back in 2020, won’t have to worry about their selling decision until 2020.”
In conclusion, Tim feels buyers are going to be more particular with their decision making, and certainly more risk averse. Undertaking more research, those choosing to progress will likely base their buying decision on looking for value in stock and unique property. However. primarily they’ll be looking for confidence in the developer and builder.

Tim adds, “for us, most notably, the backbone of this business and why we believe we perform really well is because we focus on the product, the land and really getting it right for our purchasers. We aim to be in the best 10% of stock in the area. Our developments are truly boutique in nature and we’re confident that despite reduced demand, we still have one of the best products in the market.”

Delivering stunning luxury apartments and townhouses in Melbourne’s coveted Bayside areas, Lowe Group ensures strong capital growth for all their valued clients through excellence in design, meticulous construction and consideration of market demands.

2019 is set to be another exciting year for Lowe Living with Lumiere Black Rock launching in March, Promenade Aspendale on track for mid-year completion, Linacre Park Hampton due for completion in the coming months, while Alamer Brighton is due to start construction in May and La Sal Chelsea still receiving great interest in its idyllic beachside location.
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