We chat to Matt Waddell from GWH to get some advice and tips!
Have you been a little confused by the ups and downs of the property market in 2019? More specifically the property happenings in Newcastle?
It’s been a big year, not just in Newcastle but across NSW and Australia, but what does it all mean? Are you looking to buy, but uncertain on the what, and the when? Or have all the property events of 2019 made you a little nervous to jump in?
With the skylines of Newcastle’s CBD and suburbs continuing to change, even despite the recent downturn in property prices, articles about property trends continue to fill our newsfeeds. Good news is it’s not all doom and gloom, recent reports indicate that the tides are turning with 2020 looking more positive.
To bring us up to speed with all the property happenings we chatted to Matt Waddell, Sales & Marketing Manager from GWH to get some solid advice and tips!
Thanks for your time Matt. Overall how would you say the property market in Newcastle is performing in comparison to other cities across Australia?
The biggest change has been in growth of population across Newcastle for the past decade and the change of Newcastle’s built form, now a large regional centre, not just a big country town.
In terms of property, Newcastle has become its own market and no longer relies on Sydney like it once did. This year alone, Newcastle saw a shift in confidence indifferently to Sydney, we no longer follow suit like we once did. Locally, since the Federal election, we have seen an increase in activity from investors, owner occupiers plus our first home buyers continue to grow in numbers.
What has been one of the biggest changes in the property market that you’ve noticed in recent times?
I would say it has been the shift to buying property ‘off the plan’. It seems to be the ever-increasing popular and desirable option with more and more people choosing apartment living.
Why do you think this is the case?
I would say it’s due to the fact that you get a brand-new home, designed and finished with inclusions that you have chosen! You can also secure your property immediately and keep adding to your deposit before settlement, so you’re purchasing at today’s prices which allows you to grow your equity in the property.
Location and security are also big factors, for example 121ELDER which is one of GWH developments, offers a fantastic location in a complex that is safe and secure along with the additional benefits of offering incredible resident only facilities that add to your overall lifestyle.
Plus the low, to no maintenance aspect plays a big part with homeowners who are looking to downsize. When moving from the family home, and its ongoing maintenance, compared to a brand new apartment it's pretty convincing to purchase new.
Can you provide some tips and advice for those looking to buy ‘off the plan’?
Yes absolutely there is a lot to consider, however I’ve pulled together five points that are a great starting point for anyone who is considering buying off the plan.
1. Is apartment life for you? Will it suit your lifestyle?
Buying off the plan isn’t just for the investor, it’s an ideal option for the first home buyer wanting to break into the market. More and more couples and young families are also choosing apartment life – mostly because of the low maintenance and convenience aspect. The price point also opens up suburbs not previously considered or thought possible for buyers. Take 121ELDER in Lambton, its close proximity to childcare and schools, cafes, parks and pools provide a quality of life and genuine value for money.
They are also ideal for the downsizer, again for the new factor, low maintenance and locality together with generous layout options, providing the best of both worlds.
2. Get to know who you are buying from and your builder!
We all have our trusted doctor, dentist or lawyer that we’d regularly use or happily recommend. Apartments are much the same. Do your research on who both the developer and builders are. What have they achieved before and are they reputable? Are they local and will they be here in the future?
3. Compare apples to apples
Do you want and really need three bedrooms? Whilst inner city living maybe high on your list of priorities, you may need to be open to the idea of buying an apartment in the suburbs where floorplans can be significantly more generous for the price. Storage is another key factor to consider, be sure you’re across just how much laundry, linen, pantry and external storage you will have – how much do you want and need?
4. Location and Community – the practical side
The best way to imagine yourself in your apartment is to actually visit the site and discover for yourself what's outside the front door? Imagine living in the suburb and ask yourself all the practical questions like; do I actually like this suburb? How long will it take me to get to work? Where’s the nearest; school, daycare, doctors and grocers? How far away is my gym?
Also make sure you consider how easy it is to access local parks, pools and entertainment, is the local pub one you could see yourself unwinding at? Are there cafés’, restaurants, boutiques close by, and most importantly, how much will an uber cost to your fav restaurant and bar?
5. Read the rules (especially when it comes to having fur babies)
Strata, make sure you're all over it, especially in relation to communal bbq and rooftop entertaining areas and what the day-to-day rules (the strata by-laws) are for your apartment.
Finally, don't forget about your pet/s. For many of us we love our pets as much as we love our children and in some cases apartment life is the ideal life, however, not all apartments are as suitable as others, so be sure to consider all family members both present and future.