Inside The Latest Luxury Apartments Around Australia
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Inside The Latest Luxury Apartments Around Australia

Newly launched projects offer everything from biophilic living to elite concierge services from the bustling Gold Coast to Sydney.

By Kirsten Craze
Mon, Mar 28, 2022 10:37amGrey Clock 7 min

The divide between apartment and house markets has never been greater after the country experienced extraordinary price growth throughout late 2021 into early 2022. Such exponential growth hasn’t been seen in 32 years.

Apartments recorded an annual growth rate of 14.3% in the 12 months to January while house values rose 24.8%, according to CoreLogic’s February Unit Market Update. When combined, it was Australia’s highest annual dwelling growth rate since 1989.

This price disparity represents a unique time for apartment buyers, with prices expected to soar for units given the affordability constraint of houses.

As international borders finally open up in March to all visitors and visa holders for the first time since the pandemic started, experts say Australia’s apartment market will begin to play catch-up, especially in the luxury sector, which is sought after by expats and foreign investors alike.

Purchasers of prestige off-plan apartments are spoiled for choice throughout Australia’s booming east coast with new designer developments launching in Melbourne, Sydney and on the Gold Coast—the island nation’s most in-demand market among domestic migrants.

These new-to-the-market homes are a new breed in design, meeting the needs of buyers in a world of work from home demands and shifting lifestyle priorities.

Assana, 15 Rosewood Ave, Broadbeach, Gold Coast

Credit: Macquarie Developments

Nowhere has Australia’s unprecedented regional renaissance been greater than on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

In its Regional Movers Index, a gauge monitoring domestic migration out of the cities, the Regional Australia Institute showed that 11% of all capital city dwellers who made a sea or tree change during 2021 headed to the Gold Coast, Australia’s sixth-biggest city.

The newly launched Assana is a 52-storey, 146-apartment tower by Macquarie Developments located in Broadbeach, right in the heart of the booming Gold Coast region.

Inspired by the Irish first name Assana, which also means “waterfall,” the building has enviable views. Its sweeping vista captures the whole district from the Pacific Ocean, over the Nerang River and out to the lush Gold Coast Hinterland.

Designed by award-winning architect SJB with gardens crafted by landscaper Arcadia, Assana has spacious floor plans mindfully created to minimize the connection with neighbouring and maximize privacy.

In addition to large living zones, the fully equipped kitchens each have a butler’s pantry, there is a personal home cinema, wine storage, home automation and the penthouses even have space for a live-in nanny.

Assana is perfectly positioned for great transport links across the region and local amenities including Broadbeach’s bustling food quarter.

Launched in January, Assana is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Number of units: 146

Price range: $800,000 to $4 million to $4.5 million for the Sky Homes, and penthouse prices available on application.

Developers/Architect: Macquarie Developments/SJB architects

Residence sizes: Two- and three-bedroom apartments

Amenities: The resort-style amenities at Assana include a landscaped podium with an infinity pool, a fully equipped gym, spa and sauna plus a residents’ lounge and valet parking.

Website: assanabroadbeach.com.au

Aura by Aqualand, 168 Walker St, North Sydney

Credit: Aqualand

Just north of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, sits North Sydney, a vibrant suburb in the middle of a boom with an estimated 80,000 workers expected to commute to the area by 2036. As a result, private developers and the state government have invested millions of dollars to create urban renewal projects including new parks, pedestrian plazas and laneway networks.

A new $1 billion luxury mixed-use residential development, AURA by Aqualand, will be one of those new kids on the block, located next to the upcoming Victoria Cross train station.

The first stage of Aura will comprise 102 apartments designed by award-winning architecture firms Woods Bagot and Richards Stanisich. Buyers can choose from three colour schemes, dark, mid and light, with each home featuring a palette of marble and mirrored surfaces, glazed walls and translucent screens. Kitchens will have marble counters, rich oak and dark bronze finishes, as well as bronze powder-coated framing in the bathrooms. Aura apartments have unique layouts flowing from open living spaces to winter gardens or balconies. Some will include additional versatile rooms to be used as a secondary living area, office or bedroom.

The Penthouse Collection features a selection of contemporary sky-high homes residents can customize. These Richards Stanisich designs have sweeping city and water views, timber and travertine finishes, and statement fireplaces.

Aura residents will also have access to a concierge service through Aqualand’s new hospitality arm, Etymon Projects, and can indulge in a choice of fine-dining restaurants and bars which will be incorporated into the development.

Stage one of Aura launched to the public in December 2021 with construction already underway and completion expected in 2024.

Number of units: 102 apartments in stage one

Price range: From $995,000 to penthouses ranging between $11 million to $15 million

Developers/Architect: Aqualand/Woods Bagot and Richards Stanisich

Residence sizes: One-, two-, three-, four-bedroom as well as sub-penthouses and penthouses

Amenities: A ground floor indoor pool and gym, a dining and entertainment area, a 26th-floor sky deck with outdoor barbecue facilities, a sun deck and private dining rooms.

Website: aurasydney.com.au

Fabric, 679-683 Glen Huntly Rd, Caulfield, Melbourne

Credit: Schacter Group

Fabric by the Schacter Group in Melbourne’s south was inspired by the sea. Cera Stribley Architecture and Interior Design tapped into an appreciation for traditional craftsmanship to create a facade using maritime engineering principles. Influenced by the inverted hull of a ship, Fabric is defined by elegant curved edges and strong linear dimensions.

The lush landscaping throughout Fabric has been underpinned by a biophilic design philosophy so that despite the building’s city-fringe location, its inhabitants can always feel connected to nature. In addition to verdant individual terraces, there are communal gardens and a rooftop alive with edible garden beds and a beehive for residents.

The open-plan living, kitchen and dining zones feature European appliances, cleverly concealed storage and integrated fireplaces. Each apartment has been designed to take advantage of sweeping city views, green outlooks and beams of natural light.

Glen Huntly Road is an evolving hospitality strip with cafes, restaurants and bars, while just a short distance from Fabric there are sprawling parklands, Fabric launched sales in February, and construction is expected to begin in early 2023, with completion expected around the second half of 2023.

Number of units: 54

Price range: $445,000 to $1.8 million

Developers/Architect: Schacter Group/Cera Stribley

Residence sizes: One-, two- and three-bedroom apartments

Amenities: Residents can plug into Fabric’s electric vehicle charging facilities, a communal rooftop veggie patch and beehive, solar heating to reduce bills, heating and cooling connected to smart devices and integrated landscaping on every level.

Website: fabricresidences.com.au

Piper, 2A Wunulla Rd, Point Piper, Sydney

Credit: Fortis

Set in Sydney’s—and perhaps Australia’s—most exclusive suburb, Piper is a rare opportunity to buy into a tightly held neighbourhood. Just last year a boat shed on almost 2000sqm of waterfront land sold on Wunulla Road for $38.5 million while a contemporary home in a neighbouring street fetched $40 million after only 10 days on the market.

Point Piper is coveted thanks to its unique harbour-front position that allows for postcard views of the city’s greatest landmarks including the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Opera House.

Piper is a collection of just 15 homes in a boutique development, the first collaboration between developers Fortis and Dare Property Group with interiors created by MIM Design.

The homes promise to be packed with luxurious finishes from brass and platinum touches to bespoke interior lighting and grand floor plans designed for indoor/outdoor living. Each residence has high ceilings and vast windows to bring in natural light while also capturing the lush landscaping by Dangar Barin Smith. There are sophisticated garden grottos and exotic plant choices plus a selection of residences will have private pools.

Sales for Piper launched in March with construction expected to be completed by late 2023 or early 2024.

Number of units: 15

Price range: $4 million to $13 million

Developers/Architect: Fortis and Dare Property Group

Residence sizes: Two-bedroom with study, three- and four-bedroom residences

Amenities: Private pools in select homes, cascading gardens throughout the development, sophisticated grottos and terraces for each residence and five-star European appliances.

Website: piperpointpiper.com.au

Watermans Residences, 6 Watermans Quay, Barangaroo, Sydney

Credit: Lendlease

In just one decade, Sydney’s harbour-front landscape has been transformed and a major part of that architectural facelift is the multibillion-dollar development, One Sydney Harbour.

Once an uninspiring shipping quarter, the area now known as Barangaroo has become a vibrant district filled with luxury hotels, a world class shopping and dining precinct plus a uniquely vertical residential neighbourhood.

One Sydney Harbour in Barangaroo South is a statement development, which not only turns heads thanks to its dramatic stamp on Sydney’s skyline, but is home to the most expensive individual residence in Australia. That benchmark was set in 2019 when a cashed up buyer paid  $140 million for a sub-penthouse and penthouse with the plan to create one three-storey 17,200-square-foot mega apartment in the tallest of developer Lendlease’s three towers.

Now the last chance to buy into the iconic address has arrived with the launch of the final tower in the trio. Watermans Residences at One Sydney Harbour will offer a range of luxury apartments, each opening up to a balcony overlooking either park, harbour or city.

Residents are spoiled for choice with an array of VIP amenities in the development including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, a steam room, private dining spaces, a rooftop terrace and residents’ lounge.

Designed by Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, Watermans Residences will house 162 apartments over 30 levels—a boutique build when compared with the 72-storey and 68-storey neighbouring towers.

Listed in February, Watermans Residences is due to reach completion in 2024.

Number of units: 162

Price range: From $1.42 million to prestige residences with harbour views from $13 million

Developers/Architect: Lendlease/Renzo Piano

Residence sizes: One-, two- or three-bedroom

Amenities: A choice of swimming pools, indoors and out, a hot tub and steam room, private dining room, wine room, Orangerie lounge and a billiards room.

Website: onesydneyharbour.com

 

Reprinted by permission of Mansion Global. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: March 27, 2022



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Hong Kong has taken a bold step to ease a real-estate slump, scrapping a series of property taxes in an effort to turn around a market that is often seen as a proxy for the city’s beleaguered economy.

The government has removed longstanding property taxes that were imposed on nonpermanent residents, those buying a second home, or people reselling a property within two years after buying, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in his annual budget speech on Wednesday.

The move is an attempt to revive a property market that is still one of the most expensive in the world, but that has been badly shaken by social unrest, the fallout of the government’s strict approach to containing Covid-19 and the slowdown of China’s economy . Hong Kong’s high interest rates, which track U.S. rates due to its currency peg,  have increased the pressure .

The decision to ease the tax burden could encourage more buying from people in mainland China, who have been a driving force in Hong Kong’s property market for years. Chinese tycoons, squeezed by problems at home, have  in some cases become forced sellers  of Hong Kong real estate—dealing major damage to the luxury segment.

Hong Kong’s super luxury homes  have lost more than a quarter of their value  since the middle of 2022.

The additional taxes were introduced in a series of announcements starting in 2010, when the government was focused on cooling down soaring home prices that had made Hong Kong one of the world’s least affordable property markets. They are all in the form of stamp duty, a tax imposed on property sales.

“The relevant measures are no longer necessary amidst the current economic and market conditions,” Chan said.

The tax cuts will lead to more buying and support prices in the coming months, said Eddie Kwok, senior director of valuation and advisory services at CBRE Hong Kong, a property consultant. But in the longer term, the market will remain sensitive to the level of interest rates and developers may still need to lower their prices to attract demand thanks to a stockpile of new homes, he said.

Hong Kong’s authorities had already relaxed rules last year to help revive the market, allowing home buyers to pay less upfront when buying certain properties, and cutting by half the taxes for those buying a second property and for home purchases by foreigners. By the end of 2023, the price index for private homes reached a seven-year low, according to Hong Kong’s Rating and Valuation Department.

The city’s monetary authority relaxed mortgage rules further on Wednesday, allowing potential buyers to borrow more for homes valued at around $4 million.

The shares of Hong Kong’s property developers jumped after the announcement, defying a selloff in the wider market. New World Development , Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development were higher in afternoon trading, clawing back some of their losses from a slide in their stock prices this year.

The city’s budget deficit will widen to about $13 billion in the coming fiscal year, which starts on April 1. That is larger than expected, Chan said. Revenues from land sales and leases, an important source of government income, will fall to about $2.5 billion, about $8.4 billion lower than the original estimate and far lower than the previous year, according to Chan.

The sweeping property measures are part of broader plans by Hong Kong’s government to prop up the city amid competition from Singapore and elsewhere. Stringent pandemic controls and anxieties about Beijing’s political crackdown led to  an exodus of local residents and foreigners  from the Asian financial centre.

But tens of thousands of Chinese nationals have arrived in the past year, the result of Hong Kong  rolling out new visa rules aimed at luring talent in 2022.

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