Owner occupiers - including downsizers - are continuing to dominate the Australian apartment market, including by demanding larger apartment sizes in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, according to nationwide research.
Urbis’ latest Apartment Essentials Survey for the quarter to September 2021 finds that demand from owner occupiers ranges from 55 per cent in inner-Brisbane to 75 per cent in Sydney.
Overseas buyers that were once a major driver of the apartment market have fallen from a peak of 29 per cent in 2016 to only represent five per cent of buyers.
This buyer pool has been significantly impacted by COVID-induced restrictions on travel and inbound international students to Australia, along with foreign buyer taxes.
Furthermore, the 35 per cent of apartments sold to investors during the quarter was the lowest level that has been recorded since Urbis’ report began in 2015.
In the year to September 2021, the shift to larger apartment types continued, with 27 per cent of apartments having three bedrooms or more, 55 per cent with two bedrooms and 18 per cent being either one bedroom or studio apartments.
This is the highest level of three bedroom or larger apartments that has been recorded in the Urbis Apartment Essentials survey since it began in 2015.
This flips the pre-pandemic result of 2019 where 15 per cent of apartments sold had three bedrooms or more, 53 per cent had two bedrooms and 33 per cent had one bedroom or were a studio.
In addition, the size of each apartment type has also been rising.
The average two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment increased from 86 sq/m to 91 sq/m in the year to September 2021 and an average three-bedroom two-bathroom apartment increased from 127 sq/m to 134 sq/m.
This increase in apartment sizes is being driven by the owner occupiers who are wanting larger apartments and less of a focus on central city locations.
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