Error message
  • Warning: array_flip(): Can only flip STRING and INTEGER values! in EntityCacheControllerHelper::entityCacheLoad() (line 73 of /srv/www/drupal7/sites/all/modules/entitycache/includes/entitycache.entitycachecontrollerhelper.inc).
  • Warning: array_flip(): Can only flip STRING and INTEGER values! in EntityCacheControllerHelper::entityCacheLoad() (line 73 of /srv/www/drupal7/sites/all/modules/entitycache/includes/entitycache.entitycachecontrollerhelper.inc).
  • Warning: array_flip(): Can only flip STRING and INTEGER values! in EntityCacheControllerHelper::entityCacheLoad() (line 73 of /srv/www/drupal7/sites/all/modules/entitycache/includes/entitycache.entitycachecontrollerhelper.inc).
  • Warning: array_flip(): Can only flip STRING and INTEGER values! in EntityAPIController->load() (line 219 of /srv/www/drupal7/sites/all/modules/entity/includes/entity.controller.inc).

House v apartment: What's the best option for your first investment?

House v apartment: What's the best option for your first investment?
House v apartment: What's the best option for your first investment?

PARTNER CONTENT

In discussions regarding buying property the question of what type of property to purchase invariably comes up. People have predispositions towards one type or another, although generally it’s toward a house. But in today’s property market, is a house a smarter option over a strata-titled property such as an apartment or townhouse?

The two main objections encountered regarding strata property come down to not wanting to pay strata fees (or levies), and land accruing value faster for capital growth. The concern regarding strata fees could be considered as understandable, until you look into what they actually are.

Strata fees cover the daily costs and maintenance of the common property within the complex. This includes your parking, gardens, stairs and lifts, exterior walls and recreational facilities (pool, spa etc.), amongst others. It also covers the insurances and rates for these areas, as well as any electricity and water costs. A sometimes unknown component of a strata fee is the compulsory savings plan, also known as the sinking fund.

The sinking fund is there for any expected, and unexpected, repairs within the complex’s common areas. This could range from new carpets in the entry foyer, to damage as a result of structural movement. Overall, the components that form strata fees can generally be aligned to similar costs involved with holding non-strata titled property, sometimes less due to the number of owners contributing to the potential expense.

With comparative expenses regarding ownership costs, the issue of land having greater capital growth should be looked at. Unlike apartments, houses generally have useable land that contributes towards rising values. Established dwellings in good suburbs are fetching higher prices, however with block sizes shrinking nationally, the likelihood of a new house creating growth by being improved (subdivided, developed or renovated) is growing slim. This restriction of use, as well as a social shift in lifestyle choice, is changing the way houses are being viewed. In fact, RP Data’s Home Value Index shows that apartments, rather than houses, have experienced higher growth in the past 12 months in all major cities except Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin.

Strata titled properties are also generally located closer to commercial and retail centres, and include amenities that are not found in comparably priced houses. Rather than leaning toward a specific property type, consider whether that type of property is suitable for the demographic of the area. Each location is going to have a type that will appeal and support levels of growth better than others, especially if there is an employment node within the area that also supports that demographic. In some areas a house may be suitable, in others a townhouse or an apartment.

Overall, don’t rule out apartments or strata-titled properties despite your predisposition towards a house. Because the next generation of buyers is also here: The hard-working, time-poor, social and inter-connected Gen-Ys that want to be near cafés, transport and amenities are looking to buy. They want to continue the lifestyle they lead and to them, that means strata living.

ANDREW HERBERT is partner of My First Place.

My First Place is offering a buyers club to support buyers in finding their property.

For First Home Buyers there’s a package worth $4,200 that covers solicitor fees, mortgage application fees, building inspection, insurance and utilities.

For investors the package is worth $3,350 and it covers solicitor fees, mortgage application fees, building inspection, landlord insurance and a depreciation schedule.

Tags: 
First Home Buyers

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?