David Devine's Metro Property Development continues to be the top off-the-plan seller in the inner-Brisbane market, with three of its projects ranking as the three top sellers in the December quarter of 2012.
It was the third successive quarter that Metro has been the top performing developer in inner Brisbane, where more than 40 projects are being marketed or under construction.
Metro's The Plaza at South Brisbane ranked first with 57 unconditional sales over the quarter, followed by Cambridge Towers in Fortitude Valley with 25 sales and Brooklyn on Brookes, tied for third with 23 sales.
The figures are based on a report compiled by market research firm Place Advisory.
Metro now has more than 800 apartments across four different projects under construction throughout inner-city Brisbane.
David Devine told Property Observer in November that Metro’s ability to offer apartments to investors that qualify for the federal government’s national rental affordability scheme (NRAS) and that appeal to investors acquiring property through their self-managed super funds are key reasons for its success to date.
The projects – the three mentioned above a well as Madison Heights at Bowen Hills – have combined end value of more than $400 million.
The success of Metro’s projects comes as new research from by Urbis shows that the apartment market is continuing to grow and now makes up 38% of total residential transactions in the inner Brisbane market.
This is up from just 10.2% of all transactions in 1981 with Urbis forecasting that due to the geographical nature and scarcity of vacant land within the Brisbane LGA this proportion may exceed 50% of all transactions by 2016.Click to enlarge
The 12-level The Plaza (pictured below) has been designed by architects Deicke Richards and is under construction at the corner of Russell and Manning streets on a 2,270-square-metre site and will feature 168 apartments.
It is 83% sold out, with recent sales ranging from $413,000 for a one-bedroom apartment measuring 52 square metres to $562,000 for a 72-square-metre two-bedroom, two bathroom apartment, according to the Midwood Report.
The building will also feature a pool, gymnasium, outdoor dining area and garden reading room.
Approval for the project was granted in August last year.
Cambridge Towers (pictured above) is the first building in the six-tower Central Village master planned precinct and includes 163 apartments over 18-storeys. Apartments range from $275,000 to $550,000 and feature a mix of studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments.
Construction at Cambridge Towers has now commenced after Metro appointed PBS Builders to the project.
The 14-level Brooklyn on Brookes apartment block (pictured above) being built on the corner of Brookes and Ann streets in Fortitude Valley feature 216 one and two bedroom apartments ranging from $305,000 to $750,000 and is 80% sold out. It adjoins the Emporium shopping complex.
The building was designed by architects Wood Bagot to be a New York-style apartment project.
It is a joint venture project with Indian-based developer Pearls Australasia, which has also collaborated with Metro on the completed and sold out Chelsea in Bowen Hills and the Madison Heights apartment tower, also in Bowen Hills and currently under construction.
Pearls Australasia bought the Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa on the Gold Coast for a reported $60 million in 2009.
Devine says a number of market factors had helped influence the strong sales figures.
“We’ve seen a marked increase in sales over the past few months as interest rates remain low, consumer confidence has risen and the market has stabilised.”
Another strength, he says is finding the right location for the right property including being close to transport, shops, entertainment and parks
“They’re also just a few minutes away from major employment hubs like Brisbane, South Brisbane, Fortitude Valley, Newstead and Teneriffe.
“Combined with communal amenities like rooftop terraces and swimming pools; stylish interiors; and competitive pricing, our apartment projects are in high-demand.”
Devine says the Urbis statistics, combined with Metro’s success over recent years, indicated a fundamental change in the way Australian’s viewed property.
“The great Australian dream is changing… where once everybody wanted quarter-acre block with detached home they are now increasingly looking for a stylish apartment, with great views and amenities,” he says.