Larry Schlesinger | 23 November 2012

Investing in an apartment without a car park can make good sense: Savills’ David Poppleton

There are occasion when buying an apartment without a car parking space would make good sense, says David Poppleton, head of residential projects in NSW for Savills.

Poppleton says it’s very much a “case by case” issue depending on where the apartment is located relative to public transport and the city and the type of alternative property the investor is considering.

"I'd rather by an apartment (one bed or studio) in Potts Point, Surry Hills, Ultimo, etc, without a car than the same  apartment with a car space anywhere outside a five-kilometre radius of the city," he says.

He tells Property Observer it is perhaps “misguided or even slightly negligent to suggest” that investors dismiss the right property without a car space for one that does have a car space if it does not stack up as a better investment.

His comments follow property investment advisor Monique Sasson Wakelin writing that a car space is “a must” and that investors should not handicap themselves by buying a property “restricting the pool of potential tenants and future owners”.

Sasson Wakelin based her comments on census 2011 data, which shows that more than four-fifth (81%) of households own one or more cars.

Poppleton agrees that it would be “flawed advice at best” if an agent suggested buying a two-bedroom apartment away from transport and five kilometres from the city that did not have a car space.

But he says suggesting that investors avoid all apartments without car spaces “ignores the statistics, affordability, and the government’s growing obsession to reduce the number of cars in every residential project in prime areas”.

Poppleton also points to other statistics unearthed by Wakelin that show that in the Sydney CBD and inner suburb of Haymarket  67% and 62% respectively of apartment households do not own cars, which suggest that there are locations where a car space would not be  priority.

He says if it came to the choice of buying a studio in the Sydney CBD versus a period unit in a prime urban area of Brisbane, he would put his money on the Sydney studio being a better investment.

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