Perth landlords are being encouraged to leverage current market conditions that are allowing for significant increases in their rental returns, in order to create new pricing benchmarks for when the Covid-19 restrictions are scheduled to end in March 2021.
The property managers behind one of Perth’s largest apartment rental portfolios, M/Property, said that current market conditions are optimal for landlord-led negotiations, with the industry forecasting a possible 20% increase across the rental market.
They believe that while tenancy and rental freezes as a result of Covid-19 have helped to push occupancy rates to an all-time high, the impact is likely to be ongoing as the market opens up.
Kiarna Blythman from M/Property says the industry has not seen this level of activity in 14 years and believes the environment has given investors a chance to review and reset rental prices after a long period of stability.
“Instead of negotiating rents down, applicants are now offering up to $50 a week more than the asking price to secure the property they want,” she said.
“We currently have just one apartment available and eight coming onto the market with a waiting list on our database. This is in vast contrast to our typical pipeline of 20 to 30 apartments and has given us the opportunity to negotiate a new level of revenue for our owners to lock in fresh agreements that benefit the landlord.”
Based on REIWA data, the average apartment rental rates have leaped from $335 to $355 per week since the June 2020 quarter, with limited stock and increasing population effectively putting more pressure on the market.
“We are very aware that some landlords have been disadvantaged by the Covid-19 policies and have been unable to evict tenants or review rents. However, as the deadline for restrictions will soon be lifted, now is the time for landlords to take action,” Kiarna continued.
“If property owners are successful in increasing weekly rent prices in a time of extraordinary demand, there is a strong possibility their actions will help to adjust pricing benchmarks for the long term. The accelerated pace and total sum of these price shifts may be difficult to achieve when the market opens up again.”
M/Property specialises in the marketing and management of residential apartment leases and currently has a combined experience of some 50 years.
For more information visit mproperty.com.au
Water Tank Art Puts an Indigenous Stamp on Albany’s New Bunnings SiteRead more
A new local landmark and tourist attraction, reminiscent of the popular ‘silo art movement’, has been installed at Albany’s new Bunnings site at Chester Pass Mall.
Commissioned by developer M/Group, the 64-panel Indigenous artwork covering two massive water tanks is inspired by the region’s diverse sea life and its deep connection to the original owners of the land.
The works were created by five traditional local Indigenous artists, Lyn Knapp, Michael Cummings, Tameka Cummings, Kathleen Toomath and Margaret Miller.
Commissioning artwork agent and Wardandi Bibbulmun Elder, Dale Tilbrook, said she started with a concept, but the piece took on a life of its own.
“Our original concept for the installation was for it to resemble a book of stamps, so that each section would be placed between the structure’s rivets. I did a lot of research on the wealth of sea life in the local waters, and when the artists took inspiration from this, the piece materialised into something quite extraordinary,” she said.
“This has been an important project for this group of Aboriginal artists at a time when the steady flow of interstate and international tourisms has been absent from the local galleries. Each artist shared in the commission and have now left their stamp on what will soon become a high traffic area of Albany.”
The public artwork commission represents the value of 1% of the entire development and held a mandate to reflect or enhance the local cultural identity.
Co-ordinated by Minang Elder, Vernice Gillies, and printed by Indigenous owned and operated print company, Sista Girl, the artwork compilation incorporates sea animals from humpback whales to tiny blue ringed octopus and seahorses, displayed on vinyl panels sized between 2200 x 1100mm.
M/Group Managing Director, Mr Lloyd Clark, said the Indigenous artwork does not only pay homage to Albany’s extraordinary natural asset, it also stands as a tribute to the significant contribution that Indigenous communities have had in the development of the new Bunnings property.
“The new Bunnings is the first of its kind to be constructed by Indigenous building services company, Marawar, and supported, where possible, by a fully owned and operated Indigenous supply chain. It is part of M/Group’s commitment to the Reconciliation Action Plan to support Indigenous programs and initiatives,” he said.
“The Bunnings development has allowed us to create a platform for Aboriginal people demonstrate their sheer capacity in delivering outstanding work.
“The new artwork installation will serve as an enduring reminder of their involvement and a visual backdrop to those visiting the new Bunnings building.”
Accompanying the work will be a commemorative plaque:
The oceans surrounding Albany hold myriad treasures. A selection of these wondrous sea creatures has been painted by five Minang artists. Their work has been transformed into the pictures on the water tanks.
Bunnings Regional Operations Manager Hayley Coulson said she was excited to have the artwork ready for the new store’s opening.
“We’re really proud to have such incredible artwork from the local Minang artists as part of the new Bunnings Warehouse in Albany,” she said.
“The new store is on track to open by the end of 2020 and we can’t wait to welcome customers through the doors.”
Three Awards in Three Years for M/ConstructionRead more
As the dust settles on this year’s coveted Master Builders Western Australia Excellence in Construction Awards, M/Construction is making more room on the shelf for its third victory in the same amount of years.
This year, our dynamic building company took home the award for ‘Best Multi-Unit Development between $5-10m’ for its work on the sophisticated and understated M/28 by Match in South Fremantle.
Designed by David Barr from David Barr Architects alongside Cameron Chisholm Nicol Architects and developed by Match, this latest award puts a spotlight on the attention to detail that M/Construction is increasingly being recognised for.
It also provides even greater assurance for those seeking to engage M/Construction in private building contracts, or those looking to buy an associated Match apartment ‘off-the-plan’.
Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of parent company M/Group, has reflected on the significance of a third win in three years, particularly in light of the highly competitive construction environment.
“To receive the assurance of a high-quality builder is arguably the most important factor when making building decisions or buying an ‘off-the-plan’ apartment,” he said.
“M/Construction has consistently delivered not just high-quality work, but a standard of construction that has attracted the attention and kudos of the industry at large.
“This latest award is a testament to the unique systems and processes the company has in place. We are extremely proud of M/Construction’s ongoing achievements and what it means for its internal and external clients.”
Director of M/Construction, Michael Read, is thrilled by the acknowledgement and recognition from industry peers.
“Being able to repeatedly impress the judges over consecutive years says that the result is not by chance,” Michael said.
“We have an incredible team behind each project, backed by processes that ensure that nothing is overlooked.
“We truly believe we have introduced a new standard of building methodology to the landscape, and it is so great to be recognised for it.
In 2019, M/Construction won the Best Multi-Unit Development between $10-20m for Form by Match, Port Coogee and in 2018, the company took home the award for Best Multi-Unit Development between $10-20m for M/24 by Match, Leederville.
M/Construction is currently working on the construction of M/27 by Match in Parry Street, Fremantle and is available for discussions regarding independent opportunities.
Land Report – COVID-19Read more
Shifts in the land development sector will always be market-led, and if our experience with COVID-19 means improving the amenity in our suburban areas due to buyer demand, it will represent a very rare and positive outcome for the pandemic experience in WA.
Monument land estates have had a massive 5-fold increase in sales as a result of the Government’s response to COVID-19. We are seeing many in the industry fast-track the creation of new lots to keep up with demand – sometimes to an enormous capacity.
An important message for buyers is to make sure that these new lots carry the same integrity as those previously on offer, and that the release of new land will not negatively impact the purchase.
There are a range of long-term benefits to buying land in boutique developments, and the influx of new land due to COVID-19 may highlight the importance of this much sooner than expected.
Obviously COVID-19 has affected practically every aspect of life, how do you think this impact will be reflected in new land developments over the next few years? Do you see more emphasis being placed on open spaces and connection to nature?
As a boutique land developer, location, an abundance of open space and integrating the land’s natural features and typography into the estate design has always been an integral part of our development program. However, COVID-19 has most certainly shone a spotlight on just how incredibly important this is.
The impact of what has occurred around the world as a result of COVID-19 has made people reassess their lifestyle choices. They are looking at their own community and its access to nature, exercise options and reflective spaces through a different lens.
As a result, I believe land developers will lean even more towards providing improved facilities and outlooks, and buyers will always consider what the estate might look like should we go back into lockdown.
Are there any ways COVID-19 has already affected land developments?
It is too early to see any impact that COVID-19 might have on the design aspect of a land development, although the heightened sales activity off the back of generous Government stimulus grants and incentives has offered some insights into what buyers will be looking for into the future.
The most successful land estates during this period have been those with larger family sized lots and direct access to nature.
The heightened importance of our Hamelin Park beachside location at Secret Harbour, the proximity to the nature reserve at The Wedge in Wellard North, and the stunning hill-top coastal outlook whilst surrounded by majestic Tuart trees at Atop in Beeliar have been extraordinarily evident.
Do you feel buyers will be looking for certain boxes to tick in light of COVID?
The onset of lockdown effectively stress-tested our homelives and communities. It would be impossible, if not improbable, for buyers to avoid carrying these experiences into a new house and land purchase.
New home design is likely to be most impacted, with more space and breakout rooms, such as a study or second living area, on the ‘must have’ tick list. In turn, this will influence lot sizes as homesites will need to increase to accommodate the new requirements.
Other factors that I believe will now weigh heavily on a buying decision include easy access to public open space and amenities, a friendly, supportive and established community, and the ability to access the natural environment for some reflective and recreational time.
Where do you see the future of land development and are there any certain ‘trends’ that might appear?
Prior to COVID-19, there was definitely a trend that saw people move closer to the city and established areas. I believe this will continue as a result of lockdown, as people realised the issues relating to isolation and the importance of being near infrastructure and family.
The demand to be part of an infill land estate will continue to increase and land developers will take larger leaps towards providing an entire lifestyle package. Homesites will no longer be about the sheer size of the lot, there will now be much broader considerations at hand.
However, on the other end of the spectrum larger more rural lifestyle options will also become sought-after by some.
Comments by John Wroth, Director of Monument parent company M/Group.
The Wedge Creates a Children’s WonderlandRead more
Surrounded by natural wilderness, The Wedge by Monument in Wellard North is shaping up as a children’s wonderland, with a modern playground and discovery walking trails scheduled for completion by Christmas, plus a childcare centre in the pipelines.
Arguably the most stunning residential environment located in Perth’s southern corridor, families have eagerly snapped up homesites in the estate’s Stage 1 and Stage 2 releases, leading developers to fast-track release plans for Stage 3 with lots to be available by the end of the year.
“Creating a boutique environment gives us license to add signature features throughout the landscape and dramatically enrich the estate’s lifestyle and culture offer. It also creates a point of difference in a market that is so commonly unvaried and lackluster,” he said.
“When families visit The Wedge, they immediately see why it will soon be the ‘talk of the town’. This is not only great for residents who enjoy the facilities, it means the value of the property will invariably sit above other locations.”
“With a primary and high school next door and the stunning and protected Bulrush Nature Reserve wrapping around the estate, it would be difficult to find a better place to raise children.”
The Wedge is located between the freeway and the ocean, and is close to public transport, medical facilities and shopping.
Stage 1 quickly sold out and families are already settling into their new homes. Stage 2 is 50% sold with titles due this month. The increased demand and continuation of Government grant incentives has resulted in the acceleration of the estate’s development program to allow more people to get a foothold on land in the estate sooner.
“The Government grants have had an enormous impact on land sales throughout Perth, although land estates that are perceived by buyers as more desirable have experienced greater demand. This is why we made the decision to fast-track our development schedule and bring forward Stage 3,” Mr Wroth continued.
“Unlike many developers, we have made a commitment not to alter our prices. This means homesites at The Wedge represent excellent value to everyone from first homebuyers to growing families looking to make the most of these great buying conditions.
“The Wedge is emerging as an incredibly special place, and why wouldn’t you want to live in a location with so many great natural and integrated children facilities.”
The Wedge, located on Bertram Road, Wellard North, comprises homesites sized between 344sq.m and 537sq.m with prices starting from $174,000.
For more information visit www.thewedgewellard.com.au or contact Damyn Strang 0434 070 654.
Developers Building on HistoryRead more
There was a period in Perth where development and redevelopment were so fast paced that many valuable heritage properties were left so decrepit that they would ultimately be sanctioned for demolition.
Developers were hesitant to touch historic fabric due to the risks and unforeseen costs compared to the low cost, high profit ‘cookie-cutter’ buildings that were materialising across the City.
Match was born in the thick of this era. We were young and passionate about saving Perth streetscapes from bland, investor-driven apartment buildings. We wanted to build a legacy of design-centric projects that would bring interest and diversity to the landscape.
Adopting heritage rejuvenations into our portfolio was a natural fit and relatively easy to acquire based on the lack of industry interest.
Match became a trailblazer for heritage renewal projects in Perth and our work in this area today extends to property designs that pay homage to the site’s former use or the significance of the location, such as M/24 by Match in Leederville, Metropolitan in Mount Lawley, Sublime in North Fremantle and Johnson & James in Guildford.
A brief overview of Match’s heritage projects:
Corner of Milligan & Murray Streets, Perth
HOME still stands as one of Perth’s most impressive heritage renewals and a turning point that triggered many more heritage restoration projects throughout WA.
The 1927 warehouse building was introduced by the tobacco giant, W.D. & H.O. Wills and originally designed by local architects Oldham, Boas & Ednie-Brown; a firm reputed for over specifying to achieve design quality. It was constructed with reinforced concrete behind a beautiful facade, it is an excellent example of ‘Interwar Chicago-esque’ architecture featuring decorative mushroom columns unique to the era.
Match transformed this landmark site into 30 warehouse apartments, 37 adjoining terrace apartments and boutique commercial space, retaining some 95% of original heritage fabric, including a unique structural system that introduced the first mushroom headed slab on large diameter concrete columns constructed in Perth.
919 Beaufort Street, Inglewood
The Clocktower was originally built in 1936 in an architectural style known as ‘Inter-War Art Deco’. It was later used as the Civic Theatre Restaurant before being left largely unoccupied for many years.
The highly sensitive heritage rejuvenation project effectively transformed a local landmark into a boutique complex incorporating 28 apartments and four retail shops.
Specialist work was also required to locate a clock expert with the correct credentials to resurrect the signature clock, which was restarted in February 2008
Corner of Whatley Crescent and Eighth Avenue, Maylands
Maymont represents a major milestone for Maylands on a site that had been left decrepit for some time. The vision was to create a heart for the area and drive the inner-city culture to the area’s main strip, with architecture reminiscent of its hey-day in the 1920s. While much of the building’s structure could not be preserved due to many years of neglect, Match restored the heritage façades and introduced 42 apartments and 16 commercial spaces. The restoration program would be the start of the beautification process for Maylands, creating what is a today a hub of cafes, restaurants and bars.
36 Queen Victoria Street, Fremantle
Unquestionably one of Perth’s most significant heritage renewal projects in modern times, Heirloom is the award-winning heritage restoration of Fremantle’s iconic old Dalgety Woolstores, which sat largely unused for some 20 years.
The prominent structure located on Fremantle Harbour created a high-profile gateway to the City along Queen Victoria Street. It holds an important place in the City’s history and is most famous for its saw-tooth roof, classic red brickwork and 100-year old Jarrah beams.
The $130 million redevelopment leveraged the existing structure to create 183 spacious one and two-bedroom warehouse apartments, retaining over 85% of the original heritage fabric.
What were the key factors that drew you to these properties?
As a boutique apartment developer, Match works on the premise that the long-term investment value of a property is determined by its uniqueness and limited supply.
The simple fact is that you cannot manufacture heritage fabric and people will pay a premium for being able to acquire something distinctive and irreplaceable.
Location is, of course, always a factor, and when combined with a depth of character and history, we strongly believe these projects are worth the investment.
There was some time that developers wouldn’t go near heritage buildings because of all of the conditions surrounding it – what changed and did this influence your appetite for heritage?
In a development era that could be easily defined by its lack of sensitivity to good design and the legacy this would have on Perth’s streetscapes, there was certainly a case for ‘testing the water’.
It was new territory for most developers and, as a young company on a mission to disrupt the status quo, we took on highly ambitious heritage projects and were able to demonstrate both demand and return on investment.
Our success was supported by global shifts towards apartment living and a number of high-profile warehouse renewals around the world. Buyers were starting to view apartments as a lifestyle choice and developers needed to meet this market with unique and appealing propositions.
As a developer, what are the benefits and what are the challenges of developing heritage properties?
It is truly humbling and often breathtaking to see heritage fabric restored and repurposed for 21st century use.
The architectural values and depth of character inherent in these properties are timeless and, quite frankly, magnificent. Many discoveries can be made throughout the construction process that can add to the building’s story, such as an original wool-bale hoist and a railway track uncovered in the basement of Heirloom.
However, any adaptation of a retained building needs to satisfy current codes, modern facilities and environmental standards. This sometimes presents challenges for our architects to accommodate such requirements without compromising the usability, functionality, originality or attractiveness of the property.
At the Home building, our architects needed to work around enormous mushroom headed columns, and Heirloom, where services were ultimately hidden in a false flooring structure so that the Jarrah roofing and original beams could be exposed.
Are heritage projects more attractive for buyers?
Our experience is that the market is attracted to high quality, unique and boutique product which is much more enduring than that of high density, standardised developments.
Well executed heritage renewals elicit an emotional response and sense of connection that is so important in property sales. We find that people are really excited about owning an apartment that has heritage features that cannot be duplicated.
This was evidenced in the early release of Heirloom ‘off-the-plan’ apartments, which exceeded rigorous sales targets with over 70% of apartments selling prior to the commencement of construction.
There will always be a market that values heritage product over anything else.
What key drivers attracted you to develop in Fremantle and what is it that makes it attractive from a developer’s perspective?
Interestingly, our initial focus on Fremantle raised some eyebrows. In the early days we did significant work building a reputation as an inner city developer. All our projects were strategically located around the CBD and we actively promoted a new form of urban living specific to this area. It appeared in vast contrast to the eclectic beach and port side environment of Fremantle, but to us it held similar hallmarks.
What Match is very good at is identifying strategically located sites with good infrastructure and growth prospects. We laid our first claim to land in the early stages of South Beach Estate because we saw enormous potential.
Many find it hard to pigeonhole Fremantle due to its location and diverse population. However, it is without question a place where people want to live and we believed we could offer something unique to the mix.
Give us a brief overview of your Fremantle-based projects (past and current)
The Summer, South Fremantle – COMPLETED
Australia’s first Green Star Multi-Residential Building offering 36 luxury apartments with ocean views.
Heirloom by Match, Fremantle – COMPLETED
Highly celebrated and award-winning adaptive use of Fremantle’s iconic Dalgety Wool Stores heritage building.
M/28 by Match, South Terrace, Fremantle – COMPLETED
A boutique development of just 20 apartments and 6 commercial spaces located in the very heart of the eclectic South Terrace community.
M/27 by Match, Parry Street, Fremantle – UNDER CONSTRUCTION
A boutique development of just 40 park side apartments and conservation of the heritage listed substation building located in the midst of Fremantle’s historic and cultural centre.
Somersault, Fremantle – COMPLETED
An apartment complex of 58 affordable living residences inspired by the materials and textures synonymous with Fremantle.
Sublime, North Fremantle – COMPLETED
Just 16 beautifully appointed apartments incorporating exteriors with colours that reflect the nearby “Dingo’ flour mill.
Match has also extended its interest along Fremantle’s Coastal Corridor into areas such as North Coogee and Port Coogee including apartments and terrace homes.
There’s now a long list of developments planned or underway in Fremantle – what do you think has recently made it attractive for development?
Fremantle is definitely a place where increased development activity greatly improves the area’s atmosphere and appeal.
As Perth’s second largest CBD, the transition from a tourism and industrial location to a central residential and lifestyle hub has required both good planning and a period of adjustment. As more people are attracted to the area, they stimulate demand for residential product and, in doing so, creates an atmosphere that resembled some of the best and most populous cities in the world.
The factors that today make Fremantle so attractive could not simply be switched on. Match identified the City’s potential a long time ago but knew it would take capacity to build capacity. It is so great to see what has emerged since we arrived over a decade ago.
What are your anticipations for Fremantle’s future property market and the town itself?
Match has invested heavily in Fremantle and, in particular, its coastal corridor. We now have quite a significant footprint of projects in and around the area. We wouldn’t have made Fremantle our focus if we didn’t believe in its growth and potential.
There are very few places in Australia, if not around the world, that offers such a vibrant urban atmosphere with outstanding community infrastructure, as well as access to a coastal lifestyle. This is unique and unique translates to value.
We believe the town will continue to evolve as more people move into the community. Fremantle will continue to be a sought-after location, and quality product will become the differentiator in the property game.
We have been extremely lucky to work with a city council that is both visionary and takes a collaborative approach to development. Good planning underpins the success of any environment, and shutting the doors on development completely could have been disastrous for Fremantle.
What many might not realise is that what we are seeing now is the result of a considered approach that has been in the works for over a decade.
Strategic development sites, such as Heirloom, have been instrumental to opening key areas of the City to the public and reinvigorating the area’s incredible history.
There have been many bold moves taken over the years by the City of Fremantle, so it’s great to see everything come together for them and the community.
Comments by Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group