Boutique apartment company, Match, was honoured to take home its third Heritage Award for its work in transforming Fremantle’s iconic Dalgety Wool Stores into unique residential industrial warehouse apartments.
WA Apartment Advocacy hosted the 2021 WINconnect Apartment Awards for Excellence over the weekend celebrating those who have played an instrumental role in introducing Perth to the idea of design and amenity-led urban living through apartment development.
Heirloom by Match is one of the largest heritage renewals in the State, and award judges acknowledged “…Match demonstrated fearlessness and innovation in transforming this heritage building into an exemplar of what the City of Fremantle can expect from future developments of a similar ilk.”
The site had sat largely unused for 20 years prior to completion in 2016 and now with all apartments occupied the judges said the project is “…a charming apartment community that pays tribute to its heritage roots.”
Managing Director of parent company M/Group, Mr Lloyd Clark said the awards are a great honour to be recognised and acknowledged by the industry and peers.
“Drawing on our experience with heritage renewals, we knew from the outset that this project would present challenges, however we also saw it as an extremely important opportunity.
“Match is in the business of developing signature properties. It is our firm belief that people want more from their homes, and today Heirloom residents are creating their own space amidst 100 year old Jarrah beams and original heritage features,” he said.
Heirloom by Match was designed by Dominic Snellgrove of Cameron Chisholm Nicol and constructed by national top tier construction company, Built. The development team worked in collaboration with the City of Fremantle, State Government and heritage authorities to achieve a positive outcome.
“Heirloom is unquestionably one of Match’s most significant development projects in the company’s 20 year history. Its location close to Fremantle’s café strip and between the river and the beach is ideal, and it has helped to activate the City of Fremantle and its growth” Mr Clark continued.
“The renewal process was sensitive in nature and proved extremely complex. However, the recognition and accolades we have received are both humbling and extremely rewarding.”
Match had previously been awarded the Heritage Council’s ‘Conservation or Adaptive Reuse of a State Registered Place’, and the prestigious Gerry Gauntlett Award; recognising an outstanding achievement of adaptive reuse in Western Australia for the Heirloom Apartments in 2017. Match was also recognised with the Gerry Gauntlett Award prior to this in 2008 for its highly acclaimed Home warehouse apartments located in Perth CBD and is responsible for other heritage-listed projects such as Maymont in Maylands and Clocktower in Inglewood, which effectively injected new life into the area, as well as a range of cutting-edge design-inspired apartment properties throughout Perth.
For more information visit www.heirloombymatch.com.au or contact 0432 660 066
Playground Completed | The Wedge, Wellard NorthRead more
The Wedge at Wellard North is coming to life!
We have construction of new stages, homes being built, people moving in and have just completed the landscaped park and playground all with the stunning and protected bushland backdrop as you can see in this video.
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.”
Bigger Not Always BetterRead more
Developers of smaller apartments projects across Perth say some of the state government’s recent measures to stimulate economic activity and employment in light of COVID-19 are good in theory, but may not meet expectations in practice.
Among the measures is a streamlined assessment process for ‘significant developments’, defined as those projects with an estimated cost of at least $30 million or new residential buildings proposing more than 100 dwellings.
Developer and architect Barry Baltinas hopes the approvals process for the smaller, high-end apartment projects he focuses on could also be streamlined.
“These smaller projects can get off the ground very quickly, helping to create jobs and incomes for Perth families at a time when that is very much needed,” Mr Baltinas told Business News.
“Now more than ever, buyers are putting their health and the health of their family in focus, and boutique living aligns with that.”
Baltinas’s latest project, the $19 million Habitat Residences in Applecross, recently completed construction and features 14 apartments and three penthouses.
Mr Baltinas said the lack of shared facilities at the projects had proved to be a drawcard, particularly in recent weeks.
“It not only means fewer maintenance costs, but brings fewer health implications, which is obviously top of mind for many buyers right now,” he said.
“We’re seeing more activity in the market, in particular from those downsizers who have not been greatly impacted financially by recent events.”
M/Group managing director Lloyd Clark said there had been a lot of speculation about the potential negative impact of COVID-19 on the property industry, but the company’s apartment arm Match, which mostly develops 30-40 dwellings over three to five storeys, had not adjusted its pipeline.
“Boutique product holds its value,” Mr Clark told Business News.
“It’s important to note that the apartment market is heavily impacted by continued population growth, and an emerging generation that values central urban living over the half-acre block.”
Mr Clark said this would continue to increase demand for quality product in desirable locations.
“If the government’s mandate is to stimulate the economy and fast track project development, it needs to approach all areas of the property sector equally,” he said.
“We believe it is absolutely counterproductive for the government to favour one style of dwelling over another in any capacity.
“There is a whole market sector that would never consider high-density living, so disadvantaging them with time delays does not service anyone.”
Excerpt from Business News – 22 June 2020
Apartment Buyers PounceRead more
While COVID-19 has sent ripples throughout all sectors of the real estate market, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group Lloyd Clark said that the negatives would be short-lived, while the positives would have a longer-lasting impact for the apartment sector.
“Just as quickly as Perth moved through the restrictions, enquiries returned,” he said. “The disruption had significantly less impact that initially anticipated,”
“Firstly, we saw the apartment industry reinvent itself to provide highly digitalised access to apartment spaces.”
“Equally, our market became adept at reviewing possible investment opportunities online.”
“For a sector that deals significantly with off-the-plan products, this was really a watershed moment, and when enquiries returned, these people were highly qualified and informed buyers.”
Mr Clark said the pandemic has created a much-needed shift in a market that has become a little congested with speculative developers on projects that may or may not have come to fruition.
“It allowed everyone in the industry to review risks an introduce risk aversion strategies,” he said.
“What this means for apartment buyers is some developers may have reconsidered their position in terms of new project development, and off-the-plan deposits can now be redirected to solid operators such as Match, which has demonstrated time and again resilience in varying market conditions.”
Edge Visionary Living Managing Director Gavin Hawkins said the developer also witness a spike in enquiries as restrictions started to lift.
“We have seen a huge spike in enquiry as COVID-19 restrictions have eased, and especially following the new government incentive announcements,” he said.
“With equity markets now above where they were little more than 12 months ago, the initial fears have dissipated and buyer confidence within the sector is returning strongly.”
The apartment market had a big change-up in May of this year when new strata reforms came into place offering a variety of changes to how strata acts operate.
From 10-year maintenance plans, to minimum education for strata managers and a more efficient dispute resolution process, it was the largest shake up in decades and one Mr Hawkins said was a plus for buyers.
“It certainly allows for more flexibility in providing a co-ordinated, staged approach to developments,” he said.
“The key take-out, however, is providing more clarity and protections for the buyers which is obviously a good thing for both buyers and the sector.”
Mr Clark said many byers were unaware of recently available stamp duty rebates when buying an apartment.
“This will help purchasers buy into under-construction apartments, as well as pre-construction,” he said.
“This means purchasers can take advantage of the stamp duty rebates and other incentives and may not have to wait prolonged periods to move into an apartment.”
The value of apartments has remained relatively steady over the last ten years, falling just 0.7 per cent in Greater Perth over the period, according to REIWA data, with the median sale price for the year to March 2020 recorded at $378,000. The median unit rental price for March was $340.
The suburb of Perth recorded the most unit sales in the year to March, with 264, closely followed by East Perth (245). Near city suburbs Scarborough (210), South Perth (209) and Maylands (180) rounded out the top 5.
Outer-ring suburbs Rockingham and Mandurah also saw high levels of activity, with 115 and 108 sales respectively.
In terms of sales value, only two sub-regional markets saw an increase over the year to March, with the Perth South West market realising an increase of 2.6 per cent and Mandurah boasting a massive increase of 17.3 per cent.
South Perth witness the biggest apartment sale price of $7,150,000in the year to March while Dalkeith the lower quartile, median and higher quartile sales were all in the million dollar range, with the wealthy suburb recording and 37.3 per cent spike in prices for the year to March. The opposite was true in Crawley which witnessed an equal fall over the period.
Excerpt from The West Australian Property Report, 20 June 2020
Can isolation inoculation hold for apartments?Read more
Prices and sales of apartments are stable, but developers are calling for more stamp duty reform.
Western Australia’s property developers hope the physical isolation that has helped mitigate the worst of COVID-19 in this state will also insulate the local apartment market from a contagion of a different kind.
While sales of off-the-plan apartments on the east coast are reportedly down 15 per cent or more in recent weeks, that trend is yet to fully materialise in Perth, at least anecdotally.
Apartments in central Perth have remained relatively resilient during the past three years in terms of maintaining their resale values, according to research analysts PropertyESP.
Director Samantha Reece said this resilience, paired with Perth’s location, had so far buffered the market from the economic fallout of COVID-19.
“For the first time in history we are actually glad that we’re isolated,” Ms Reece told Business News.
“While there will be some national companies that feel the effect from the east coast – there is a bit more of a lag happening there than here – those companies based in WA, I believe, will actually continue on business as usual.”
That appears to be the case for Subiaco-based Stirling Capital, which recently achieved practical completion at its 26 on Charles mixed-use development in South Perth.
Stirling Capital sales and marketing director Daniel-Paul Filippi said just a small number of the 28 boutique apartments and four levels of commercial office space remained for sale.
“In terms of valuations, we’ve had zero impact,” Mr Filippi told Business News.
“I’ve had all the major valuers through our Charles Street project and we’ve had no problem.
“People are waiting to see if there’s going to be those sorts of big drops that have been reported [on the east coast]. We didn’t have a lot of foreign buyers anyway, so I don’t see as much impact.”
Mr Filippi said the market’s saving grace could be the resources sector, as one of the key drivers of the state’s economic activity.
“The fact is, WA is still ticking along, so everything is indicating that maybe WA and Darwin will be the least affected by all of this,” he said.
M/Group managing director Lloyd Clark said there had been less disruption on projects than initially anticipated, with inquiries returning just as quickly as Perth moved through the easing of restrictions. Mr Clark said inquiries had also tended to be more qualified and ready to buy.
Given that market confidence, the group is pushing ahead with plans to start construction on its M/27 apartment development in Fremantle.
“In terms of valuation, Perth is in a unique position comparative to the rest of Australia,” Mr Clark said.
“Our property values were already at the lower end of the property cycle, and apartment prices currently represent excellent value for money.
“While the fallout of the pandemic might create value variances in other states, I believe it is unlikely in Perth.
“In light of the activity over the last few months, I would expect to see apartment prices on our projects hold as the market restabilises and returns to growth in 2021.”
M/Group is progressing plans to start construction on its M/27 40-apartment development in Fremantle.
Apartment developer Paul Blackburne is also expecting prices to remain steady, and said COVID-19 had not yet affected sales, with most of his apartment stock already sold.
Blackburne’s Marina East development, located in Ascot Waters, finished construction in May with 80 per cent of apartments sold.
“The past 12 months have been our highest-selling year on record with $203 million in sales in just the first nine months,” Mr Blackburne told Business News.
“Now that things are opening up more and the major threat of the crisis is most likely over, people have started buying in larger volumes.
“Prices had gone up for four months in a row. The next year would have seen 3 to 5 per cent growth.”
Outlook Data compiled by real estate services firm JLL revealed that apartment sales in the inner city were down 3.9 per cent in the 12 months to the fourth quarter of 2019.
However, apartment sales activity was up 12.5 per cent in the fourth quarter on the preceding three months.
JLL manager of strategic research Ronak Bhimjiani said this had most likely been fuelled by the 75 per cent stamp duty rebate on off-the-plan purchases.
Additionally, Mr Bhimjiani said apartment values increased by 1.7 per cent in Perth between November 2019 and February 2020, a figure not seen since mid-2013 during the peak of the resources boom.
“The long-awaited recovery in Perth’s apartment market is likely to be delayed, as COVID-19 keeps conditions challenging in the short term,” he said.
“However, it is important to note that current economic and property market data does not yet fully capture the full impact of COVID-19.”
Any anticipated drop in demand could be partially offset by supply, with construction expected to cool off beyond 2020.
Mr Bhimjiani said there were about 380 apartments across a handful of smaller boutique developments likely to be completed in 2021.
Meanwhile, for larger developments previously set for 2021 completion, he said project timelines had been pushed out to 2022, with further economic uncertainty potentially limiting new starts.
“Many of these projects that are in the early stages of marketing or at the development approval stage could slip into later years or be abandoned if sufficient pre-sales are not achieved and economic conditions do not improve,” Mr Bhimjiani said.
“The impact on pricing will ultimately be dependent on the supply versus demand dynamics in the Perth apartment market.”
Finbar managing director Darren Pateman said stamp duty relief would be the best way to boast sales and development activity.
The ASX-listed property development company recently announced it had completed construction of its One Kennedy Maylands project, with sales of $23.5 million secured to date, representing 43 per cent of apartments.
Mr Pateman said there hadn’t been any immediate shift in apartment values, with all recent Finbar contracts at pre-COVID-19 pricing.
“The Perth market was already at one of its most affordable levels pre-COVID, in contrast perhaps to eastern states markets, which were experiencing far higher levels of growth,” Mr Pateman told Business News.
“WA has done it tough for near on five years and pre-COVID we were clearly entering a recovery phase, while eastern states markets have been boiling over for some time.
“Extending the stamp duty rebate beyond off-the-plan sales to projects under construction and new completed stock to encourage commencements will allow vital capital to be redirected to new job creating projects for thousands of Western Australians.”
Mr Pateman said this would help revive the WA economy as it moved into the recovery phase post COVID-19.
Mr Blackburne shared similar thoughts and said further stamp duty reform could also lead to long-term reductions in local council rates, with the greater rates flowing from higher-density developments better supporting council operations and budgets.
Mr Clark agreed and said the role of government was critical to maintaining buyer confidence, which could be achieved by additional stamp duty relief by way of rebate or discount.
“This is about keeping the market moving in the right direction and buyer incentives are proven and successful in this space,” he said.
“Government and industry alike have a significant role to play here.”