Milsons Point – One of Sydney’s Most Scarce Inner-City Neighbourhoods
Milsons Point offers a very desirable lifestyle, and the popularity of this tightly held inner-city neighbourhood was clearly demonstrated by the release and virtually total sell-out of 88 Alfred St. This Cbus Property project reflects how popular Milsons Point has become and what a strong market it is.
Milsons Point is a very compact area and an especially distinctive neighbourhood with its easy access to both the North Sydney and Sydney CBDs further enhanced by great views, excellent transport and harbour-side location.
By almost every measure Milsons Point was the ideal location for a premium product like 88 Alfred St, and the marketing and sales results were outstanding.
The North Sydney Council area has a housing mix that is 87% medium density (and increasing) and Milsons Point has the smallest population of just 2,891 residents (2011 census figures), the resident population doubled between 1991 and 2011. The area’s popularity remains very strong in particular with north-shore residents from Mosman to Gordon looking to downsize and seeking a local change into apartment living. It would come as no real surprise that this is a quality driven, cashed-up and highly selective target market.
However such a target market does mean that the ingredients for a successful development needed to be carefully planned right down to the smallest detail. Cbus understood this fact as did their architects Bates Smart who were working with a recycled building at 88 Alfred St, and they did a great job producing an elegant, thoroughly executed result that would appeal to the key target market, which is not always easy.
88 Alfred St will have 123 apartments with a mix across studios, 1-bedroom and 1-bedroom plus study, and 2, 3-bedroom and penthouse apartments. While half of the apartments were the 2-bedroom configuration, all apartments were popular with strong preference in particular for the 3-bedroom apartments clearly aligned to the demand from locals moving from larger established homes.
Given the premium nature of the market the apartments were seen as a ‘flag-ship’ project for Cbus and finishes included timber floors, with great attention to detail across all levels of finishes both interior and the exterior detailing of the building, the detailing was very well received and seen as impeccable.
At the VIP launch buyers were impressed by the quality, in particular the galley kitchens, lux bathrooms, entry foyers and the building’s external façade. Apartments were designed to deliver great views both to the east and west, and this dual aspect to the location was a great selling feature.
Despite the fact that we have been marketing to one of the strongest markets seen for many decades, nothing was taken for granted in planning the release of 88 Alfred St. The launch was built around a very strong VIP Registration of Interest. This resulted in sales of over $180m on the day from a total revenue target of $204m. The VIP release and ROI delivered some 185 preview registrations, of qualified buyers and the stunning display apartment and sales space created a boutique feel that everyone gave a positive response to.
In looking at the results, it was also clear that the developers’ reputation was very important, and Cbus certainly has this and in the mind-set of our target quality and reliability are key, as we were dealing with highly informed buyers.
The buyers were a mix of 50/50 owners and investors, with a small percentage of offshore FIRB approved buyers. Given how limited supply is across Milsons Point it’s also interesting (but no revelation) to note that among investors we saw local buyers who were keen to secure a stake in Milsons Point with a view to a future move to the building.
Supply Will Remain Tight
Milson’s Point is now ever more characterised by a lack of supply, once people find the location they stay and this also then creates strong local demand between the different buildings among already established buyers, but also limits stock available for new residents to buy, and so creates a robust demand driven market.
As the success of 88 Alfred St demonstrated, there is also going to be continued strong demand from North Shore local residents moving here for the undoubted amenity of the area. If for example you have buyers who have had a career in the CBD, there’s an almost natural affinity or even affection for a neighbourhood like Milsons Point.
Milsons Point is one of the most constrained neighbourhoods in Sydney, supply is finite with the release of any new apartments few and far between, and this will continue to drive prices and the quest for quality.