ESQ Penrith Strong Demand

Penrith is heading into an exciting period of growth with strong demand for new apartments. Last weekend East Side Quarter (ESQ) by CABE was launched by Colliers International and achieved pre-sales success with in excess of 60% of stage 1 sold out. Stage 1 contains 152 apartments. Sydney’s West is booming and Penrith is ideally placed to capture much of the new activity. ESQ represents a bold new design-lead approach to development with the promise of a riverside lifestyle that also appeals to buyers looking for a café culture, a high level of new and established amenity and the benefits expected to flow from the new Badgerys Creek airport.

Gold Coast Attracts More Owner-Occupiers

Owner occupancy in the Gold Coast’s central coastal region is set to increase, with Mermaid Beach expected to lead the way. Census statistics highlight the trend with Mermaid Beach the most popular beachside locale with 43.5% of dwellings now owner-occupied, followed by Broadbeach with 40.7% and Surfers Paradise with 39.9%. Developers have picked up on the trend and are lodging more applications for home-style apartments. There’s more demand for larger upmarket 2 and 3-bedroom apartments as the Gold Coast attracts more long-term residents balancing investor demand.

Student Numbers Drive Demand

Australia is hosting unprecedented numbers of international students, they now make up a quarter of enrolments at some universities, fuelling demand for accommodation. The trend is reshaping areas of the CBD residential development in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. This year the number of international students has increased by 12% to 525,054. That compares with 305,534 total enrolments five years ago. Students from China make up the largest proportion at 31% followed by India, Nepal, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Migrant Numbers Also Boost Population

Australia’s population continues to grow due to overseas migration with Victoria leading growth in the past year, according to new data. Sydney remains the country’s largest city with a record 5.1 million residents last year – up by 2% with more than 101,000 more residents. Melbourne however, grew faster to 4.9 million, an increase of 2.7%, while Brisbane grew by 2%. In Sydney and Melbourne its mostly net overseas migration however in Canberra and Darwin it’s a more natural increase with new births. It appears that climate and standard of living are usually the deciding factors with net migration accounted for an extra 80,000 residents in Melbourne and 84,000 in Sydney.

Parks Important Open Space

Play parks for kids and adults are important aspects of urban development and there are some lessons we might learn from the UK and Europe, where parks attract lots of visitors. One immediate difference is that UK and European parks include far more physical activity and an equal number of kids and adults. Research indicates that key to a park’s success includes designing park spaces for all ages, not just the kids, spreading playful elements everywhere. Here we tend to cluster facilities and make structures that are riskier and exciting, yet still safe. Parks are popular and important in high-density neighbourhoods and they help cities create cost-effective play spaces and improve urban health and wellbeing.

Street Retail Spaces

Retail space at the street level of new developments including mixed-use developments impact the street life of our suburbs, sometimes in a negative way as shops remain vacant at times for years, impacted by big shopping centre and online shopping. A few options are now starting to develop to fill vacant space. These include internet brands that host actual in-store experiences. Giving commercial storefronts to makers, entrepreneurs and community groups in a collaborative retail model with more flexible and less costly zoning and regulations. Areas with a more vibrant street level experience are more popular and safer environments.