Downsizers to drive apartment numbers in Sydney

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Development sites on Sydney’s north shore are proving to be a hot commodity as demand for apartments in the area gets a kick from the Baby Boomer generation.

According to real estate services firm CBRE, developers are clamouring for sites between Northbridge to Manly and across to Cremorne Point due to unprecedented demand from downsizers for apartments in the area.

“With a limited supply of land available in the esteemed North Shore, developers recognise the opportunity available to meet this thriving demand,” Toby Silk from CBRE’s North Shore team said.

“Consequently, development sites are being snapped up before they can be brought to market,” Silk said.

CBRE has recently overseen the sale of $60m worth of sites in Mosman, Neutral Bay, Cremorne and Queenscliff that will be turned into apartment projects aimed at downsizers.

While inner city areas of Sydney have been hit by an influx of high-rise apartment projects in recent years, a similar phenomenon is unlikely for the north shore as those targeting apartments in the area look for something other than a boxy unit.

“In the past 12 months, there has been numerous boutique North Shore development sites sold offering 50 or less apartments, with over 85% of them transacting off market,” Nick Heaton, from CBRE’s Capital Markets team said.

“Motivated to downsize from their palatial residences, the baby boomer group still seeks to remain within the region they have called home for the past 30 years. They are trading out of their grand $5-10 million homes in exchange for an oversized three bedroom apartment,” Heaton said.

"Market data is indicating they have a preference for avoiding large scale developments, instead focusing on projects comprising 50 units or less.”

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