Sydney apartment sector still strong as entire unit blocks hit the market

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While the increased availability of apartment stock in Sydney is nothing new, not everybody is willing to write off the investment viability of the sector just yet.

Real estate services firm CBRE has recently listed two entire unit blocks, one in Marrickville featuring 46 studios and another in Coogee featuring 26 apartments, and is expecting strong interest in the two after previous sales of entire blocks.

CBRE's Nick Heaton recently oversaw the $10m sale of a block of apartments in Queenscliff as well as the $8.85m sale of a block of 26 apartments in Sutherland.

Both blocks attracted significant buyer interest and returned higher than expected sale prices at auction and Heaton is expecting the same for the Coogee block, which has been held by family owners for a significant period of time.

“The ability to purchase an entire block of units, particularly of this size, is exceptionally rare with these types of assets often held in the same family for multiple generations,” he said.

The Coogee property has been in the same family ownership for 85 years. Initially three terraces, the property was redeveloped in the 1970s as 24 separate apartments.

The Marrickville block has also been in family ownership for a number of years and CBRE’s Peter Vines expects it will see interest from a range of different buyer types.

“Investors have the ability to create significant value by transforming all of the units into one-bedroom apartments to increase the rentals,” Vines said.

“This will appeal to strata dealers who renovate and sell down whole unit blocks, and we believe there might also be potential interest from government agencies, affordable housing groups and other owner occupiers.”

Marrickville’s growing reputation as one of Sydney’s trendier suburbs will also increase interest in the block according to Vines.

The sale of entire apartment blocks could soon become more common in Sydney as well, with the New South Wales government announcing its amended strata legislation will come into force on 30 November, which will allow for entire apartment blocks to be sold if 75% of owners wish to sell.   

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