Penrith looks set to play host to a series of new apartment developments over the coming years.
According to recent media reports, more than $300 million in development applications have been lodged in recent months, proposing close to 250 apartments.
In some instances, the developers are starting to sell the apartments “off the plan” to both owner occupiers and investors alike.
Given that units in Penrith are currently showing strong value growth, buying an apartment in the suburb may not be a bad idea.
Research conducted by RP Data found unit values in Penrith climbed by 17.6% in 2014 – significantly higher than the growth achieved across most property markets in Sydney.
Further, over the last 10 years, Penrith has achieved a rolling annual growth rate of approximately 4% - substantially higher than inflation.
While buying an apartment in Penrith would seem to offer buyers a significant return on their investment over the longer term, it is important to know exactly what to look for in an apartment before you dive in with both feet.
After all, if you buy the wrong apartment, you may find it hard to re-sell down the track, thus doing yourself out of potential monetary gains.
So what should you look for when buying an apartment?
Regardless of whether you are buying the apartment to live in or rent out, it is important to have a discerning eye. Look for qualities that will help with re-sale down the track, including:
- Location: is the apartment close to public transport and all the other major amenities? The better your apartment is located, the easier it will be to either find tenants or future buyers.
- Positioning: Do you have to walk down stairs to get to your apartment, or do you have to catch a lift up to it? Where possible, it is good to avoid apartments you have to walk down to as they are usually dark.
- Parking: There is nothing worse than having to carry your groceries for hundreds of meters because you couldn’t find a parking spot near your place of residence. So, when looking for the perfect apartment, make sure you buy one with plenty of nearby parking or access to a garage. Places that come with their own car spot will rent out for more and be easier to sell in the future.
- Size: When buying a one-bedroom unit, it is good to make sure it is bigger than 50 square metres internally, otherwise you may have trouble financing the purchase. Banks, or more specifically mortgage insurers, don’t like to finance properties that are too small.
- Research: Before buying anything, it is important to do your research and make sure you know what other properties are selling for in the area. At the end of the day, you don’t want to pay more than a property is worth, so make sure you know the ins and outs of the local property market before making any final decisions.