Australian developers continue to build as they see an end to COVID woes

Experts share insights into the current and future of Australia’s real estate market 

There is potential in Melbourne’s apartment market compared to other cities around the world. MaytheeVoran/Shutterstock

At the recent PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Australia) Virtual Roundtable 2021, Australian real estate experts gather to discuss the market’s pandemic-induced changes and future outlook.  

Leonie Klaric, CEO & founder of The Property Expert International, shared New South Wales’ real estate outlook and heritage development. Sydney’s experienced record-low interest rates of just 0.1 percent and continues to be a safe haven for international investors. Regional towns in NSW have seen increases in values dramatically, and local governments are encouraging developers to maintain a heritage component in new designs.  

Ivan Lam, head of international business at Charter Keck Cramer, offered insights into cross-border investments in Australia and the Melbourne apartment market. Real estate is the second-highest industry in attracting foreign direct investment with commercial real estate clocking AUD38.8 billion from the year prior’s AUD73 billion. There is potential in Melbourne’s apartment market compared to other cities around the world, but decreased international students from border restrictions also pose concerns.

Apart from the market update, Lui Violanti, regional manager at Western Australia Inhabit Group and chairperson of the Awards’ Judging Panel, provided an overview of the programme as the most prestigious industry accolade with an unparalleled reputation for being credible, fair, and transparent.  

Josh Chye, partner and head of Tax. HLB Mann Judd – HLB Australia, also joined the panel. As the official supervisor of PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards, HLB ensures fair judgment, adherence to the Judges Rulebook, site visits for procedure verification, completed entry forms, and approves all Winner and Highly Commended results from the judges.

Jules Kay, managing director of PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards & Events, moderated the virtual session to share to viewers insights into the current and future of Australia’s real estate market.

Is the Australian market still performing well despite the challenges? 

Lui Violanti said that Western Australia has bounced back over the years, thanks to the pandemic which led to internal migration. People are leaving big cities, and going to smaller cities that offer better properties for the same amount of money. Moreover, the student market has heavily impacted major cities like Melbourne and Sydney, but it hasn’t stopped projects from being built as developers see the end of COVID coming through.  

Will Sydney still maintain its appeal?  

Leonie Klaric believes that Sydney will continue to be of great appeal due to its great waters, constant supply and demand dynamic, and livability. People still crave properties, particularly young homebuyers, and wealth is all around. “I don’t think it’s going to change, and Sydney is a great place to invest in”, she said.  

More: Australian property investors favour energy-efficient homes

Have there been any remote working shifts in Melbourne, and will there be any long-term effects? 

Josh Chye shares from a workforce trend point of view, there’ll be a permanent change between the office and home. Offices aren’t dead and practices in Melbourne like HLB have adopted a hybrid model. Companies have also given choices for people to work from home and even before COVID-19, there have been talks about offering such arrangements. Changes will definitely be seen moving forward and “The majority will be hybrid”.  

Will there be trends to adjust the market in the absence of international students or prepare for the return of such students?  

Ivan Lam says developers who haven’t launched their projects have been redesigning to cater to lifestyle changes and work-from-home schedules. Australia’s real estate will see a majority of developers focus on appeals to new styles of living, and design products that are capable for the market.  

The Property Report editors wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].