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The latest happenings in the Melbourne property market. For our Essays and The Secret Agent Report, see our Research page.


Category Archives For: Secret Agent News

In 2016, We Paid More for Older Apartments

This week, Secret Agent compares new and old apartments around inner Melbourne to see which were more valuable in 2016.

The sample included 1674 apartment sales across inner Melbourne’s suburbs and the CBD from January to December 2016. New apartments are those built from the 90s onwards, excluding any recent off-the-plan apartment sales. Old apartments include Art Deco units and flats located in 60s to 80s brick buildings. Read the full post


The Price of Better Designed Apartments

How much more are we willing to pay for a cross ventilated, well-lit apartment with a balcony and open views?

In March this year, apartment design standards will be implemented into the Victorian planning system. Apartment design standards will ensure all future apartments in Victoria are desirable, safe, healthy and sustainable. New developments in Victoria will only be permitted a planning permit if they meet these standards. A 2015 community survey found that the top concerns of apartment amenity were “access to daylight, functional space, and natural ventilation”, as well as noise and energy efficiency. (DELWP, 2)

Standards have been made for 16 elements of design: Building setback, functional layout, room depth, windows, storage, noise impacts, energy efficiency, solar access to communal open space, natural ventilation, private open space, communal open space, landscaping, accessibility, building entry and circulation, waste and recycling, integrated water and storm water management.

It is logical to think that better design standards should produce apartments of a higher quality. This in turn should increase the sale price of these apartments. Secret Agent was engaged to determine the price premium of better designed apartments. That is, how much more are consumers willing to pay for an A grade apartment compared to a B grade and C grade apartment? Read the full post


Happy Holidays!

Secret Agent would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thanks for your support this year and we look forward to catching up in the new year.

Our office will be closed from the 24th December 2016 to 8th January 2017.


Trump Makes Bond Yields Great Again

A look at the bond market reveals a very large jump in bond yields the day after Trump was elected.

What a year it has turned out to be. From the mild (Western Bulldogs Premiership) to the momentous (Brexit and Trump presidency), 2016 has seen it all. Before discussing more recent events, let’s take a look at how bond yields have been performing since our last update in September. Read the full post


Warehouse Apartments in Melbourne: What They Cost

Who knew that the walls of former breweries, factories and mills would become one of the most irresistible apartment styles to own and occupy in inner Melbourne.

Warehouse apartments are unique in that they successfully and seamlessly merge historic and trendy. Characterised by their exposed brick walls, steel trusses, sleek interiors and impossibly high ceilings, warehouse style apartments are limited in supply, further adding to their appeal.

In this bulletin, Secret Agent examines inner Melbourne’s warehouse apartment market. Read the full post


What Melbourne’s Apartments Will Cost You

In this update, we present a more thorough look into the price per square metre rates of apartments by suburb, further categorising sales according to the number of bedrooms. These results are shown in Table 1.

The overall average price per square metre rate for apartments in inner Melbourne is $8,687/sqm. 

Overall, the three most expensive suburbs to purchase an apartment  are Albert Park ($13,276/sqm), East Melbourne ($11,914/sqm) and Middle Park ($10,720/sqm). These areas have consistently topped our index.

The least expensive apartments per square metre can be found in Travancore ($6,563/sqm), Kensington ($6,869/sqm) and Flemington ($7,079/sqm).

A few things can be observed when considering apartments with a larger accommodation. In some suburbs, the increase in number of bedrooms also leads to an increase in price per square metre, as seen in the CBD region, Carlton, Collingwood, Clifton Hill and South Yarra.

We can see that most of the inner North and inner West suburbs tend to have decreasing price per square metre rates as apartments grow in accommodation size. However, note that some of the data may be inaccurate due to the small number of sales available for that particular apartment type.

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Click to view table in fullscreen mode.


Melbourne, Docklands and Southbank: Capital Growth of Apartments

Secret Agent’s apartment capital growth index tracks price changes of the same apartments over time. Rather than simply using average price changes, basing the index on resales gives a better measure of true capital growth. The index tracks how apartment prices change when buying off the plan, as well as all subsequent sales of the property. This bulletin takes a closer look at apartments in Melbourne CBD, Docklands and Southbank. Note that when talking about annualised growth rate, we are referring to converting the growth rate over one quarter to an annual figure.

Since 2009, CBD and Southbank apartments have been growing in value at about the same rate, with the CBD slightly ahead for all but the first quarter of 2016 (Figure 1). Since the end of 2011, CBD apartments have grown in value by an annual average of 2.83%. while Southbank apartments by 2.60%. Over the whole time period, Docklands growth was well below the other two suburbs, averaging 1.40% over the past five years.

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Read the full post


Airbnb: 8 Tips for New Hosts

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Planning on listing your property on Airbnb? Here are a few things new hosts should consider.

1. Location of your property and potential demographic of your guests.

Guests usually plan to stay close to the centre of activity and culture they would like to experience. For example if your property is near a stadium, there’s a high chance your guests may be attending sports events. Think about the biggest demographic of sports attendees and ask yourself the extent of behaviour you would tolerate in your property.

2. De-risk your home against bad apples.

You can request a security deposit prior to the guest’s arrival. Be wary of Instant Bookings, as this does not give you the opportunity to review the guest before they book in their stay. As a final precaution, have your guests sign a contract before they arrive. This can clearly lay out the check-in and check-out dates and times, rules of conduct, deposit refund or any other concerns you may have. While it may put off some guests, those who have nothing to hide should have no problems with signing it.

3. Make sure your home is safe for occupation.

When leasing out your property, it is your property manager’s role to ensure the safety of the premises are kept. If you’re putting up an Airbnb listing, this responsibility falls on you. You’ll need to check that the smoke alarms are working and that heaters (if any) have been serviced in the last 2 years. Make sure that all doors and locks work smoothly in the event that evacuation is necessary. While Airbnb does not conduct any routine inspections on the safety of your property, it’s a simple favour you are doing your guest that may save their life.

4. Check your home insurance coverage for accidents or damage.

You’ll need to fully insure your home against the risk of irresponsible guests causing major damage, as seeking damage compensation from Airbnb is difficult. Read the fine print of Airbnb’s Host Guarantee, and don’t assume it will protect you fully. It also does not cover a refusal to vacate.

Read the full post


The Secret Agent Report – Apartments: Capital Growth

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

Earlier this year, Secret Agent set about determining the true capital growth of houses and townhouses in inner Melbourne to provide investors with more accurate figures on previous growth in the local property market.

In this report, apartments get their turn as we analyse the growth in prices over the past 16 years. An updated index for the capital growth of houses and townhouses is also included.

Access the Apartments Capital Growth report now!

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New apartments: What to expect

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[Click to view image in full size]

Key findings

  • 1 bedroom apartments will be 8% bigger on average.

  • 2 bedroom apartments remain the same size.

  • 3 bedroom apartments will be 4% smaller and remain rare.

  • Little to no 4 bedroom apartments are being proposed.

  • Most apartments meet the minimum balcony size.

Following up on our recent Supply report, Secret Agent wanted to dig deeper into what sort of apartment buildings are being proposed by developers. Using planning permit applications sent to local Melbourne councils, we sampled 1,680 proposed apartments from 34 buildings in 15 suburbs of metropolitan Melbourne.

Read the full post