The COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent economic effects have understandably altered buyer behaviours around property – with varying trends becoming evident across the previous few months.
Despite the ongoing market uncertainty, recent data shows that Australians are engaging with real estate content at record highs, which is reflected in Giancorp’s recent sales successes at their Moonee Ponds project - Penny Lane.
First home buyers and young professionals remain particularly engaged in property, with data gathered by Apartments & Developments (AD) indicating that first home buyers and young professionals are continuing their property search despite COVID, with many indicating they will be ready to buy in the near future.
We spoke with a young couple who recently purchased an apartment in Giancorp’s Penny Lane development, who outline their experience in the current market.
How did Giancorp help you through the buying process during these unique market conditions?
The team was very friendly and flexible throughout our initial inquiry into the project and final purchase stages – we never felt pressured or unheard.
Getting in early on a project, prior to construction is definitely a massive saving on stamp duty for young families such as ours and with the home builder initiative and fairly priced apartments, even in this time of uncertainty, we felt confident and comfortable with our decision.
Due to the current restrictions, we were unable to attend our contract signing meeting at the display suite in Moonee Ponds. The team was quick to make arrangements and personally deliver the contracts and talk us through the process.
Why did you choose to purchase your new home at Penny Lane?
For a long time we've been contemplating apartment living as it would offer us the opportunity to live in an ideal location and provide us with an improved lifestyle. Penny Lane's location with the adjacent construction of the arcade, was very appealing to us. We liked the size and layout of the foreseeable building and were actually looking for a project with simple but smart facilities.
Before securing your new home at Penny Lane, how long had you been looking?
We have actually been tossing up between purchasing a family home in the outer-suburbs and apartment living in the inner-suburbs for close to two years. However, we have actively been looking for about six months at both options.
At the end of the day, we just couldn't beat the walkability and simplicity apartment living would offer us. The cafes and boutiques of Puckle street, proximity to Queen's park, transport access – the list could just go on!
Had you ever purchased off-the-plan previously?
No, we haven't! There's an element of excitement and anticipation as we await the commencement of construction and completion of the project.
How have you found the process of buying off-the-plan?
From walking into the display suite to choosing our apartment and finalising our contract seemed effortless.
We were both surprised with how easy the whole process actually was. Once everything was finalised we both looked at each other and said "Is that it?" And we haven't looked back!
Was there a particular design feature or attribute of Penny Lane that influenced you in your decision to buy?
We really liked the boutique feel that the lower levels offered and the size of the project. We felt that each level still maintained some level of privacy and space.
The overall design of the kitchen, high ceilings and contemporary architecture was definitely a selling point for us.
How many other properties did you consider?
We considered a few different apartments in South Melbourne, Carlton and Moonee Ponds, as these suburbs matched our lifestyle preferences.
We finally decided to pursue Moonee Ponds, pretty much because Penny Lane just ticked all our boxes!
The positive experience enjoyed by the Penny Lane buyers is a testament to the sustainability and adaptability of Giancorp and the off-the-plan industry, which has been agile and forward thinking in order to combat the uncertain conditions.
Data gathered by AD indicates a subtle shift in buyer behaviours, with first home buyers proving to be the most engaged and active category – presumably thanks to the multiple government incentives and grants that are currently being offered, aimed at assisting them to enter the property market.
Buyers remain active in their search for real estate, which is supported by the figures collected by AD and Nielsen report findings – demonstrating some good news for the property and development sector.