Bullish buyers push Sydney’s luxury CBD apartment market to the limit

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Mr Brown said the average price at Sirius was between $60,000 and $70,000 per spare metre, with more than $100,000 per square metre paid for the penthouses.

Prices are also bullish at other new high-end CBD developments such as Opera Residences, Quay Quarter, King & Phillip Residences, One Sydney Harbour, Crown Residences and The Harrington Collection.

Sydney CBD luxury apartment specialist Adrian Wilson from Ayre said he thought COVID-19 was positive for the top-end urban market, which had “gone from strength to strength”.

“It allowed people who may not have thought of living in town or downsizing to the city the opportunity explore that in combination with all the prestige developments that were coming onto the market,” Mr Wilson said.

Conversely interest in “investment-grade stock or some of the older buildings” has declined.

But Mr Wilson said high-quality, well-located apartments are selling well, citing a two-bedroom property at Walsh Bay with Harbour Bridge views that sold at auction on Saturday for $3.15 million

It last traded in 2017 for $2.12 million. “That’s the kind of stock which is appealing for people that want to be in a city precinct with residential amenity – so, Hyde Park, Circular Quay, Walsh Bay, Barangaroo.”

He said buyers are often downsizers, expats and “portfolio investors that know and understand the city market and maybe hold several properties across the CBD, it’s pretty common”.

Paul Marshall from Galileo Group, which developed King & Phillip Residences in the legal precinct near Hyde Park, said enquiry levels have lifted in recent weeks.

Mr Marshall said most interest for the building, which was recently completed and still has a few two-bedroom apartments left at about $4 million, has come from owner-occupiers but investors are increasingly active.

“It feels to me that a little bit of money might be rotating out of other asset classes. I suspect people might be be getting a little bit concerned about the levels our sharemarket is at. And money’s so cheap,” he said.

John Green, development director at JDH Capital, the company behind Sirius, said the demand has been all local. “A typical mix of Sydney backgrounds, older more established purchasers, everyone lives here,” he said.

“The strongest demand on Saturday was for the larger and bigger apartments. You don’t expect $20 million, $18 million to be walking through the door every few minutes.”

JDH is also preparing to convert the former Vibe Hotel at Rushcutters Bay in Sydney’s eastern suburbs which it bought for $120 million, into 123 mostly two-bedroom apartments.

Mr Green said JDH will work with the existing development approval and the project will go to market in October.

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