By Princess Ventura | 3 May 2018

If you live in an apartment in Sydney, it’s likely you rent, earn less than the median wage and are of Chinese descent. This is just a snapshot uncovered by Urbis’ latest research that unveils the who, the where and what’s in the pipeline for Sydney’s apartment market.

Presenting at the inaugural UDIA Urban Icon Research Breakfast event in March, Urbis Director Princess Ventura explored the colourful landscape that is Sydney’s apartment market.

Apartment living is no longer restricted to single professionals in CBD locations. As Sydney has grown, so too has apartment development hot spots, the number of renters versus owners, and the number of occupants – and families.

Unlike in other capital cities, where apartments tend to be clustered in a specific geographical area, there are several apartment submarkets across all directions of Sydney. These typically follow the rail line and water views closely.

In the apartment hotspot suburbs of Zetland, Rhodes, Chippendale and Parramatta, apartments make up the majority of residential stock accounting for over 80% of homes.

Sydney Apartment Development 2016

Two-thirds of apartments across Sydney are occupied by renters. This figure comes with little surprise as Sydney currently ranks in as the second most unaffordable housing market in the world. Moreover, about 25% of Sydney’s apartment dwellers are families with children. 

China accounts for the highest, and Australia the second-highest, country of birth for apartment dwellers in the apartment suburbs hotspots of Zetland, Chatswood, Chippendale and Rhodes. India is the most dominant country of birth for apartment dwellers in Parramatta.

Sydney Apartment households
Country of birth for Sydney apartment dwellers

Over 5000 apartments are under construction, are approved or are under development application across the Sydney suburbs of Schofields, Rouse Hill, Macquarie Park and Chatswood.

There exists substantial scope to deliver even more apartments across Sydney, with the development of new train lines and uplift in densities by State government policy (priority areas, urban renewal areas and growth areas).

Sydney Apartment Development Pipeline

Build to rent is emerging as an institutional-grade asset class for investment, driven by the alignment in incentives for investors, developers and tenants.

Stable attractive risk-adjusted returns will bring in the investors. The need for control and opportunity to leverage airspace in shopping centres and train stations will attract developers. And flexibility and choice will entice renters. Too good to be true?

Take a closer look at Sydney’s apartment market in the presentation below.
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