First-home buyers make the most of unit boom

Sold: Danny Abou Haidar and Monika Culjak are among the new buyers at Ramsgate Park. Picture: Chris Lane

Sold: Danny Abou Haidar and Monika Culjak are among the new buyers at Ramsgate Park. Picture: Chris Lane

Local first home buyers are taking advantage of new development across the St George area; snapping up units in master planned communities.

Monika Culjak and her partner Danny Abou Haidar have recently bought a one-bedroom unit in the Ramsgate Park development.

The Kogarah development is on the site of the former Darrell Lea factory and includes around 533 apartments and 20 terrace homes.

Ms Culjak said the couple, who previously lived in Mortdale and Roselands, had decided to stay local.

“Working in the industry has armed me with a lot of knowledge and experience on exactly what is being developed in the area and where,” she said.

“In terms of location and our own finances, we decided to spend the majority of our time looking around the St George and Sutherland Shire area.’’

Jian Qiu Zhang, Founder of Ramsgate Park developer JQZ, said the majority of sales were from local buyers and people looking to downsize.

“Many of the locals we’ve met since we launched Ramsgate Park late last year have not only expressed their love for the area and its community, but quite a high proportion of them also actually grew up and attended school in the area, before deciding as adults that they didn’t want to leave,” he said.

Colliers International Director for Project Marketing – Residential, Ian Bennett said feedback received from buyers showed they were becoming ‘auction-weary’.

“We have identified this particular type of buyer as one that is sick of missing out at auction time and time again, particularly after spending money well into the thousands at every loss, by way of pest and building inspections, as well as lawyer’s fees,” he said.

“It is becoming more and more appealing for purchasers to reclaim their time, money and efforts, as well as stave off the ongoing disappointment, by taking charge as buyers and opting to buy off-the-plan apartments by reputable developers with projects in the areas where they want to live.”

“By doing so, they can better plan for their home in terms of budgeting for a deposit, organising their finance and staying on target.”

The rise of owner-occupiers is also a trend being seen at Discovery Point in Wolli Creek.

Frasers Property Director of Sales and Marketing Dino Carulli said there had been big changes in the market after the State Government announced foreign property investors would pay higher duties and taxes.

‘’We have seen a significant shift to owner-occupiers this year not only at Discovery Point but across the board,’’ he said.

He said at Discovery Point around 35 per cent of buyers are referred from Frasers or know family and friends who have bought there.

That’s a significant increase to the average of 15 to 20 per cent.

He said a lot of buyers were local with around 65 per cent living in the current area.

But he said cyclical nature of the industry meant that the trend could shift.

‘’Any good property is going to be attractive to investors in the long term,’’ he said.

The last units are currently being sold at Discovery Point with only 79 properties remaining in the last buildings.

Prices start at $675,000 for a one-bedroom unit and $1.075 million for a three-bedroom unit.

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