Unprecedented demand from owner occupiers in one bedroom flats: Richard Drummond

Unprecedented demand from owner occupiers in one bedroom flats: Richard Drummond
Unprecedented demand from owner occupiers in one bedroom flats: Richard Drummond


We’re experiencing unprecedented demand from owner occupiers seeking higher quality one-bedroom apartments, normally the preserve of investors.

These owner occupiers vary from young singles who want to walk to work to downsizers and out of towners wanting a stylish Melbourne pad for regular visits but we’ve found they share a distinct goal – well-considered, larger one-bedroom apartments in unique developments with high levels of amenity and prime locations within Melbourne’s inner ring.

Previously the strongest demand for single bedroom units has been from investors looking for guaranteed returns.  Their requirements are at polar opposites from our owner occupier buyers who seek high levels of design, luxury and amenity both within their apartments and exclusive resident-only facilities.  They regard the higher body corporate fees associated with these amenities as a lifestyle investment that enhances apartment living, rather than a handicap to purchase.

 What sets the owner occupier apartments apart from investor grade stock is about far more than square metres of living space and stone benchtops.

A great example is Royal Como, a $100 million luxury residential project at 663 Chapel Street, South Yarra. Our team from Knight Frank project marketing collaborated with Royal Como’s developers and highly-acclaimed Bruce Henderson Architects from the start, working for months to make each of these apartments as liveable as possible.

Knowing what owner occupiers are looking for, the one-bedroom apartments range up to 69 square metres – many with a separate study.  Each and every apartment has been individually designed, ensuring all bedrooms and living spaces have full-width, full-height windows onto the exterior façade, maximising natural light and air as well as outlooks.  The kitchens are large and spacious, with lots of bench space, and living areas are designed for generous living and dining furniture, not just one or the other.  Some one-bedroom apartments have an island bench, usually unheard of in smaller apartments.

Wherever possible we have integrated study desks and included extra storage spaces like linen closets – we’ve made sure every square metre of living space works hard for the occupant. There’s no wasted space in needless passageways.  Balconies are a regular shape and large enough for a table and chairs and air-conditioning condensers are out of the way. 

On top of highly-considered apartment design, the Royal Como has a raft of unique attributes which gives it strong appeal to owner occupiers including interiors by award-winning studio, Nexus Designs, featuring Australian Blackbutt timber and alpaca or natural wool carpet, and a natural stone lobby with contemporary art and furniture by leading Australian artists and designers.

Buyers love the fact that if you’re in a one bedroom apartment you can still have 15 friends over for dinner or drinks in the residents’ lounge and dining area – it is an extension of your living area. Plus you can keep fit in the pool, gym and yoga room without leaving your building.  

These buyers know it’s all about quality, not quantity.

Richard Drummond is residential director, Knight Frank Australia and can be contacted here.

Apartments Owner Occupiers

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