Let’s get real about strata levies

Let’s get real about strata levies
Nicholas FaillaDecember 2, 2020

Living in a luxury apartment with all the amenities is an absolute pleasure. You get the full use of a resort style pool and lounge without having to worry about cleaning the pool filter every day. There is the barely used gym with brand new, five-star equipment that is always clean and fresh. All gardens and common areas are maintained by discreet gardeners whom you never see. And of course, let us not forget the wine room with a 15-seater table and individual wine fridge for each apartment owner to store that chardonnay they picked up while on holiday.  

Apartment complexes such as these have become far more common and whilst there are hefty strata fees, this has done little to dissuade purchasers. It is not unreasonable to expect owners to pay well into the thousands per quarter, depending upon their unit entitlement. Both owner occupier and investors has been quick to see the appeal of high-end amenities. 

However, we have noticed a trend that sees buyers being deterred by high strata levies, especially if they are worried about cash flow. This is often the case with downsizers who are asset rich but cash poor. It is also the case that some purchasers feel they will not use the amenities so therefore do not wish to pay high levies for services they will not utilise. 

Developers have been quick to recognise this shift in the buying trend and are creating schemes to cater for this particular buyer demographic. Ensuring that they purchase lots that are close to upmarket shopping strips, cafes, pools, beaches and gyms, they are providing these amenities in easy walking distance to potential residents. 

The communal areas that have been provided are being exceptionally well received by this type of buyer. Rooftop terraces with open lounge areas for all residents and their guests to enjoy are perfectly sufficient. Often these areas are accompanied by BBQ’s and kitchen facilities to be used by guests. Many schemes have implemented an online booking platform so residents may book out certain areas should they wish to entertain a larger number of guests – all for no extra charge.  

Whilst there will always be a market that likes the extra amenities that larger developments offer, developers should not discount purchasers who will be attracted to a property with lower strata costs and simple, communal amenities.

Nicholas Failla

Nicholas is a content writer and graphic designer who is passionate about cities, architecture, urban planning and sustainable communities.

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