Boarding houses prove to be COVID-safe investment

Boarding houses prove to be COVID-safe investment
Staff reporterDecember 7, 2020

Boarding houses have proven to be one of the most resilient investments during COVID-19 with strong buyer demand leading to around $10 million in sales over the past three months.

Two development sites with approval for boarding houses have recently been sold in deals negotiated by Knight Frank, with a third sale of a boutique site sold for build to rent purposes.

A 975.5sq m property at 10 Naree Road in Frenchs Forest with approval for the demolition of an existing residential property and construction of a boutique 28 self-contained studio apartment ‘new generation’ boarding house was sold prior to auction for above $3 million.

The property was sold by Anthony Pirrottina, Demi Carigliano and Arland Domingo of Knight Frank after strong competition from local developers.

Another property at 88 Liverpool Road in Summer Hill, a 319.4sq m site with approval for a mixed-use development comprising one commercial tenancy and eight residential apartments totalling 465sq m, sold for $1.975 million after 111 bids at auction. The deal was negotiated by Anthony Pirrottina and Demi Carigliano of Knight Frank to a purchaser seeking to develop and retain the property as a mini ‘build to rent’ scheme.

A third DA approved boarding house development was transacted in the mid $3 million range offmarket in Ashfield to a local developer seeking to bolster their exposure to the boarding house and Inner West Sydney rental market.

Mr Pirrottina said that while the property market has been challenging in certain sectors since Coronavirus restrictions began in March, boarding houses continue to remain a strong investment class, with strong buyer interest particularly from a development perspective."

Mr Carigliano said as an investment class, boarding houses were a niche sector but buyer appetite had grown over the past three years in New South Wales, when planning laws were amended to allow for greater development of these assets.

“These assets provide buyers – who are often developers – with passive income and yields in the vicinity of 5% to 6.5% compared to a 3% to 4% yields for blocks of residential units,"  “The best performing assets are located in suburban Sydney markets, close to infrastructure including hospitals, public transport and universities. “Boarding houses can also be sold in one line as they are not strata-titled like units, which means investors can trade out of the asset faster if desired.”

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