No gym and no pool a selling point for Kelvin Grove’s Evoque

Luxury apartment complex, Evoque, in Queensland’s KELVIN GROVE, is offering body corporate fees at $1,463 per annum as a selling hook for the development, with no gym and no pool offered.

The low rise development, consisting of two buildings with 10 apartments in each, has been designed in a way to avoid elevators and has not included amenities commonly seen in apartment blocks such as pools to keep the body corporate fees lower than other local complexes.

Considering body corporate fees are one of the much checked factors by those considering buying off the plan, this might just be a good strategy as investors remain wary of the fees eroding their return. Property Observer previously wrote about low-rise being preferred over highrise due to the ability to fees and scarcity. Similarly, excessive body corporate fees are regular headline-grabbing events in the property press, with The Block Sky High seeing buyers facing $2,234 a quarter for the first year in body corporate fees.

Kelvin Grove, a northern Brisbane suburb, has a median unit price of $500,000, according to RP Data, with a 9.5% change in the median price over the past year. Median asking rent is around $435, representing an indicative gross rental yield of 4.5%.

Harcourts Solutions Inner City's Bridget Gabites said that the developer believes that in most complexes the pool and gym are rarely used, and therefore decided not to include them. Instead, there's a shared green space.

“What this means is very inexpensive body corporate costs, with only building insurance, administration and basic maintenance costs to service,” said Gabites.

While homeowners frequently desire the amenity of pool inclusions, many investors are not interested in the features, often seeing them as more of a benefit to the tenant than to their investment.

The 20 apartments are also said to be easier to increase rental returns due to less competition within the complex.

“In larger complexes rentals are priced competitively against others available in the complex, therefore often reducing rental return under heavy competition,” she said.

The apartments are also pet-friendly, and start from $368,000 for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom home with a car space. Two-bedroom apartments with a courtyard start from $495,000.

Value for money, particularly when comparing cost per square metre to other local apartments, is another hook being used to attract investors.

“The price per square metre of Evoque apartments starts at $5,456. When comparing this to similar developments in the area, the price per metre is $6,694,” she said.

One apartment in the complex, a 64 square metre courtyard apartment (one of just two with this feature) with two queen-sized rooms, built in robes, open plan living/dining and a carspace, was advertised for price negotiation over $495,000. It is 132 square metres (including courtyard) and includes airconditioning.

Located at 51 Gibb Street, and offering access to a hospital, university, CBD and KELVIN GROVE Urban Village, it’s also near a school.

The construction is now due for completion in March, although previous suggestions had been for a late-February completion date. In December 2013, four of the apartments were under offer.

Another development in Kelvin Grove, CS Development Group’s third apartment project, called 'Victoria Park Residences', features 118 one- and two-bedroom apartments on a 4,000 square-metre site. The development includes a pool, sundeck, barbecue facilities, gym and outdoor workout zone.

It includes one-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 68 square metres to 79 square metres, priced from $343,000, and two-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 83 square metres to 105 square metres, starting from $469,000.

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Images are artist impressions.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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