Sitting at 8 Olive York Way in Melbourne’s West Brunswick area, design-focused developer R.Corporation once again displays its knack at finding the right spot to add to its portfolio. As RC notes, its latest project, The York, sits less than eight minutes from public parks, transport connections, schools, shopping, leisure and cultural options and, most crucially, the central business district. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise The York is RC’s eighth development.
The Melbourne suburb of West Brunswick is a tree-lined neighbourhood dotted with period homes and abundant green space. It’s tranquil without being remote — less than 10 minutes to central Melbourne as well as the airport — and is notable for its lack of large swaths of developable land. That low-density living is what made it so appealing for R.Corporation.
That and the property’s close proximity to a wealth of shopping, the Arts Centre, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Melbourne Museum, Melbourne University, RMIT and Monash University (City), Royal Park, Princes Park and Queens Park. All of those are within what R Corporation calls the “eight minute neighbourhood.”
But aside from the life and lifestyle available to owners (Melbourne is famously one of, if not the world’s most liveable city as determined by a rash of surveys, including The Economist Intelligence Unit) West Brunswick is a high demand precinct with extremely low supply, the kind of perfect formula investors like to see. Homes in the area have gained nearly 8 percent in capital appreciation over the last 15 years, and rental growth in a low vacancy city has risen 6.6 percent per year over the last 10. Monthly rentals currently sit at roughly AU$1,600 (HK$11,000) depending on the size of the unit.
Despite rumours of tougher overseas investment rules and some moderately complex regulations, Christopher Moreira, R.Corporation sales manager says, “We’ve seen overseas investment only increase. The awareness of Melbourne as a desirable location continues to grow, particularly within Hong Kong, China and Malaysia. We also see many overseas buyers who purchase with their children in mind. An apartment at The York is a potential base for their student child who attends the University of Melbourne, for example. Investors see value in a tightly held suburb like West Brunswick, not just for its returns but also for its safe neighbourhood environment that can’t be achieved in the CBD.”
Designed for Life
As expected from R.Corporation, the units in The York will be designed with the developer’s signature sustainable luxury and will feature outdoor space, separate storage and private car parks. The first apartments available in the four-tower development are in The Royal (which will be followed by The Hudson, The Lincoln and The Barkly), comprising 56 one- and two-bedroom apartments, and adjoined to a 1.4-acre landscaped park. The green space immediately surrounding the residences come courtesy of landscape design by Paul Bangay (Melbourne Peace Garden, Jamaica’s Rock House Resort) will feature gardens and private terraces in order to provide even more exclusive privacy, what the developer calls a, “truly private and evergreen retreat amidst the vibrancy of West Brunswick.”
If the eight-minute neighbourhood wasn’t enough, Melbourne is currently planning an extensive redevelopment of the Docklands precinct, not too far from The York. In the long term, that’s going to be a boon to West Brunswick. “The urban renewal of the Docklands will have a positive impact on The York. It’s only a few minutes’ drive or bike ride away and will offer many great dining and entertainment options,” explains Moreira, who’s quick to point out it’s a value-add regional bonus rather than a drain on capital values. “However increased residential supply at the Docklands area will not impact us, as our buyers want to take advantage of the lower vacancy rates and limited supply in West Brunswick.”
The Royal is coming close to sold out, but Moreira notes there are no reasons to fret just yet. “The second building of The York is called The Hudson, which has already commenced sales. Purchasers wanted to get in quickly to capture the sunset views to the west. The two remaining buildings will be staged next year and are also residential. They provide their own offering such as uninterrupted city views.”
Prices at The Royal begin at AU$379,500 and AU$489,500 (HK$2.4 and HK$3.1 million) The Royal is scheduled for completion in late-2016.