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Three bedroom apartments are in vogue, but...

...where are they all?

It's been well documented that a cyclical movement has swung the pendulum from one end of the scale to the other. Investment grade apartment stock around Melbourne's CBD is out, with demand now high for lavish, large two and three bedrooms dwellings in certain suburbs as developers now chase the well-heeled buyer.

But where exactly are these high-end two and particularly three bedroom apartments located around Melbourne?

An article in yesterday's Domain demonstrates the perceived lack of clarity regarding the apartment mix of any given suburb, or project for that matter.

So you’d be forgiven for thinking that you could easily find out exactly how many one-bedroom apartments were suddenly in your street. After all, we know how many houses there are.

But it turns out trying to pinpoint the number of neighbours you may have is actually harder than you might think. Local councils, usually responsible for approving such developments, are not required to collate information on the exact number of different types of apartments.

Not even the state government or Australian Bureau of Statistics regularly keep tabs on the diversity of apartments approved across the city and whether there will be enough to cater for families.

Christina Zhou: Domain 5/2/2017

The State Government or Australian Bureau of Statistics may not, but Urban Melbourne certainly does.

Of the 1300 plus current residential projects within the Urban Melbourne Project Database, the vast majority of projects retain numbers relating apartment types, whether they be one, two, three bedroom, studio, penthouse or otherwise. In fact it's not difficult to track a given projects apartment breakdown, but rather maintaining accurate figures during the often lengthy period between planning approval and sales commencement can be a tricky undertaking owing to developers changing their mix's to mirror current buyer trends.

Which brings us to the heart of the matter. Where are all the 3 bedroom apartments situated across metropolitan Melbourne right now?

Pouring over the Urban Melbourne Project Database

As always there's a smattering of three bedroom apartments in forthcoming apartment projects Melbourne-wide.

The larger number of three bedroom apartments though are skewed across certain suburbs south and east of Melbourne's CBD, in line with existing demographics. More affluent stretches of Melbourne gain a proportionately higher share of the three bedroom market. Bayside suburbs, South Yarra, Glen Iris and Bentleigh are but a few.

Unsurprisingly established blue chip suburbs such as East Melbourne and Toorak also garner more than their fair share of three bedroom apartments.

More so it's very much site specific. Location, amenities and views will dictate that certain apartment projects can attract a higher number of three bedroom dwellings, compared to other projects in the same suburb or even the same precinct.

No three bedroom apartments on offer within Fishermans Bend's first tower build

And a cautionary word for all those who espouse the notion that Fishermans Bend will be a haven for three bedroom apartments, as has been touted by various planning authorities. Submitted planning numbers and as yet unreleased development schedules for pending apartments project launches that Urban Melbourne have been privy to still show a proportionately small number of three bedroom apartments within the urban renewal area.

Fishermans Bend like anywhere else across Melbourne is a case of matching the right product with the right location, and the precinct as yet doesn't have the market depth to warrant a mass of three bedroom apartments being offered.

Examples that define the three bedroom surge

Prime examples in the shift to larger apartments/increased bedrooms include Magnate Developments upcoming apartment project at 638 Malvern Road, Prahran. With planning approval in place and registrations of interest commenced, the developer has seen it fit to head back to planning with the intention of providing fewer apartments within the development for the sake of additional three bedroom and a four bedroom apartment within the approved envelope.

Much the same has occurred at Espace within Middle Park, with the approved development shrinking from 27 dwellings to 8 larger abodes. Nearby, Barana Group's pending 14-16 The Esplanade on St Kilda's foreshore has seen overall apartment numbers shrink from 300 to 236, with the corresponding number of three bedroom apartments nearly tripling from 31 to 86.

Metier3's take on The Esplanade

The most recent example to hit the Urban Melbourne Project Database  is 22-30 Anderson Street, South Yarra, with the proposal backed by Kayrope Properties Pty Ltd exclusively the domain of three bedroom apartments. Designed by Robert Mills Architects, the ten oversize apartments look to continue the suburb's ability to absorb larger apartments.

Whilst three bedrooms apartments look to be garnering their fair share of media attention and increasing their overall reach throughout Melbourne's apartment market, it still remains a case of matching the right product with the right location, as it has always been.

1 comment

3000's picture

Thank god that initial rat-trap investor rush is over.
I have been looking around the inner-suburbs at 2 and even 3 br places and I have found some to be of exceptional quality. While others are essentially 1br with a 2nd one added as an afterthought.

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