Kirwan Group


Boutique Beauty: Why less lots and more space is the way forward in modern property development


When presented with a property development opportunity, it can always be tempting to set your goals for the project around one question… How many apartments can we fit on this site? 
However, if recent years have taught us anything, it’s that there is a shortage of modern, spacious, luxury apartments, particularly in the inner suburbs of our capital cities.

With an increasingly ageing population in Australia, the term “downsizing” has been a popular term in the Australian property dialect in recent years. However, there’s a relatively new term that has entered the vernacular.

What is rightsizing?

Rightsizing is the new way of looking at how we want to live. 

It’s about finding the perfect balance of space, location, and amenity to create a home that works for us now, and into our retirement years.

For many Australians, this means trading in their large family home for a smaller, more manageable apartment. But that doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing on space or quality.

In fact, what we’re seeing is a new breed of development that is focused on creating larger, more luxurious apartments that provide everything people need to live a comfortable life, without the maintenance and upkeep of a large family home.

This new style of development is often referred to as “boutique” development, and it’s something that we think is the way forward in Australian property development.

Here are four reasons why we think boutique developments are the way of the future:

  1. There is an increasing demand for larger, apartments.

    There’s no doubting that our ageing population and empty nesters are on the hunt for smaller, more easily maintained properties when trading in their big family homes.
 In fact, what we’re seeing is that people are increasingly searching for well-designed apartments that offer all the features and amenities of a house, without the maintenance.
 This is particularly true in our capital city markets, where space is at a premium and people are looking for ways to downsize without downsizing their lifestyle.
 According to the Knight Frank Rightsizing Report 2022, many Australians are considering downsizing to luxury apartments, in which case it is now among the top 5% of the market.

Boutique developments offer a unique and luxurious product
    One of the key advantages of boutique developments is that they offer a unique and luxurious product that is not easily replicated.
 The affluent demographic in Australia that prefers to live a simple lifestyle is fueling an increase in demand for five-star serviced apartments.
 Australians over the age of 65 have seen their average assets levels increase by 50%. This is because house prices have grown a lot in the past 20 years.

    Although the luxury market accounts for a tiny fraction of the housing sector, demand for such a property is extremely high, and there are often few vacancies.
 This is because boutique developments are often small in scale, which allows for a high level of customization and attention to detail that is not possible with larger developments. 
This results in a development that is truly unique and luxurious, which is something that buyers are increasingly searching for.

  3. They provide an opportunity to create a community
    Another key advantage of boutique developments is that they provide an opportunity to create a community.
 This is because boutique developments are often located in desirable locations, close to public transport, shops and other amenities. This means that residents are able to live a more active and social lifestyle, without the need for a car.

    Boutique developments also often have on-site amenities such as concierge services, gyms, pools and gardens, which provide residents with a sense of community and belonging.
 This can be an important factor for many of the key demographic searching out these boutique opportunities, particularly if they are young professionals looking to live in ideal locations or older people looking to be surrounded by like-minded people.

  4. They are generally good investments, particularly when compared to typical apartments

    When it comes to investment potential, boutique developments generally outperform traditional apartment buildings.
 During the next ten years, Australia luxury residential real estate is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of around 3%.

    Statistics reveal that COVID didn’t have a significant impact on the demand for luxury residential real estate in Australia.

    Despite the temporary closures, Australia’s luxury real estate has seen its highest sales volume in a year in the first quarter of 2021. During the first three months of this year, approximately 1,430 properties changed hands in Australia’s premium residential real estate market.
 This was a 17% increase over the final quarter of 2020 with sales volume of 1,224

    Boutique, luxury apartments offer a unique product that is in high demand, but there is often limited supply.
 This means that prices for boutique apartments are often higher than for standard apartments, and they also tend to have better rental yields.
 With more space to work with, the lots within boutique developments often have various aspects that make them relatively unique to other options on the market, even within the luxury apartment market and sometimes even within the building they are located in.

This helps to ensure the long-term value of these properties because, unlike stock-standard apartment buildings, they are unlikely to be completely overshadowed by newer developments.
    Kirwan Property Group is well placed to help you explore the potential that exists within your potential development opportunity.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about your development project.