Buyers lucking out on purchasing a house may find that by diverting their attention to a unit, this may well prove to be a better strategy and pay greater dividends down the track, especially if it's in a prestigious area.
Research prepared by analyst Cameron Kusher for CoreLogic RP Data Property Pulse shows that over recent times, the growth for houses has been outpacing units and where in some of the country's most expensive suburbs, the differential can be significant.
At a national level the greatest differential between house and unit values is found in the inner city Sydney suburb of Centennial Park where the median house value is currently 752 per cent greater than the median unit value.
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"The search for housing affordability, strong demand from overseas buyers and heightened investment activity means that there is a growing demand for units," Mr Kusher said.
"Although Australians still tend to prefer detached houses, units allow people to live in the areas that they want, however, the cost of ownership is typically significantly lower for a unit.""Sure, units don't always come with the same appeal as a house for many households but more and more buyers are realising they are a viable alternative," he said.
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The research shows that a majority of units, particularly in inner city areas, are owned by investors. According to Mr Kusher, these units generally offer higher rental returns than houses and are usually a popular choice for younger renters attracted to the inner city lifestyle.
"You only have to drive around our major capital cities to see that a construction boom is taking place. The other thing you'll notice across most of these cities is that a greater proportion of this new development is focussed on units, particularly higher density projects in inner city areas," Mr Kusher said.