Undeterred by the Covid-19 pandemic, purchasers have snapped up almost $10 million worth of apartments in a single week at a retail-anchored apartment precinct in Glen Waverley, in Melbourne's east.
Developer Jeff Xu's Golden Age Group said 12 apartments sold last week in its Sky Garden development above The Glen shopping mall, which it acquired the air rights for in a landmark deal with Vicinity in 2018.
Golden Age Group sales director Dandan Zhao said buyers had been keen to capitalise on record low interest rates and the convenience of living above a shopping centre.
“The current global situation is bringing uncertainty to some property purchasers but for those with stable jobs and fixed income, it’s the perfect time to buy with many capitalising on the exchange rate and record low interest rates."
Dandan said the Covid-19 situation had caused people to reconsider non-essential amenity.
“The outdoor podium provides a place for residents to exercise and experience fresh air without having to leave the building; before we were confined to our homes, this wasn’t necessarily viewed as a necessity but now it is.
Including last week's sales—which were split evenly between investors and owner-occupiers—71 per cent of the project's 536 apartments have now been sold, with no withdrawals to date. Settlement is expected in the last quarter of 2020.
With construction sites classified as an essential service under the federal government's current coronavirus shutdowns, Dandan maintains the build remains on track for completion towards the end of 2020—for now.
"If any delays were to be experienced, it would be the result of tighter government regulations on the construction sector, as well as delayed shipment of materials from overseas.
"We are yet to feel the effect of this and are very much business as normal," Dandan said, adding that some adjustments had been made to allow for Covid-19-related social distancing restrictions imposed on the real estate industry.
"We have had to pivot our marketing strategy in the sense that platforms we had previously used were no longer available, such as adverts within The Glen shopping centre, due to the forced closure of retail precincts.
"Instead, we are placing a greater emphasis on the content we create to ensure it is not only engaging but also educational. This also extends to offering cloud-inspections with video, VR and live-feed from the display suite to make inspections more convenient," Dandan said.
"We are also offering private one-on-one inspections for those who like to see things in person, which means we've had to increase measures to ensure we abide by regulations such as providing masks and temperature checking those in attendance."
Dandan said sales trends were emerging amid the Covid-19 climate.
"We are currently seeing an interesting dynamic in that those who are worried or uncertain about their current situation have retreated from the market, but those who have a solid income are still active and view this as a great time to buy due to less competition—it really just depends on your financial situation," Dandan said.
No stranger to Glen Waverley, Golden Age recently acquired a large site at 583 Ferntree Gully Road, which is currently home to an early childhood education centre run by the vendor, charity Bestchance, which will continue to provide childcare services from the retained portion of the site.
In partnership with Deague Group, Golden Age also completed work last year on “Australia’s slimmest tower”, the 198-metre inner-city skyscraper known as Collins House.
The developer purchased a $40 million office building at 130 Little Collins Street last year, and also has plans for a $450 million Chinatown in Melbourne's Box Hill along with a 264-room hotel in Sydney's Surry Hills.