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Downsizing: Honey, I shrunk the house!

Posted by Dean Claughton on 8 Aug 2018

Assisted by Natasha Mustac.

Have you started to notice an increase in the number of apartment complexes being built in replacement of some of the older detached houses in your local area? Chances are that if they're there, you have - as they are quite hard to miss! 

For a long time, penthouses have more often than not been associated with inner city living, however a recent influx of newly developed apartment complexes has begun to creep into Western Sydney (amongst other areas), and in some areas, these complexes are notably starting to replace the traditional detached house.  

Who are downsizers?

Along with those in Western Sydney, the penthouse lifestyle has become an increasingly popular goal for downsizers throughout Sydney's Sutherland Shire and the Hills regions - but just who are these downsizers, and why are they suddenly deciding to sell up and move on?  

Generally speaking, downsizers are homeowners looking to reap major profits from the sale of their properties, with the overarching goal being to spend that extra cash on the purchase of a smaller property with modern luxury fittings, as well as convenient access to both local attractions and high quality amenities.

What do downsizers look for?

Coleman Greig has noticed a common thread with regard to the wants and needs of those looking to downsize within the greater Sydney region.  

Essentially, downsizers:

  • Are primarily looking for large apartments with similar amounts of internal space to what they are accustomed to.  Within this space, they often look to achieve a certain level of privacy, which they are similarly used to based on years of living in a detached block;
  • Will often seek out residences that are in a similar, if not the same geographical location to their previous properties.  This will, in many situations, allow for them to be close to both family and their established communities;
  • Often look to move into properties with modern designs, high quality fixtures and fittings that not only provide a sense of luxury, but are often the key to greater household energy efficiency;
  • Look for low maintenance residencies which require minimal effort with regard to house and garden maintenance; 
  • Similarly expect reliable, high quality security systems that will allow for them to lock up for extended periods of time, such as when going on holidays; and
  • Will often strive to find residences that can accommodate for their desired lifestyle, which generally means being within close proximity to cafes, restaurants, attractions and nightlife.

As part of this increased demand for luxury penthouse living, developers have begun to face certain levels of expectation from potential purchasers with regard to both extravagant designs, and attractive lifestyle offerings.  Within this sense of luxurious living, buyers often want architects to remodel internal layouts in order to accommodate unique facilities, such as a butler's pantry, media room, study or additional living areas.  

PRDnationwide Norwest's director David Inkster recently commented on the notable influx of Sydney homeowners looking to downsize, and found that many of the penthouses recently sold at the Esplanade Norwest had been snapped up by local downsizers wanting to stay within the local area, close to family and their community:

"If you're downsizing to an apartment, a penthouse can give you that feeling of space and privacy but without the maintenance that comes with a house and garden.  All the amenities of a resort are on your doorstep - restaurants, shops and swimming pools."

If you have been considering the idea of downsizing and would like to speak with one of Coleman Greig's licensed conveyancers regarding the sale or purchase of a property, or if you are currently undergoing negotiations and would like to speak with one of our commercial property lawyers, please don't hesitate to get in touch with: