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AU Tiny units no big hit on the Gold Coast

Property Here - Wednesday, July 03, 2013

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Tiny units no big hit

Gold Coast buyers are often left disappointed if they view an apartment which is smaller than the average.Source: News Limited

THE Gold Coast is not the right fit for the "shoe box-sized'' apartments found in Brisbane, industry leaders say.

Developers are marketing one-bedroom apartments in the River City as small as 50sq m and two-bedroom units at just 75sq m.

While the size of apartments on the Coast has shrunk since the 1980s, they remain significantly bigger on average than those in Brisbane.

Research from Oliver Hume reveals that for the March quarter the median internal area of a one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartment in Brisbane was 61sq m and 90sq m respectively while on the Coast it was 85sq m and 110sq m.

A survey of 10 buildings currently being marketed on the Coast found the smallest one-bedroom unit is 73.4sq m at Metro 88 in Southport while the smallest two-bedroom apartment is at the Hilton Surfers Paradise where they range from just 76sq m up to 124sq m.

This means the smallest two-bedroom apartment marketed on the Coast is just 1sq m bigger than its Brisbane counterpart but overall as the table (pictured) shows most Coast two-bedroom apartments are far larger.

The H20 Broadwater Apartments building at Southport also has smaller one-bedroom apartments at just 65sq m but they are currently not for sale.

CBRE Gold Coast director Chris Litfin said he could not see the types of apartments marketed in Brisbane developed on the Coast.

Mr Litfin said apartment dwellers in Brisbane were ``price sensitive'' and prioritised proximity to the CBD and their workplace over the design and space an apartment offered.

In contrast there was no defined CBD on the Coast and an increasingly elderly population valued design and space over location.

They also had more money to spend and a wider range of units to choose from, he said.

``An apartment has to stand on its own feet (on the Gold Coast),'' Mr Litfin said.

``The first thing buyers look at is the floor plan and say, `Can I live in this?'''

Mr Litfin said he saw apartment sizes shrinking on the Coast in the future as the designs became increasingly functional but he did not envisage ``shoebox'' apartments coming to the Coast.

``I can't see it happening,'' he said. ``Not in my lifetime but they will get smaller.''

REIQ Gold Coast zone chair John Newlands said an impediment to the development of smaller apartments was banks viewing them as a risky investment.

``50sq m borders on being too small and the financiers do not like it because they regard them ... as being a risk,'' he said.

Mr Newlands said Coast buyers were often left ``disappointed'' if they viewed an apartment which was smaller than the average.

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