Melbourne’s Parque hits the mark with luxury buyers

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14 August 2013

Melbourne’s Parque hits the mark with luxury buyers

By Rebecca Thistleton (The Australian Financial Review)

Melbourne’s Parque Apartments complex will be 19 storeys high at its tallest point and include 5600 square metres of private parkland.

The two penthouses in Melbourne’s new luxury high-rise have been sold, and a third of the 332 apartments in the complex have been bought off the plan ahead of the official sales campaign.

Malaysian developer SP Setia has also sold most of the three-bedroom apartments in the St Kilda Road Parque Apartments project, which start from $1.3 million.

SP Setia chief executive Choong Kai Wai said his high-end apartments were out-selling the lower-priced apartments in the market, which target first home buyers and investors, because that segment was over-supplied.

“It comes down to supply and demand – there is a lot of scepticism from investors in off-the-plan apartments and whether projects will get [off] the ground,” he said.

The first penthouse sold for more than $3 million after the buyer, a businessman living in a neighbouring St Kilda Road sub-penthouse, saw an advertising billboard on the site. The chance to sit down with high-profile architect Karl Fender to discuss the penthouse design was a selling point.

The second penthouse was reserved after a $2.85 million offer was accepted on Tuesday.

Developer seeks fresh sites

Mr Kai Wai said the display suite and sales office were not due to open until September. Already, 120 apartments in the project have sold during the registration of interest phase. “We have 5600 square metres of private parkland with 150-year-old trees on it just for the residents. That will never be built out; that makes it unique,” he said.

The project will be 19 storeys high at its tallest point. One-bedroom apartments range from 45 to 58 square metres and are priced from $410,313.

Two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments make up 60 per cent of the project, starting from $669,222 (about $10,480 per square metre). Measuring from 55 to 65 square metres, they appeal to buyers wanting to live in the area who are priced out of the surrounding housing market.

Mr Kai Wai said the company was on the hunt for other sites around the Melbourne CBD and fringe, and was also considering a site in Sydney. “We’re constantly looking for land,” he said.

CBRE residential projects managing director Andrew Leoncelli said few projects were accurately targeting the lucrative downgrader market – buyers wanting a prestige location close to the city, but not in the CBD.

“People want single level, they want to be able to travel and not worry about maintenance,” he said.

SP Setia is Malaysia’s largest listed developer. Construction has begun on the company’s first Australian project, Fulton Lane, near the Queen Victoria market on the western edge of Melbourne’s CBD.