Spring Yang of Young Group explains how developers cater to the owner occupier market

Following the successful sales of Melbourne’s Bulleen Breeze, we caught up with developer Spring Yang of Young Group about the company’s goals for the project. We also discussed the role of stamp duty concession and how important a role it plays in the conversion of sales, the value provided by nearby infrastructure upgrades, and how to create a new apartment development which stands out from the rest. Congratulations on the completion of Bulleen Breeze. Given the current 100% owner-occupier rate, what percentage would you say are first home buyers?

Spring Yang: Thank you! Yes, 100% of purchasers have been owner-occupiers, and around 50% are first home buyers. Which is good because we designed Bulleen Breeze specifically with both owner-occupiers and first home buyers in mind. We did this through several touchpoints including location, local amenity and of course price point – all but one of the residences are under the $600k threshold for stamp duty exemption for first home buyers.

U: In Young Group’s pursuit of targeting owner-occupiers and first home buyers, how did you determine what kind of property first home buyers are after in 2019?

SY: First Home Buyers are highly likely to also be owner-occupiers so that they are eligible for the stamp duty exemption. With this in mind, we focussed on delivering a high-quality home, that we would want to live in ourselves. We knew we had to deliver great value for the purchaser. Price point isn’t the only thing that first home buyers are looking for though; they are also thinking about the local area and the lifestyle that their new home will offer. We think the location is really important, and also the proximity to things like transport and local amenity.

U: What sets the design of Bulleen Breeze apart from other developments in the Bulleen area and surrounding suburbs?

SY: When we purchased the site, we felt like we had hit the jackpot because it’s got everything that we knew was important for what we wanted to create with Bulleen Breeze, and it also addressed the main selling points owner-occupiers look out for such as the proximity to public transport. The design of the project is what sets it apart though. The architects Sgourakis Architects are particularly clever with their use of space to give ample storage and light airy spaces to live in too. Bulleen Breeze is a well-designed, quality project, so we were able to pass on the great value to purchasers. Each home is fully equipped with Bosch kitchen appliances, durable bamboo flooring, and outdoor entertaining areas, and ample car parking in the secured basement.

U: In your experience have you seen a shift in the requirements of first home buyers in recent years?

SY: Certainly since the changes to stamp duty, first home buyers are looking to purchase under that $600k threshold. And of course, in order to get this exemption, they must be owner-occupiers, so they’re also looking for high quality more than investors sometimes do. Our rule across all our residential projects is to only deliver projects that we would personally want to live in – and considering our purchasers, this approach was particularly important for Bulleen Breeze.

U: Do homes under the stamp duty threshold of $600k sell quicker than the more expensive properties?

SY: Not necessarily. It depends on quite a few factors. Certainly, many FHB are looking for property under this threshold, but cheaper doesn’t always mean a better buy. 

U: Given the infrastructure upgrades in surrounding suburbs, are you able to forecast capital appreciation?

SY: The surrounding area around Box Hill/Doncaster has fared well in the recent recalibration of the market. Nearby Box Hill is its own satellite city, with an enormous amount of government infrastructure underway which will be welcome news to purchasers at Bulleen Breeze and local residents as it is much more likely to boost capital appreciation in the area.

U: Which key infrastructure additions/upgrades, in particular, are linked to an increase in house prices?

SY: Local amenity like parks, access to public transport, easy access to freeways, and nearby schools are all quite closely linked to steadily increasing house and unit values. Another key thing to look out for is access to jobs in the area – if there is activity and jobs, then a property is much more likely to appreciate well. Bulleen Breeze hits all of these: there are two train stations close by and bus routes at your doorstep on Manningham Road, it’s near to the Eastern Freeway for drivers, and surrounded by some of Victoria’s best schools such as Templestowe College and Templestowe Valley Primary School. Doncaster Primary School and St Gregory The Great Primary are all close by too. There are also local shopping centres Doncaster Westfield, Bulleen Plaza, and Macedon Square Shopping Centre close by. Box Hill Central is only 10 minutes drive which will be really helpful for residents. Local cafes include The Alleyway Cafe and Good Neighbours cafe. And nearby green spaces include the Ted Ajani Reserve which has a playground for children, and Koonung Creek Reserve and Ruffey Lake Park too.

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