Market’s springing to life

Harry Triguboff Australian billionaire real estate property developer, is one of Australia's richest people. He is the founder and managing director of Meriton.

HARRY Triguboff, Australia’s biggest developer of apartments, says over 200 sales in Sydney in five weeks by his Meriton group prove the residential property market has a spring in its step.

The Meriton founder yesterday said the buyer enthusiasm also was reflected in a 250 per cent jump in apartment inspections since the beginning of April.

“There was pent-up demand after a COVID-19 induced quieter March, and it seems buyers have stepped forward to take advantage of prices at a low base or some cases where they have fallen.

“Many buyers are also noticing the supply of new apartments shrinking at a rapid rate which will likely put pressure on pricing in the future.”

Mr Triguboff said he always had contended that Australia was the most desirable of places in which to live and, hence, market setbacks did not last long.

“Our turnover is rising, which illustrates that more permanent and Australian residents are in the market, along with expats.

“Australia has handled the  COVID-19 crisis really well, which will draw more migrants and students.

“Things soon will be back to normal.”

Mr Triguboff said inspections hit a low point on March 14, when social distancing measure was first put in place.

“Since then we have seen not only a gradual improvement throughout all Meriton projects but also a ‘re-shaping’ of the buyer profile.

“What pleases me is that many Australians are buying, especially first-home buyers.

“April sales to first-home buyers were the highest they have been for six months.”

Mr Triguboff said the number of young families and young professional couples moving from renting to buying was gathering momentum.

“It’s become cheaper, thanks to low-interest rates, to buy rather than rent in many of our developments.”

James Sialepis, the Meriton director of sales, said the Meriton sales surge also illustrated the benefits of technology during the COVID-19 crisis.

“The pandemic pushed potential buyers who were staying at home toward online interactive experiences via 3D-dimensional tours of properties.

“Over the past few weeks, many buyers have had the opportunity to view a range of properties and compare from the comfort of their own home.”

“Those experiences, in Meriton’s case, clearly had whet the appetite of prospective buyers which have resulted in sales.

Mr Sialepis said the standout achievement in the Meriton performance since April was the 80 sales at the launch weekend of the new three-tower Zetland project Eminence.

He said the success at Eminence once again proved the resilience of the inner-Sydney apartment market.

“Our great sales start there showed that even if difficult times, there is a market for well-located and well-serviced properties delivered by reputable builders.

“That’s the case with Eminence, with buyers zeroing in on its proximity to the CBD, the evolving $13 billion Green Square project, transport, education and the Gunyama Park and aquatic centre which is across the road.

“A huge advantage for Meriton has been that buyers have seen construction has not only started but is well under way.

“We are finding that more and more buyers are chasing certainty and security, especially off-the-plan, and Meriton has a proven track record of delivering on both.”

Mr Sialepis also said Meriton was enjoying a rise in demand for completed apartments.

“This week we sold out of our latest completed stage, the 168-apartment development Dahlia, at our giant Pagewood Green community at Eastgardens and we are verging on sellouts at three other developments at Dee Why, Rhodes and Mascot.

“These sellouts have a wonderful knock-on effect within Meriton.

“They evoke confidence to bring forward new releases and replenish our apartment stock supply, thus creating thousands of jobs.”

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