Property Nest was quoted in a recent Domain’s article about the impact Opal Tower has on a park

Property Nest was quoted in a recent Domain’s article. In this video agent Stevan comments more about buyer’s perception on new apartments and the effect that Opal Tower has on entire Sydney Olympic Park. Also, possible solutions that will bring more assurance to new apartment buyers.

Sydney Olympic Park agents say suburb tarred with the same brush as Opal Tower

Apartment sales have tumbled and new apartment listings views have taken a dive as buyers become more cautious than ever before in the wake of unprecedented defects found in residential buildings across Sydney.

Since the revelation of structural defects in Opal Tower at Sydney Olympic Park late last year, apartment sales in the suburb have fallen away, dropping 85 per cent in the six months to June compared to the same time last year, new Domain data shows.

Across Sydney, buyers’ appetite for new apartments has slipped, with views per listing for new apartments down 9.2 per cent in the first half of 2019, Domain data shows. Views per listing on established apartments increased 2.7 per cent in the same period.

Experts previously tipped buyers would become increasingly wary of new builds, but agents now report that the saga had undoubtedly taken a toll on buyers’ perception.

Property Nest Estate Agents selling agent Stevan Vuk-Luboya said the Opal Tower news had tarred the entire suburb.

“Sydney Olympic Park has been affected because [buyers] think the entire park is a problem, not a particular building,” Mr Vuk-Luboya said. “They’re all looking for that one word … [asking] is Icon the builder?”

He had noted an increase in inquiries and buyer activity in the past eight weeks, but caution around high-rise buildings in general remained.

McGrath Lower North Shore principal and selling agent John McManus, who is selling an apartment in Sydney Olympic Park, said buyers were skeptical about new builds.

“It’s the fear the same thing could happen,” he said. “I’ve tried to give them as much reassurance as I can. It seems like Sydney Olympic Park is tarred with the issue of the tower, which is a real shame because there’s nothing wrong with the property that we’re selling.”

He added while many vendors had reduced their asking price, buyers were asking more specific questions about the builder and the building.

The issue worsened in June when residents of Mascot Towers were also evacuated because of apparent structural defects. Those residents are unlikely to return home before the end of the year, amid investigations into the cause of damage to the unit block.

Owners on Thursday night voted to pay the $7 million levy plus GST, which will pay for stages one and three of the complex’s remediation work. The total cost is now expected to between $10 million to $20 million.

Apartment sales in Mascot have also dropped by 41 per cent in the six months to June compared to last year.

The defects have compounded problems associated with the broader market downturn, said PM Realty selling agent Perly Cundasamy.

“[Buyers] are a little bit hesitant. I’ve just exchanged one contract,” Ms Cundasamy said, adding that people were doing more due diligence, ordering building inspections and strata reports.

“A lot of people – the first thing they’ll ask you is ‘Who is the builder? How old is the build?’ ” she said. “When they ask those questions, I always tell them it would be better to do your due diligence because you can’t take my word or anybody’s word.”

LJ Hooker Mascot Roseberry selling agent Peter Grant said buyers continued to transact once they investigated the developer and quality of the building. “It’s a factor in the market but it’s not the only thing.”

Property Council NSW director Jane Fitzgerald said building defects were front of mind for consumers when buying a new apartment.

“Our members are telling us that prospective buyers are raising these issues with them, which in many respects is a good thing because people should absolutely do their research and be discerning buyers,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

While the overwhelming majority of people in the industry were doing the right thing, buyers should do their homework, focusing on the reputation and track record of the builder and developer, she said.

“Prospective buyers should also be doing their due diligence when looking at established properties,” Ms Fitzgerald said. “That includes carefully going through strata committee records and understanding their history of the building they are looking at.”

She said building defects was just one of the issues influencing demand but not the only one, citing availability of credit and increased supply.

*source Domain

Posted in Latest news, News on 28th August, 2019