We spoke to Daniel Cashen, Knight Frank’s Head of Project Marketing Victoria to find out more about The Muse, the new development coming to 409 St Kilda Road, and trends in the Australian high-end property market.
The Muse is an example of the rise of the ultra-prime market that we’ve seen in both Sydney and Melbourne. What sort of purchasers will be attracted to The Muse?
The Muse appeals to a relatively broad demographic in many ways. Purchasers will likely include a mix of highly successful professionals. Many of those with young families and busy lifestyles will value the convenience and amenity of The Muse over having a large backyard. Our apartments are enormous, many with multiple living areas, so they can easily accommodate a family.
No doubt our key audience, however, will be the downsizing local couple or single looking to move into a luxury, boutique-sized offering with a full suite of facilities. Since our project has been announced, we have had dozens of enquiries from people who are attracted to a concept which offers so much in terms of facilities and amenity – all contained in a relatively small building.
And is that feedback the same as what you’ve been getting from current owners in the ultra-prime market?
Yes, this same feedback has come through very strongly from current owners of prime apartments in larger buildings. Luxury apartment owners want a sense of stability and community in their buildings, just like in their former suburban streets. They do not want a transient population constantly floating through, with a tenant moving in or out every weekend.
The Muse will stand out in the super-prime market because it delivers much more than other luxury dwellings in Melbourne. There has never been a building in Melbourne that offers so much to so few lucky residents.
What is the performance of luxury, inner-city apartments in Melbourne?
The luxury apartment market in Melbourne has always performed solidly, with buildings such as The Melburnian, Royal Domain and 150 Clarendon achieving growth year on year due to the demand from high net worth buyers for high quality, low maintenance, secure living. In 2016, there were 89 apartment sales in excess of $3m – and that’s excluding off the plan purchases.
And what do you believe is driving the demand for the ultra-prime market in Melbourne?
While this market has always been strong, the demand has been further fueled in recent years by the high level of growth in the inner ring housing market.
For example, in just two years, from June 2015 to June 2017, the median house price in Malvern rose by 88% to $2,425,000 and the median price in Canterbury rose by 65% to $2,650,000. In Toorak, the median house price rose a staggering 91% to $4,360,000. What this means is that downsizing buyers whose key major asset is their primary home will now have a higher calibre of apartments to choose from when they sell, downsize and upgrade.