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Apartment Market Sizzles

Tuesday, 02nd March 2010

Within weeks of being launched off-the-plan, buyers have snapped up 167 of 215 apartments in a new complex at Wentworth Point called Corsica.

The remaining 48 are one-bedroom apartments with parking, starting from $375,000. Completion of Corsica is scheduled for mid-2011. Rental property expert Warwick Williams says all apartments at Wentworth Point have proven to be a sound investment. By the time Corsica is completed he forecasts indicative weekly rents of $400-$440 for the one-bedroom units, $500 to $600 for two-bedrooms, and $600-$700 for three-bedroom apartments. “Investors are back in the market, lured by the prospect of rental demand, capital growth and higher yields,” he said. Wentworth Point is the new name for Homebush Bay, where the vacancy rate is less than 1%. Corsica is the first building launched on the peninsular in almost five years, with construction scheduled to begin in April. Demand for accommodation at Wentworth Point will continue to outstrip supply for many years, particularly as the State Government has earmarked neighbouring Sydney Olympic Park as a major commercial centre catering for approximately 48,000 employees. Wentworth Point is so close that residents could walk or ride their pushbikes to and from work. Some 3,000 residents already live in the suburb’s two high-quality residential developments – Mariners Cove and The Waterfront – which have tree-lined streets, landscaped gardens, stunning recreational facilities, award-winning architecture and a community lifestyle unique in Sydney. When CBRE Residential Projects alerted Wentworth Point residents to the impending release of Corsica a few weeks ago the response was overwhelming. The first ad for Corsica only appeared last Saturday, yet already all two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments have sold. Owner-occupiers were extremely active in securing the larger apartments at Corsica, with the remaining stock best suited to investors. A chart prepared by CBRE Residential Projects shows that a $390,000 apartment in Corsica can cost an investor with a 10% deposit as little as $29 a week. This includes being able to claim a depreciation allowance of almost $12,000 in the first year, making Corsica an attractive investment option. “The release of Corsica is good news for investors and for renters,” said David Milton, Managing Director of CBRE Residential. “People love the healthy lifestyle and communal sporting and recreational facilities that Wentworth Point offers, so much so that they are prepared to pay a premium rent for the privilege.” Sydney’s chronic undersupply of dwellings is fuelling the demand – a situation highlighted by figures from BIS Shrapnel showing that medium and high-density dwelling starts plunged by 28% in 2009, hitting their lowest level since 1987. “Developers have found it difficult to gain funding for their projects over the past two years, and Corsica will be one of the few Sydney developments to start construction this financial year,” said Mr Milton. “However, 215 apartments will hardly put a dent in satisfying demand.” Corsica comprises three buildings, ranging from six to eight-storeys, on the corner of Baywater Drive and Hill Road, encircling a central courtyard which will have mature native trees, plants and vegetation. Architects Robertson + Marks have given the buildings an aesthetically co-ordinated look and consistency of character. Pergolas, sunhoods, balustrades and external shutters in powder-coated aluminium are set off against facades combining face bricks with rendered and painted masonry, adding refinement and visual interest. The facades and forms are articulated with setbacks, voids and penetrations to create contrasts of light and shade. The interior design ensures good light and natural cross-flow ventilation. Living areas and bedrooms are arranged to balance privacy and solar access, and flow onto terrace areas, blurring the distinction between inside and out. The air-conditioned interiors incorporate functional layouts, clean lines, and utilise the latest fittings and fixtures. Quality touches include tiled entries, recessed lighting, high-grade carpets, built-in and walk-in robes in master bedrooms, video security intercom and 24-hour monitored security. Kitchens have stone bench tops, semi-gloss polyurethane cupboards, stainless steel appliances and polished chrome tap-ware. Bathrooms and ensuites have ‘floating’ vitreous china basins, frameless mirrors, polished chrome taps and mosaic tiles. Most apartments at Corsica will overlook parkland and/or the leafy courtyard. The placement of windows - with both clear and opaque glazing - has been carefully considered to maximise privacy throughout the three buildings. This is aided with external screens and blinds which will allow residents to control their environment, letting in light and fresh air or closing to create intimacy and protection against the elements. Intelligent lighting and access to all communications facilities - including broadband, pay television and surround sound - are incorporated into the building’s services. A marketing centre for Corsica has been established within The Piazza, at 21 Bennelong Parkway, Wentworth Point, which is open daily from 10am to 4pm. It includes a complete bathroom and kitchen showcasing the finishes to be used in Corsica. Further information is available by calling 1800 333 818 or through the web site: www.thewaterfront.com.au.

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