Luxury units in excess of 1000sqm have been changing hands regularly over the past 18 months across South East Queensland for price tags in the millions of dollars.
Recently an off-the-plan buyer splashed a jaw dropping $11.3m on a 1025sqm penthouse in Azure Group's One Five Six Oxlade development in New Farm.
The floor space of the yet to be built penthouse monsters the average-sized Queensland suburban house which, according to the ABS, is 246sqm although those apartments are at the very pointy end of the market.
"Inquiries for super-sized apartments has doubled in the last 18 months and this sale was the result of multiple offers from local families," Place agent Simon Caulfield, who sold the property, said.
Leading the charge for sprawling apartments, and not necessarily penthouses, in the mid-level range are well healed empty-nesters and "rightsizers", experts say.
Some are trading in their "suburban ranches" on an 800sqm plus block of the land in favour of a sky home but with children in tow who we call "rightsizers", says Hamish Bowman, Ray White's projects director.
They are wanting a minimum of 250sqm floor space, including the balcony, and multiple car parks, a wine cellar, pool and to be close to restaurants and shops, the New Farm based agent says.
"One of the first questions they ask is how many car parks, because it's more than just a couple moving in, it's their children as well," Mr Bowman says. "We call them 'rightsizers' and many are transitioning from living in a suburban ranch to an apartment with children still at university."
However, there is a shortage of large inner-city apartments, and it is why many sizeable units are gaining in value much quicker than your cookie cutter-sized two or three-bedder, he says.
"Most of them are in great locations but there is a dearth of units of 250sqm or more," he says.
"Some developers are even buying up units in existing blocks and amalgamating them because they know there is a demand for larger apartments."
They are seeking the vast floor space to have the same sized home without the maintenance worries of a swimming pool or garden, says Place co-managing director Sarah Hackett.
"We've seen a lot of empty nesters in the mid-to-late 50s looking for large apartments," Ms Hackett says.
At the high-end of the market, the off-the-plan purchase in Oxlade St is one of the many eyewatering apartment sales during the pandemic property boom and it is not even the state's biggest penthouse, nor the highest price paid.
Possibly the mother-of-all apartments, a penthouse sprawling 1653sqm over three levels at Sea Pearl in Mooloolaba sold for $11m in January last year. The Sunshine Coast apartment may have been the biggest, but not in price.
A 1070sqm penthouse overlooking Surfers Paradise beach and Cavill Ave, within Soul, changed hands for $15.25m last May.
Penthouses in the soon-tobe-built Royale Gold Coast at Surfers Paradise will be 706sq m and about $12m while the half-floor penthouses are 344-35lsqm.
With an asking price of $20m, a yet-to-be-built 800sqm penthouse across two floors at 50 Archer St, Toowong, would be a Queensland record sale for an apartment of any size.
At the moment, that heavyweight apartment price title is with 5/81 Hastings St at Noosa Heads which sold for a record $16.1m in October last year.
For those unable to find an established or an off-the-plan apartment that meets their floor-size needs, they are finding alternative ways to create them.
Three off-the-plan buyers of the Skye development at Kangaroo Point all bought two units and amalgamated them into three large apartments of more than 600sqm.
Initial interest in Monarch, a multi-level residential development on the former ABC site on Coronation Drive, has centred on larger apartments, says Consolidated Properties Group executive James MacGinley. "About 90 per cent of the inquiries want a three-bedroom apartment and we are mainly talking about people in their 50s whose children are in various stages of leaving or have left the family home," Mr MacGinley says.
Courier Mail | Real Estate
Darren Cartwright & Samantha Healy
01Penthouse - One Five Six Oxlade Drive, New Farm
02Penthouse - One Five Six Oxlade Drive, New Farm
03Penthouse - One Five Six Oxlade Drive, New Farm
04Penthouse - One Five Six Oxlade Drive, New Farm
05Penthouse - One Five Six Oxlade Drive, New Farm