CBD micro-apartments have had a bit of coverage in the local press lately (mostly negative), but it got me interested in Melbourne city apartments generally as investments. I thought I'd enquire here as to what it's like to own a city apartment, what are some of the pitfalls and potentially unforeseen expenses?
My strategy is a buy-and-hold, positively geared one, aiming for high yields and low maintenance. My budget would be up to about $350,000. I quite like the idea of living in the city too, and such an apartment could give me that option in the future. I've noticed elsewhere on this forum that student accommodation isn't highly regarded as an investment, largely because of vacancy for much of the time, but it appears that many non-students occupy city apartments year-round. Vacancy rates appear to be low, but there has been some suggestions that an imminent increase in stock could change that. The residential population of Melbourne's CBD has swelled immensely in the last 20 years, and I could see it going further, now that it has good amenities such as supermarkets. Body corporate fees seem to vary wildly, depending on whether there is a pool, gym or concierge, is the extra money worth it? Does anyone have views regarding the relative attractiveness to tenants of no- or communal laundry facilities and interior ones? What are the rates and Land Tax like? Are plumbing and electrical fixes especially expensive? Are city estate agents any good at finding tenants? Are newer buildings significantly cheaper to maintain than older ones?
I've done a bit of research already but still feel a little cautious of the unknown. Thanks.