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Apartment living catches up in Suva City
Nov 06, 2007 12:22:30
Apartment living may be a much fancied way of residing in many cities overseas, but this style of living has finally caught up in Fiji’s capital, Suva as well.
Early September, real estate company, Harcourts Fiji launched Suva’s first strata titles apartment sale on Knollys Street (minutes away from the Suva CBD).
After 12 months of preparatory work by the vendors, 21 apartments went on sale from the first week of September, Harcourts Fiji sales consultant Shailesh Khatri says.
Khatri says that within four weeks, almost all apartments were sold.
While this style of living is not new for Fiji, as apartments on Denarau Island in Nadi have been selling under strata title for a while now, what’s new is the ownership of these individual apartments by owners, Khatri says.
According to him, Unit Title Apartment complex has individual title for each apartment in the complex.
In the case of Knollys Apartments, it consisted of 21 apartments ranging from 1- 3 bedrooms each. Each apartment in the complex would have its own individual titles.
Says Khatri: “The buyers enjoy amongst other things the use of common areas; enjoy 24 hours security on site and save the hassle of paying city rates and insurance and exterior repairs.
“This concept is a proven success overseas, is really huge in Auckland City and all over Australia.”
Khatri claims that in the first two weeks of marketing, over 120 people viewed these apartments in four days of open home.
“These numbers are a good reflection on the demand that exists for apartment ownership in Suva.
“The demand for properties in the greater Suva area has always been high, but not as affordable for many budgets.”
He says the Knollys Apartment created a supply of apartments with prices ranging from $152,000-$216,000 for one, two and three bedrooms.
“Imagine owning a two bedroom apartment 5 minutes from the Suva CBD for a mere $180,000.
“In this market, it would be hard to imagine buying a freehold piece of land so close to the city for $180,000, let alone a house.”
This, he says, makes apartments affordable for many. With prices of house around the city on a high, strata titles apartment is the answer to cater for demand,” he proclaimed.
Khatri says the apartments were priced to reflect the nature and condition of these apartments.
“Being the first for Suva, we made sure that they were priced to make them affordable and marketable.”
On why are people interested in buying apartments, Khatri says with the current situation in Fiji, security to any one is of great importance.
“Protecting your family from home invasion and crime is top priority. Apartment living provides the comfort of 24 hour security. Apart from this, the body corporate looks after the payment of insurance, security, city rates, takes care of the exterior repairs of the complex as well as tidies the yard.”
According to Khatri most buyers were locals, couples, retired people, investors seeking rental income but geared towards growth in value and people that know about apartments from there experiences in Australia and New Zealand.
Khatri says that while apartment sale is relatively a new concept for Suva, their experience with Knollys Apartments and its success makes them believe that there is a huge demand for apartments in Suva.
He believes that with property prices in Suva sky high, priced right apartments would sell like hot cakes.
The sale of these apartments, Khatri feels has generated a lot of interest from apartment owners in Suva that are now looking at strata as a way to sell their complex.
He says Harcourts is looking at marketing its next strata title apartment sale in the next six months and more within the next year.
We have come a long way, says KhanFrom a position of insolvency to the current ratio of around 0.6, the Pine Group of Companies has come a long way in the last three years, says executive chairman Faiz Khan.
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