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Bryce Holdaway Blog post by Bryce Holdaway

Are One Bedroom Apartments still the Poor Cousins?

Ask a baby Boomer what they think the great Australian dream looks like and chances are they will say a detached house on a quarter acre block surrounded by a garden with a BBQ and a hills hoist. Ask the same question to a Gen Y and they are likely to say an apartment in the suburb where their café culture lifestyle is… usually the inner city suburbs.

I previously bought a one bedroom apartment in Darlinghurst for $650,000 for a client and it is a significant amount of money to spend on such a small piece of real estate. So is a one bedroom apartment still considered the poor cousin? I would say no. In fact I think that there is a definite upward trend towards young professionals on strong incomes seeing them as their preferred household type as they offer the convenience of being close to the city, transport and lifestyle driver as well as being a good property investment.

One bedroom apartments were once simply built as an afterthought by the developer in an attempt to maximise the use of the site but they were usually in the “back corner of the development in the shade”.

However, now they are an accepted and growing part of the market and in certain cases can represent a better investment than some houses.

Household sizes are shrinking; couples without children are increasing; more people living on their own than ever before and the idea of being closer in to the city with all the infrastructure (cafes, public transport, restaurants) on your doorstep makes for a very appealing option.

Consider the needs of Generation Y – they want lifestyle, convenience and easy access to their social life. To buy a house in the inner city is simply out of the question due to affordability. Townhouses and terraces are much the same. Even 2 bedroom apartments can be unaffordable so an appropriate one bedroom apartment can be a very good option and investment.


So what makes for a great one bedroom apartment? Here’s some things to look out for:


o Ideally within 10k’s of CBD
o Walking distance to amenities
o Most desirable streets in the neighbourhood – ideally tree lined
o Avoid busy roads
o Suburbs that have above average incomes earned by the residents

Architectural Style

o Avoid Mega towers – overdeveloped, generic high rise
o Avoid off plan purchases – lack of scarcity as there are too many of them!
o Embrace the older smaller complexes – bigger in size internally and fewer in number in the block… ideally less than 12 but up to 20
o Embrace highly desirable buildings – due to continuous demand my client bought into a highly desirable building in the area


o Car space – it will set yours apart even if serviced well by public transport
o Beware expensive lifts, gyms, on site managers


o Water, district and garden outlooks desirable
o Outlook – not looking into a wall or anything undesirable
o Light and Bright
o Always check to see if anything going to be built to obscure your view


o Look for some storage options… quite often this is forgotten in 1 bedders
o Balcony – a real bonus with smaller apartments
o Avoid boxy and generic floor plans
o Split level ideal – Andrew had split level which was highly desirable

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