News & Tips


Developers target renters in new multi-residential developments

May 2016

Renters are emerging as a powerful force in Melbourne’s property market as developers seek a point of difference in the competitive multi-residential market.

All future Oliver Hume Property Funds (OHPF) developments will prioritise the needs of the end user in design features and facilities – with renters recognised as a key demographic.

The increased interest in renters is driven by the developer and fund manager’s data-centric approach to development, using future housing forecasts to quickly recognise shifts in the property market and adapt as required.

“In decades past there’s been this perception of renting being only a temporary situation – a means to an end until the renter can save enough for a home deposit,” says Michael Duster, Oliver Hume Apartments Managing Director.

“Now, the power is shifting into the hands of the renter. They’ve got more options than ever, and as property developers we need to be market driven, and improve our offerings to keep up.”

Data released in 2015 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the proportion of households renting privately (compared to owning or mortgaging) has increased from 18 to 26 per cent in the last decade.

The changing statistics suggest the ‘great Australian dream’ of owning a home is becoming less of a priority, with inner-city apartment rentals allowing more people to live in their desired location, closer to employment, cafes and public transport.

Reflecting their findings, OHPF has made renters a key focus of their business strategy and the company’s new North Melbourne apartment development, Nord.

Located in North Melbourne, Nord has been strategically developed based on suburb data to appeal to the high proportion of independent youth in the area (currently 41 per cent of the population according to and the growing millennial market.

Based on millennials’ preference for experiences over tangible goods (Insight Centre cites three out of four millennials would rather spend their money on experiences over consumer goods) creating high quality communal facilities for entertaining has been a priority for Nord.

Nord’s communal spaces including a rooftop garden with views of the CBD, a lounge, TV, kitchen, cool room, dining space and electric bikes are all available to renters and owner-occupiers alike.

Oliver Hume Property Funds have also employed a Lifestyle Manager at Nord who can assist residents with everything from accepting deliveries, organising social events in the building, to offering advice about activities in the area. The service will become an integral part of any resident’s busy life and assist to streamline lengthy tasks.

Renting at Nord is a more affordable alternative to buying in North Melbourne (where the median price of a three-bedroom house is $1.13m according to Domain), minus the added costs of council rates and stamp duty.

“For those who favour flexibility, renting is actually more attractive, allowing them to live closer to the CBD with a more affordable price tag,” says Duster.

Duster believes that as rental and sales markets become more competitive in Melbourne, added building amenities will become commonplace, with increased ground-level hospitality and retail offerings being inserted into multi-residential developments.

“Because it’s becoming more competitive, building qualities are getting better in Melbourne, with more focus on the ground level restaurants and cafes and facilities and amenities,” Duster says.

"We’re not designing for renters in one building and owner-occupiers in another; we are designing functional, great looking buildings, working alongside architects to ensure our developments are places people want to live.”


Australian Bureau of Statistics – Housing Occupancy and Utilisation – 16/10/15

Domain – North Melbourne Suburb Profile

Tags: Sales