MORE than $150 million is believed to have been splashed in less than a week on Newcastle’s latest harbourside development, with Lume apartments selling out in five days.
The sell-out is “ground-breaking” according to Colliers International director Dane Crawford and comes in the same week a three-bedroom penthouse apartment in the new East End development sold for $2.7 million.
Mr Crawford is marketing both developments and has been overwhelmed by what he described as unprecedented sales for Doma Group’s Lume.
“We ran a really brief expressions of interest campaign which lasted a couple of weeks,” Mr Crawford said.
“We’ve had five selling days and have effectively allocated 154 apartments. We’ve made history by selling 154 apartments in five days, that’s ground-breaking.”
Lume will comprise 144 apartments, which will be a mix of one, two and three bedrooms, and 10 two-level town homes. Prices started at $450,000 for south-facing one-bedroom apartments and scaled up to between $2 million and $3 million for the town homes.
The complex includes an on-site concierge, infinity pool, gymnasium and residents’ meeting room as well as uninterrupted, never-to-be-built-out harbour views.
Buyers for the waterfront development have been local, interstate and international.
“The biggest selling feature has been the location and its direct view out to the working harbour,” Mr Crawford said.
Iris Capital’s East End has also been selling well and Mr Crawford predicted this week’s $2.7 million sale to an interstate buyer for a three-bedroom penthouse apartment in the building on the corner of King and Perkins streets would soon be surpassed.
The first stage of the East End development comprises three residential buildings and a total of 212 apartments. The first two buildings – Washington House and King and Perkins – went on sale on September 16 and the third, Fabric House, was fast-tracked to market a fortnight ago.
Mr Crawford said only 80 apartments were left and several other residences had sold for more than $2 million.
“Every week I seem to be saying we’ve just broken a record for the market and we are in history-making mode week on week at the moment,” he said.
“That $2.7 million will be topped in terms of a singular apartment, I have no doubt that will be topped very shortly.
“With these sales, this one included, it’s further strengthened my belief we’re in a really strong property market.”
He said the rate at which apartments in the city’s newest developments were selling was something he had not experienced before.
“Earlier in the year we marketed Bishopsgate [in Wickham] for Doma Group, which was around 40 apartments, and we sold that off market to our VIP registered buyers in two weeks,” he said.
“We also sold Millhorn apartments, which was 40, for a local developer and we sold that out over a period of four weeks.
“Last year we sold the Herald EG apartments and it took us five months to sell 119 apartments, so that shows us how quickly our market is moving and how strong it is at the moment and I can’t see it slowing down.”
Former Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson told Fairfax Media this month units were an “emerging market segment” attracting buyers in Newcastle because there were few choices.
“There’s no doubt there’s more demand than supply in Newcastle still,” he said in a Herald article on October 14.
“Newcastle has all the bits and pieces that make up a city, and high-rise coastal apartments are part of that mix, and it will spread because people will want that type of a lifestyle.”