The ‘Great Australian Dream’ of buying your own home is changing rapidly with recent reports revealing that homeownership rates are declining by more than 30 percent for Australians aged 25 to 34 in the last three decades.

This shift in living trends has been driven in part by rising house prices that have placed traditional homeownership increasingly out of reach. With Australia’s population recently hitting 25 million, many buyers are turning to apartment living for their chance to break into the property market.

As the number of apartments rapidly increases, the popularity of micro apartments and so called ‘studios’ that dominated the market in the early 2000s are declining.

Now, in their place, developers are catering to the changing needs of homeowners by creating larger, more premium apartments that not only acknowledge the needs of young singles, but couples, growing families, downsizers and investors alike.

The resulting focus on larger apartments with more living space in a good quality, boutique development, means purchasers are more likely to enjoy larger returns on their property investment over time as the demand for larger apartments significantly outstrips that for smaller dwellings.

The good news for purchasers is that this is a sentiment supported by the Victorian Government’s Better Apartment Design Standards (BADS) initiative that has mandated a new minimum benchmark of quality and design across apartments since 2017.

No developer understands these changing needs of Melburnian buyers more-so than Steller, a local developer with more than 50 completed projects across the city’s coveted south-eastern corridor.

With more than ten years in the business, Steller has maintained their commitment to delivering better than best-practice apartments that are at least five per cent bigger than standard sizes and five per cent more affordable, while remaining intrinsically in tune with what local owner occupiers want.

Nowhere is this more apparent than at Steller’s latest residential release, the Maude Residences. Located at 7-11 Maude Street Cheltenham, this project caters to the diversity of buyers in the market that are looking for large, breathable and flexible apartment living, that offers a range of choices and options as their lifestyles shift.

The Maude Residences is one of the first BADS compliant projects within the south-eastern corridor of Melbourne, ensuring that homes are larger, brighter, more usable and sustainable.

Under these initiatives, floorplans have been increased by up to 15sqm at the Maude Residences, with one-bedroom apartments ranging from 59 to 68sqm internally, while two-bedrooms range from 73 to 93sqm and three-bedrooms from 119 to137sqm.

As an added bonus for young couples or first-time home buyers, the Maude Residences one- bedroom apartments include a flexible space component which allows purchasers to choose between incorporating a butler’s pantry, study or baby’s nursery into the home to suit individual needs.

Where traditionally one-bedrooms have been favoured by young single buyers, Steller’s flexible space component now means that young couples and expectant families can enter the housing market with an affordable product that will grow and adapt to their needs.

“ What the last ten years has taught us is that while initially popular, small, cramped investor-driven apartments are a thing of the past as they don’t grow in value,” said Steller Projects Sales and Marketing Director, James Cirelli.

“ Nowadays, with apartments being increasingly purchased by owner occupiers who are looking for generously-sized and functional homes, the way we think about and design our developments needs to change.

“ Purchasing homes such as the Maude Residences will ensure a strong return on investment for savvy purchasers in the long-term, complementing the obvious short-term benefits of improved liveability.

“ It’s this insight that drives Steller’s commitment to create homes that continue to maintain their value and can evolve with the changing desires of our buyers.”

The Maude Residences display suite is now open Saturday and Sunday from 10am-12pm at 7-11 Maude Street, Cheltenham.

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