Lower rates and local expertise driving southern Sydney apartment developer

APAC News Level 33 redevelops prime Kogarah site

A parcel of homes in a prime Kogarah location make way for a new development hoping to attract investors

Developer with $1 billion pipeline says local knowledge is an edge in the current market  

20 November 2019 | (Staff Writers)

If auction clearance rates are an indicator the southern Sydney market, encompassing the Hurstville, St George and Sutherland areas, is proving attractive to buyers. Over recent months, property sales have outperformed the wider Sydney market, with results on par or slightly above those in areas which traditionally attract overseas buyer interest – particularly the north to northwest corridor from Chatswood through to Epping.

The adages of stick to what, and where, you know is holding up as buyers start to put their toes in the water and developers weigh up new projects. Though recent data shows residential building approvals are trending down, the supply of pre-2018 approved developments is still hitting the market.

Southern Sydney property developer, Level 33 has just started construction on a new project in Kogarah. A $175 million development of 233 apartments across two 11-story buildings, Kogarah Central is one of a number of projects the company has in the area.

Major investment in southern Sydney

The site on Regent Street is made up of a package of 15 free standing homes the developer acquired in 2017 for $37 million, having spent two years in negotiations with the sellers.  

Developer Eddy Haddad says, “With five residential projects underway in the St George district, Level 33 is committed to the long-term growth and development of the local area and has invested significantly in the future of Kogarah and surrounding areas.”

The developer’s southern Sydney projects have encompassed the growth of the area in which Hurstville has become a hub. One of Sydney’s major Chinese community centres, developments on its outskirts are appealing to buyers both for their investment potential and proximity to amenities.

Appeal for Chinese buyers

Says Will Wehbe, Director of sales at Kogarah Central’s agents St Trinity, “There is a large Chinese community in the St George area. We have found that many local Chinese are finding great value in Kogarah compared to traditional suburbs surrounding us such as Hurstville and Mascot which are still enjoying a similar level of amenity and proximity to the city via train.”

Mr Wehbe said with local revitalisation plans and new infrastructure, Kogarah has strong prospects for capital growth. “The addition of the F6 extension from the West Connex (the new M5) to President Avenue in Kogarah is also likely to have a positive impact on property values in the area, reducing travel time to the CBD,” he says.

Local knowledge is winning strategy

Both Level 33, and its agents, believe local knowledge are of great importance when picking projects in a market that’s yet to return to levels seen in recent years. The company has made a conscious decision to remain in the south and completed more than 20 projects since it was founded 1999.  

Its current development pipeline is valued at around $1 billion, “We analyse projects thoroughly for their fundamentals of location, product mix, size of apartments and finishes.” says, Will Wehbe.

“We believe having the right formula in development and having a local understanding of our market and our buyers has given us an edge in identifying the right projects and in their success when we bring them to the market.” He also says recent interest rate cuts are giving buyers confidence, “we have picked up significant momentum over the last three months achieving around 30 sales a month since the RBA started dropping rates. We have seen better buyer confidence in our product considering the value it represents.”