Buying an off-the-plan apartment in Abbotsford, Victoria

Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and have a question.

I'm considering buying an off-the-plan apartment, which are being built by a developer called Salvo. According to their website, they have been involved in several large scale development projects:

The apartment block is in a very good location. It's in Victoria Street in Abbotsford (in the state of Victoria), right near to a shopping centre (Victoria Gardens, with IKEA). It is close to tram lines leading into the city, the Yarra river, and is about a 20-25 minute walk from Burnley Station.

The apartment that I'm looking at is a one bedroom apartment. It's on the 5th floor of the building, overlooking the courtyard (rather than the main street). The selling price is $365,000. A parking space is $40,000 extra, although I don't have a car and don't plan to get one. The development is not due to be completed until October 2012.

As a young professional (I'm turning 31 next month) in a stable job with a reasonable salary, I enjoy the lifestyle of having a small place that is close to the city, shops and cafes. One day I would like to settle down and have a family if I meet the right girl, which would obviously require a bigger place, but that's probably not going to happen for a few years. Of course, not being able to predict the future, my situation could change suddenly.

So, what I'm trying to figure out is whether this would be a good move for me. I have worked out that I can afford the place, but am concerned that it's overpriced, and for that reason that capital gains may be slow. Having looked at, I've seen other 1-bedroom apartments with car-spaces in the area (including Abbotsford and Richmond), and they seem to be going for around the $300-$350K mark. Of course, my impressions could be skewed, as there are many "Price Withheld" listings.

I'm also trying to work out whether to get the parking space. I think it would make the property easier to sell if I chose to do so, and was thinking I could possibly rent it out. However, given that there's a shopping centre nearby with paid parking, I'm wondering whether there would be that many people who were interested in renting a spot (maybe other tenants).

At any rate, I would be interested to hear any advice, opinions or war stories from people in this forum.


- Tim
If you're going to be living in it, the main thing is that you are happy with the location, aspect, functionality etc.

Just make sure you include outgoings in your living cost calculations - likely to be thousands per year.

Car space - I'd highly recommend it - it's always handy and will also value up as the area crowds out. You can always rent it out too :)

You'll read in other threads but make sure you have plenty of spare cash in case the property doesn;t come up to value when it comes time to settle. IMO one of the biggest risks in OTP purchases.

Also check the inclusions - window furnishings etc can easily go into the thousands.


The Y-man