Swapping a large home for an apartment with all the mod cons can be nothing short of liberating, and that’s motivating Australians of all ages to downsize their home.

Darling Point is a downsizer’s mecca

Darling Point has long been a sought-after destination for downsizers, and it’s easy to understand why. Only a stone’s throw from the city and all the amenities it offers, but with a quiet and leafy neighbourhood feel – not to mention a coveted harbourfront position – it has been drawing in downsizers since the original apartments were built here from the 1930s, into the 1950s and 60s.

The housing in Darling Point is tailor-made for the downsizer lifestyle. Stylish apartments and townhouses, many with harbour views and opulent interiors, make up the bulk of homes here. And there’s a real sense of history and community to be found in Darling Point, which many downsizers appreciate. We have everything from character-filled, classic Art Deco apartments, right through to contemporary penthouse apartments. Greenoaks Apartments is a fine example of a building rich in heritage but offering a sumptuous, luxury lifestyle.

Grabbing a coffee at the marina and taking a stroll in Yarranabbe or Rushcutters Bay Park, hopping on a ferry to Circular Quay or Double Bay, or taking a dip in the harbour at Double Bay, Redleaf or Seven Shillings beaches are all at your doorstep when you live in Darling Point. And Double Bay and Edgecliff, with all their services, shopping and amenities, are mere minutes away. With about 70 per cent of today’s downsizers choosing to move closer to the city or lifestyle areas, according to Domain, it’s easy to see why Darling Point tops the list for many people looking for a smaller home.

Why people downsize

People decide to downsize for a multitude of reasons, but for many, it’s a lifestyle choice. In fact, 27 per cent of downsizers are pursuing a better lifestyle when they make the move to a smaller home, according to research conducted by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) amongst over 55s. Relocating from the suburbs to a central location like Darling Point means cafes, restaurants, amenities, and glorious harbour foreshore walks right outside your door.

Moving from a big home on a large block to an apartment or townhouse means reclaiming hours spent looking after the house and garden for leisure. Data from AHURI shows 18 per cent of downsizers choose a smaller home in order to cut down on property and garden maintenance. And the lock-up-and-leave lifestyle afforded by apartment living makes travel a breeze, with security providing the ultimate peace of mind. Plus, many Darling Point apartment complexes have lush communal gardens – like Ranelagh, President Towers, Hopewood Gardens or Thornton Place.

Smaller home living can reduce your utility bills as well as your carbon footprint, with less energy required to heat, cool and light a more compact abode. In fact, 27 per cent of downsizers are motivated by financial reasons, and for these people, 2022 is a good time to be making the move. Many downsizers are in a strong position this year, with Domain’s latest House Price Report showing that Sydney house values rose by almost $400,000 over the course of 2021. This growth – 33.1 per cent, the highest on record – was not matched by units, creating a record gap between house and unit values. This means that Sydney house prices are now double that of units. Some downsizers will be left with a large sum of cash after selling their house and buying an apartment, while others will use that financial advantage to purchase a higher calibre of apartment or townhouse.

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Three top considerations for Darling Point downsizers

 

Space. Space is top of mind for many downsizers. Yes, they want to leave behind the sprawling family home, but they don’t want to feel cramped or restricted in their new residence. We see a huge demand from downsizers for three-bedroom apartments and penthouses here in Darling Point. We are also seeing more and more downsizers cleverly amalgamating two or three adjoining apartments to create their ideally sized home complete with the coveted Darling Point lifestyle. When you’re planning your downsizing move, take a moment to consider how many bedrooms and bathrooms you might need and what other spaces you’re looking for in your new home, such as a study, a balcony or car spaces.

Strata. For many people relocating from a house to an apartment or townhouse, downsizing is their first experience of strata or company title living. Both strata and company title are efficient ways of running a communally owned building, but they do differ from one another. Taking some time to understand each system before you buy your new home can make the whole process much smoother and easier.

Super. There are changes afoot to the downsizer superannuation contribution scheme that will make it available to more Australians this year. The scheme is designed to encourage the return of family homes to the market while increasing the super of those nearing retirement. If you or your spouse have owned your home for at least ten years, you may be eligible to contribute $300,000 from the sale of the home into your super. Couples can tip in up to $600,000. Until now, the scheme has only been open to people aged 65 or above, but the Federal Government has announced it will drop the age of eligibility to 60 from 1 July this year.

Looking for advice?

Deciding to downsize is a big decision, and it can feel overwhelming at times. My team and I have years of experience helping downsizers buy their dream apartment here in Darling Point, as well as assisting those selling their downsized home when they decide to move on. If you’re looking for advice or guidance, we’re always here to help. Please feel free to contact us at any time.