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370 Albert Street off-the-plan penthouse sells for $16m


Demand deepens for prestige property in Melbourne with the $16m off-the-plan sale of an Orchard Piper East Melbourne penthouse

Demand for luxury residences in Melbourne’s most lucrative suburbs is spearheading competition and record-breaking results in Melbourne’s prime real estate market.

In what is set to be one of East Melbourne’s highest-valued unconditional sales for a property facing the park, the penthouse of 370 Albert Street East Melbourne has sold to a local buyer for the price tag of $16 million, in a discrete initial VIP sales period by the developer. 

In a distinctive off-the-plan opportunity by Melbourne-based luxury residential developer Orchard Piper, 370 Albert Street is a $120 million project set to renew a prime heritage site in East Melbourne back to glory, attracting interest from the deep, local affluent buyer group for an unprecedented real estate opportunity on the city’s edge. 

In a rare feat, the project has, during the last few weeks, contracted in excess of $40m in unconditional sales with interior renders yet to be released. According to the project’s sales agent, Colliers, Orchard Piper’s comprehensive, $1m full-sized display suite, has enabled confidence in the offering, with the prototype site acting as a key driver validating buyer’s decision to purchase. 

After the sale of the penthouse, the three additional residences sold ranging in value from $2.95m - $7.495 million, highlighting competition for the rapidly diminishing opportunity for prime real estate in the affluent suburb of East Melbourne. 

Known for developing some of Melbourne’s most boutique residential offerings in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, thirteen years of relationship building, brand preposition, and market feedback has led to Orchard Piper’s immediate success and interest in the East Melbourne project.

“We are design-driven and have an inherent interest in delivering high quality architecture to the city of Melbourne. 370 Albert Street is responsive to our deep understanding of the requirements of this segment of the market after many years of market feedback” says Orchard Piper Director Luke McKie. 

“The architectural response for this prime East Melbourne site needed to reflect the significance of its location. The confidence and certainty of ‘trust value’ is a significant driver in the validation of decision making by high-value purchasers. We’re pleased that our considered residences are being well-received.” 

“We’re seeing interest from a broad range of buyers, who ultimately all understand the rare opportunity this development has for an opportunity to own prime real estate in a lucrative area, in an increasing competitive landscape.”

With intergenerational assets tightly held in Melbourne’s most desirable suburbs, including South Yarra, Armadale, Toorak and East Melbourne, wealthy buyers are paying top dollar for off-the-plan bespoke residences well above median house ranges. 

According to Colliers Director of Residential Sales, Sam Nathan, since the beginning of 2021 eight full-floor residences traded around the Fitzroy Gardens precinct, including the Albert Street penthouse, with five of these off-the-plan residences going for more than $10 million, well over East Melbourne’s median house price of $3.3 million. 

With less than 40 apartments expected to be completed between 2022-2024 across East Melbourne, buyers are looking to engage quickly for the few properties that do hit in the market in the area in coming months. 

“There is strong demand not only for prestige property in general given its scarcity but also particularly in East Melbourne which has historically been – and will remain – amongst the most exclusive and highly priced housing markets in the city,” says Nathan. 

“Housing in East Melbourne is very tightly held and infrequently sold, with an average turnover of less than 20 existing houses sold annually since 2010. When houses are offered for sale they rarely trade for less than $3.5 million, and at that level generally relating to dated terrace-style residences in need upgrading, on compact allotments. 

According to Colliers, the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic environment had “brought forward” the decision-making process for many prestige apartment buyers.

“We are finding the pandemic environment has for many purchasers bought forward the decision making process purchasers, often up five to seven years earlier than they may have previously considered,” says Nathan. 

“This reflects a shift in lifestyle and living/work/family arrangements earlier than they may have planned off the back of the last two years, or a realignment of the allocation of ‘family capital’ across primary and secondary dwellings and how the family unit is electing to spend time.” 

“This will mean markets like East Melbourne that are already tightly held will be even more hotly contested in the coming year, particularly in the premium market.” 

In what is set to be the sixth collaboration between Orchard Piper and renowned architects, Jolson, the 1200sqm Albert Street site will see the establishment of 13 apartments across six levels with unrivalled views over Melbourne’s CBD and Fitzroy Gardens – one of the last remaining opportunities for park views in the East Melbourne area. 

The development will also refurbish the two adjacent heritage buildings, restoring the well-loved ‘Le Gourmet’ restaurant with two floors of premium commercial space, as well as a meticulous interior renovation and restoration of the neighbouring grand Victorian era town home at 364 Albert Street, as a separate three-storey standalone residence with new basement connected carparking.

With three additional sites acquired in 2021, 370 Albert brings Orchard Piper’s luxury development pipeline to $750 million. Completion of 370 Albert Street is expected Q4 2023, with remaining dwellings for sale priced from $3.25m to $8.75m.

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Sam Nathan

Director | Residential

Melbourne CBD (Residential)

Sam has engaged closely with the premium apartment market for over 15 years, initially as a qualified valuer and then as a lead advisor to  major domestic and international developers, investors, consultants and financiers, having had significant advisory roles on some of Melbourne’s most complex and renowned residential developments. 

This experience has led to the securing of a holistic perspective of the market, driven by an understanding of the economic, social and political factors influencing the performance of each building, and the ability to discuss the position of individual residences in the market from a bigger perspective than is common in the ‘real estate’ market.

Sam leads the residential  team within the Colliers International Melbourne business, focusing on the marketing and sale of residences within the Melbourne prestige apartment market. With a desire to engage transparently with clients and assist their understanding of the market,  he paves the way for greater communication, understanding and outcomes.

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