Apartment living is on the rise in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs with demand especially high for larger three-bedroom units.

And the buyers are often families, who now outstrip even the traditional downsizers when it comes to snapping up three-bedroom flats under $2.5 million.

Apartment living for families is a trend we’re likely to see grow, as competition to get into the property market increases. Forced to make a choice, families now often prioritise lifestyle and location over more traditional family property features, such as a freestanding home with a backyard.

Why are families choosing apartments over houses?

While the great Australian dream typically included a house, those days are over. Market pressures in Sydney mean the demand and appetite for apartments are growing, even though they have historically been a smaller part of the market.

In 2015, an Urban Taskforce survey found 26% of apartment dwellers were families.

One obvious reason for this is cost: a typical three-bedroom apartment is usually (but not always) cheaper than a three-bedroom semi, townhouse, or house in the same location. That means it can be a great way to enter the property market in many sought after inner-city areas.

But price is only part of the equation. Families are increasingly drawn to the many lifestyle benefits of apartment living too. Apartments are low maintenance, often centered around busy transport hubs or close to good amenities. This means they can usually offer a more cosmopolitan lifestyle than a house in the suburbs, with access to good schools, parks, cafes, and restaurants.

Eastern Suburbs Market Snapshot

Three-bedroom apartments: the family home of the future

Big three-bedroom units have traditionally been harder to find than one- or two-bedders, which has made them highly sought after. But there is a big push for developers to include more large apartments, suitable for families in new developments, including three – or even four – bedroom units. And with a lot of redevelopment on the horizon, we are hopefully going to see more three-bedroom units coming onto the market to meet the demand.

The best selection of three-bedroom apartments in Sydney’s East at the moment tends to be in the older Art Deco areas like Darling Point and Rose Bay. What these flats may lack in terms of mod cons like lifts and ducted aircon, they often make up for in generous proportions, period features and charm.

A case in point is 4/19 Darling Point Road, Darling Point, a large, Art Deco three-bedder, which has registered great interest at inspections from families. The communal garden, lock-up garage, proximity to good schools and Edgecliff station, and the spacious interiors are all a big drawcard.

The three-bedroom unit could be the new starter home for young families looking to buy for under $2.5 million in Sydney’s East. And because families are competing head-to-head with downsizers to snare them, they’re creating even more demand for these types of properties.

Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Market Snapshot 2016

Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Market Snapshot

A detailed annual assessment of the property market focusing on the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, Australia.

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