Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been lauded across the world and shows it is truly a global leader. The country is officially out of recession, recording GDP growth of 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter. And while the Australian property market is experiencing its own recovery, leading developers, such as Crown Group, have switched their focus from sales to wellbeing.
The “New Normal” required an examination of how we live. Iwan Sunito, Chairman & Group CEO, Crown Group, noted that the pandemic forced people to spend far more time in their homes, which has created a more urgent need to design them to better encourage a sense of calm, relaxation and productivity.
“People who live in well-designed homes that offer plenty of living and working space, access to gardens and fresh air, as well as facilities such as play areas, fitness facilities and music rooms, have had an easier time adjusting to this new lifestyle,” Iwan says. “The pandemic must force a rethink of house and apartment design so that all residents are able to feel secure, relaxed and socially connected when they are at home. This ultimately will lead to better physical and mental health around the world. It’s not just about sustainable buildings but a sustainable lifestyle.”
Sustainability of wellbeing isn’t simply a buzzword or marketing concept for Crown Group. It is part of the developer’s DNA. Well before any of us had ever heard of the “New Normal”, Crown Group was crafting residential projects in Australia that provided residents with a sanctuary where their wellbeing was paramount.
“Crown Group had always designed its apartments with its signature resort-style facilities, to provide a relaxing and healthy environment for its residents. We are pleased with how well this approach suits the needs of the post-pandemic world,” Iwan explains. “Even long after this pandemic is over, people will be working more from home, so these are needs that will endure. People will need more common areas for co-working and socializing in a safe space. And they will need nature around them. Residential developers will in turn need to accommodate the changing preferences of consumers.”
Nowhere is this more evident than at Waterfall by Crown Group in Sydney. Every detail of the project has been curated to ensure an optimal living experience. An example of this is the development’s waterfall. Not only is it the tallest such feature constructed in Australia, but it creates soothing water sounds. It’s all part of the developer’s commitment to sustainability of wellbeing.
“Waterfall by Crown Group has become an ideal model for biophilic design, with corridors that are open to the elements to let fresh air in as well as balconies at each apartment. There is ample outdoor space for residents to relax including 2600 square meters of tropical gardens with 5000 plants in the vertical green walls alone,” Iwan details.
One of the homebuilder’s upcoming launches in 2021 will be equally as impressive. Artis is Crown Group’s first project in Melbourne and is part of an ambitious a AUD3 billion development pipeline. Located in Melbourne’s prestigious Southbank, Artis boasts design by internationally renowned Koichi Takada Architects and uninterrupted city views.
“The landmark building will change the face of Southbank with its beautiful white ribbon-effect façade that reflects the movement of art in motion. Artis will host luxurious one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses,” Iwan points out. “Residents will have access to Crown Group’s signature resort-style facilities, which include a beautiful rooftop lounge with garden and children’s play area, level one gym and spectacular indoor pool and jacuzzi. A community arts space and café will provide a space for local artists to exhibit.”
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The doom and gloom predictions for the Australian property market in 2020 have given way to more optimistic outlooks. Iwan cites Melbourne property prices increasing by 0.3 percent in December and Sydney median property values rising 2.2 percent in 2020 as reasons to be confident. Of course, more work is needed for the real estate market to return to normal.
“We really want borders to open so that international students and their parents can return to Australia. With the advent of the vaccine, this may be sooner than we think,” Iwan says.
This happening would benefit the Australian property market by making it easier for overseas investors. The country has always appealed to buyers in Asia for numerous reasons, but untapped potential remains. Iwan believes demand from international real estate buyers could grow in the future with a little help from the government.
“For overseas investment, Asia drives the greatest demand. We are appealing to the government to lower the stamp duty for foreign buyers to make Australia a more attractive destination,” Iwan notes. “Australia has always had the advantage for Asian buyers of proximity and time zone convenience, making it far more attractive for sending children to university or for retirement, as you can easily communicate and visit people back at home.”
Through sustainability of wellbeing, Crown Group projects will appeal to both international and local clients. This demand is one reason why the developer has carried on with its plans as opposed to taking a more cautious approach.
“The traditional narrative has questioned whether it is wise to launch a new residential project in the midst of a pandemic, but we see it differently. We are excited to grow our footprint now, as there will be pent up demand for well-designed projects. While there is such focus on renewed wellness, projects designed with these fundamental pillars will continue to draw interest,” Iwan concludes.