Inglewood Lucyanna Apartments
The Lucyanna Apartments, located at 157 Ninth Avenue in Inglewood, was built in 1970 and owned by the same family since the start. It was listed for auction by Edison Property in December 2021, subsequently selling for an undisclosed price. The purchaser is said to be the Department of Housing but no redevelopment or renovations have started yet, due to an apparent lack of funds. A search of PlanWA and the council's development application website fails to show any applications listed for this site.
Comprising of 24 apartments, 18 has one-bedroom and the remaining six has two, with one toilet in all units. At the time of the auction, 23 of the apartments were still being leased. In January 2023, we'd been told that only two of the units were still tenanted.
Situated on a 2,276 sqm block, it was evidently touted as prime real estate, especially being so close to Beaufort Street with all its amenities, a well-serviced bus stop, Maylands train station and the city.
Apartments in the 1970s
In Australian major cities in the 70's, apartment complexes were being built in inner suburbs, often located within seven kilometres from the CBD. They were high in demand, not just because of their location and the associated convenience but also due to being more affordable than houses and for most, the owner-occupier appeal meant that it was a good long-term and stable investment.
The size of the apartments tended to be more spacious with an average floor plan between 70-80 sqm, compared to the size of ones being built today and certainly appearing to be more solid with its double brick build. Ten to twenty years ago, apartments located in areas such as Burswood and South Perth consisted of 110sqm two-bedroom units or 150sqm for three. These days, the falling standards can be as low as 65sqm for a two-bedroom and 90 for a three-bedroom.
On a plus side, instant appeal and reinvigoration can be attained quite cheaply with a fresh lick of paint and by improving built-in furniture or the kitchen.
A hidden cost many may not be aware of are the annual fees paid towards the Body Corporate, which goes towards the upkeep of the communal areas within the apartment complex. They vary, depending on the property and can increase yearly, which is an additional annual fee to that required to be paid to the local council in the form of rates. Any changes or renovations inside the apartments is allowed but any work that will affect the external portion of the apartments will often need to be approved by the Body Corporate (usually made up of owners within the complex), such as the placement of air conditioning units.
Although you may be the owner of the apartment, common areas such as driveways, stairwells, the swimming pool and laundry facilities might often be shared and this is known as the 'strata title', with insurance covered by the Body Corporate.
The national average for those living in apartments is 14.2% according to the Australian Census but in Western Australia, it's just 6.5%. WAtoday believe the statistic is much lower in WA due to families preferring three-bedroom homes, which can be hard to come by in an apartment complex, unless you have the finances to afford it. Although townhouses tend to be built with three to four bedrooms, they can come at a cost of a whopping $900,000, with outdoor space sadly disregarded.