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Empty nests too high for the empty nesters

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Empty nests too high for the empty nesters


November 2, 2009


Standing but not delivering ... one of the apartment developments, on the corner of Stanley Street and Link Road in St Ives. Photo: Quentin Jones

HUNDREDS of new high-rise apartments on the upper north shore have stood empty for months due to a lack of demand, casting doubt on the State Government's strategy of opening up the region for high-density development.

Developers have resorted to offering thousands of dollars worth of free furniture in an effort to sell apartments in the shiny new five-storey blocks that have sprung up from Wahroonga to Roseville.

But an analysis of local apartment advertisements, and the comments of real estate agents, suggest many of the buildings remain virtually empty.

One out of 10 real estate agents contacted by the Herald said: ''Unit sales are slow because there are so many of them and so few people in the market.

''I just don't think they've researched the market properly. The people who want to go into a unit are your 65-year-old retirees, but the units being built don't really cater to them. They don't want to live in high-rise.''

An analysis of local newspaper ads by the anti high-rise group Friends of Ku-ring-gai found that apartments in more than a dozen big developments had sat on the market for more than a year.

They include apartments in a multi-storey block in Ada Avenue, Wahroonga, which have been on the market since 2006, and some in Woniora Avenue, Wahroonga, and McIntyre Street, Gordon, which went on sale in August last year.

''Things seem to be picking up a little bit now, but it has been slow,'' said Daniel Cook, the principal agent at Richardson and Wrench, St Ives.

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