Atwell: the quiet achiever

November 8, 2013 | Media Release


What is the buyer sentiment like at the moment?

It’s buoyant buying and selling activity in Atwell at the moment for a number of factors. On a broader scale, low interest rates tend to be driving first homeowners to upgrade, and Atwell appears to be gaining a bit of attention from this crowd. The new and ongoing infrastructure at nearby Cockburn Central and the world-class marina under way at Coogee, less than 12km west of Atwell, is also injecting more enthusiasm into the area.

Is there anything significant in the pipeline, such as infrastructure or developments, you believe will impact prices?

The most significant for Atwell is the Cockburn Central Town Centre, which is just a couple of minutes away. It’s proposed to be a town centre with a vibrant and colourful mix of residential, retail and commercial properties. Already the Town Square has been revitalised, completed in January 2013.

New residential and commercial developments are already moving ahead at the Cockburn Central Town Centre and are helping to rejuvenate the area and provide a buzzing hub for locals. As a result, Atwell is likely to become a more desirable place to live for renters and owner-occupiers.

Because of more businesses setting up at the new Town Centre – or relocating there – including the recently completed state Fire and Emergency Services Headquarters building, more jobs will be located there, which is likely to create a positive spin-off effect on Atwell housing demand.

Over at the Cockburn coast, just 12km to the west, redevelopment is also under way at Coogee to create a world-class marina. This includes a new jetty and other new precincts.

When it comes to new health infrastructure, the Cockburn GP Super Clinic is due for completion mid 2014. It will be located just across the Kwinana Freeway from Atwell and next to the Cockburn Gateway Shopping City. Also, 12km up the Kwinana Freeway the Fiona Stanley Hospital at Murdoch is under way. New jobs at the hospital will be easily accessible from Atwell.

Describe the mix of housing stock available? Are there any emerging trends?

Traditionally houses in Atwell sat on blocks sized between 500 and 700sqm. Today buyers will more often find houses on blocks sized between 300 and 500sqm. The smaller blocks are generally known as ‘cottage blocks’. Most houses are modern with three or four bedrooms.

The suburb features a number of housing estates and because it has significantly increased in density over the past 10 years or so there’s not much more space for development. This is a good thing for investors because it helps protect the value of your property. Consequently the development is now transitioning further south to suburbs like Aubin Grove.

Are there specific areas/streets which would bring strong rental yields for investors? The streets and pockets closer to Cockburn Central, often the western fringe of Atwell.

What type of dwellings are most in demand for both rental and owner-occupier?

The houses on smaller cottage blocks around the 300sqm size appear to be popular with renters and investors. They offer lower maintenance because there’s less yard to manage, which is appealing to many renters. The smaller cottage blocks and dwellings usually offer a higher gross rental yield compared to the larger blocks – approximately 5% compared to roughly 4% on the larger house blocks. Generally the closer the dwelling is to the Cockburn Central side of Atwell, the better for renters who need to access the train station, shopping and jobs. This is where demand can be strongest.

Families choosing to buy in Atwell generally opt for the houses on larger blocks, because they tend to offer more space.

What areas of the suburb might yield the best capital growth?

Because the suburb is family-orientated, a house close to schools, parks and shops would be popular and would most likely yield the strongest capital growth. Atwell does offer many parks and has schools dispersed across the landscape so the feat to find a property handy to these shouldn’t be too difficult.

Are there any specific covenants in any parts of the suburb?

In some of the housing estates there are building regulations to uphold a high standard streetscape.

Are there areas or streets buyers should avoid?

Houses choked with overhead power lines, main roads, or properties too close to the freeway where traffic noise and car fumes are a problem.

What is the suburb’s major strength?

Atwell is a good commuter suburb, which sits along the train line between Perth and Mandurah. The suburb offers easy access to Perth via train or Kwinana Freeway, or only 12km west by road to Coogee, on the Cockburn Coast.

Close to Cockburn Central, where a train hub and new Town Centre is under way, and where Cockburn Gateway Shopping City is located, Atwell also offers good schools, parks and neighbourhood shops.

Just 12km north of Atwell, at Murdoch, is the under construction new health job hub at the Fiona Stanley Hospital. The jobs generated from this new health hub, along with the new Cockburn Central Town Centre are likely to mean greater buyer demand in Atwell.

What is the availability of stock like?

There appears to be good demand from both owner-occupiers and investors with a low supply of properties for sale, so there is pressure on prices.

What are the entry price levels for both houses and units?

Investors can usually buy smaller 3 bedroom houses on cottage blocks of 350-450sqm for around $400,000 to $600,000, while the bigger 4×2 houses on 600sqm+ blocks can go for $600,000 to $700,000.

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