The real estate market in Sydney’s North Shore is struggling to deal with a dramatic shift in buyer demand for pet-friendly apartments, according to an urban living specialist.
Ray White Lower North Shore Group’s Mary-Jane Hamer said Mosman, Cremorne and Neutral Bay apartments, which have blanket bans on pets, were losing as much as half of their prospective buyers following a spike in animal ownership during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Buyers today have enduring demand for car spaces, sunlight and balconies but most are seeking a pet-friendly building, of which there are few in our market,” she said.
“Two-bedrooms, three-bedrooms and house-size apartments are selling strongly, but buyers are becoming more discerning when it comes to small spaces and anti-pet buildings.”
Ms Hamer said company-title building are able to enforce “strictly no pets” or “bring your elderly pet but if it dies you can’t replace it” rules because strata legislation doesn’t apply.
However, she warns sellers could missing out on huge buyer demand for pet-friendly apartments brought on by working from home, lower interest rates and surplus cash saved by the lack of overseas holidays, with local young professionals and returning expats currently looking to buy in the area.
“The influx of returning expats has conflated the already strong demand for light and liveable lower north shore apartments. As Australia opens its door … migration will continue to drive demand for the luxury and lower north shore apartment market.”
“Local young professionals, who are now living and working in the same space 24 hours a day, are actively seeking to upgrade from simple one-bedders to more spacious two-bedders with ample light and an aesthetically pleasing background for those back-to-back Zoom and Teams meetings.”
While blanket bans on keeping pets still exist in the area, a recent NSW court case has recently challenged the rule.
A unanimous ruling in October determined the ban should be lifted as the by-law against pet ownership was deemed oppressive because “it prohibits an ordinary incident of the ownership of real property, namely, keeping a pet animal, and provides no material benefit to other occupiers”.
Limiting the property rights of lot owners can only be deemed lawful or valid “if it protects from adverse affection the use and enjoyment by other occupants of their own lots, or the common property”.