AURA by Aqualand achieves $100M in sales in February

25 March 2024

Leading Australian integrated property development group, Aqualand, is reaping the rewards of the strong demand for luxury apartments in Sydney, achieving $100M in sales for its AURA by Aqualand project in February 2024 alone. The outstanding figure has broken the North Shore record for the highest sales volume and revenue achieved in one (non-launch) month.

With the record-breaking performance of the AUD$1B luxury mixed-use tower continuing in earnest, remarkably, March’s figures are currently on track to surpass February’s record. Month-on-month increases are expected until April, then steady until the project’s construction completion in June, when a substantial spike in sales is again expected.

The record (non-launch) month further signifies strong buyer demand for the luxury project, which was initially demonstrated when over $100M was transacted on its market launch day on 4 December 2021.

With the previous (non-launch) record month in April 2023 achieving $40M transacted, the February 2024 figure marks a staggering increase of 263%.

The achievement is on the back of a previous 2018 record, when a penthouse at Aqualand’s BLUE at Lavender Bay sold for circa $9M, the highest price paid for an apartment on the North Shore at the time. Aqualand then broke this record with the second sale of BLUE’s last remaining penthouse for circa $10.5M several weeks later.

Aqualand’s Head of Sales and Marketing, Alex Adams, said the figure represented the biggest jump in sales activity on any project he’d experienced.

“Considering we hadn’t just launched the project, or even released a new stage, this is by far the most impressive month I’ve seen in my career to date, and as far as we know it also exceeds every other project currently in market in Sydney, in terms of February’s sales volume,” he said.

Alex believes February’s sales success can be attributed to a range of internal and external market factors.

“We’ve found potential buyers who had previously enquired, but weren’t quite ready to commit, have recently returned to the market. Those waiting to transact closer to the building’s completion have now seen its construction progress and have made the decision to buy,” Alex said.

“We also recently completed a number of stunning display apartments on levels six and ten of the building, which clearly showcase the outstanding build quality and high level of finishes.

“Our new year strategy to open the display apartments has definitely increased conversion.

“We’d always anticipated a spike in February and it’s pleasing that we outperformed our forecast. It’s even more pleasing that March is on track to outperform February.

“We also recently changed our buyer journey by moving AURA’s display showroom on-site, enabling them to experience the actual building firsthand. Being in the completed building structure, in a brand-new showroom fit out, as opposed to overlooking it from across the street in our previous showroom, really builds confidence in the client’s mind.

“We understand that luxury buyers, whilst they appreciate the off-the-plan offering, are less likely to transact until they can experience the quality, materials and our fanatical attention to detail firsthand. With this in mind, we’ve been encouraging as many prospective purchasers to visit the display apartments as quickly as possible, which also contributed to the jump in sales in February. This came down to properly maintaining historical enquiries over a length of time, on top of managing the newer ones.

“External market factors that have also definitely contributed include the recent stability in interest rates, with less talk about increases and more talk about decreases. This certainly has an impact in the luxury market we operate in, with many buyers looking to sell an existing home.

“There’s also a lack of competition, with the ongoing shortage of project approvals, resulting in fewer options for purchasers of luxury property.

“The ongoing transformation of North Sydney is also becoming more obvious of late, with the new Victoria Cross Station so close to officially opening, and newer restaurant and retail offerings in the area. It’s clear to all that North Sydney’s evolution is on track, placing AURA in the right place at the right time,” Alex said.

According to Alex, families continue to be the lead clientele, while the stabilising interest rates, and the ability to now see the product at the new display apartments, is also attracting more investors, who are showing more interest in their searches.

“At AURA’s launch, the majority of clients were downsizers, but then families took over the buyer demographic. We’re seeing plenty of families choosing to make the decision to upscale, or as we call it, ‘right size’, into our generous 3 or 4-bedroom apartments.

“Recently though, we’ve seen downsizers come back stronger, resulting in more 4-bedroom, circa $7M transactions.

“With the housing market stabilising, and even increasing, they now have confidence selling their home. Also, with the interest rates steadying they can list their homes until they get the price they want.  

“The timing couldn’t be better as this year is Aqualand’s tenth anniversary, and AURA was designed to showcase a defining project for Aqualand within our beautiful city. It’s the perfect project to celebrate the calibre of products we’ve brought to market over the last 10 years, so it’s exciting we’ll complete AURA during our 10th birthday.

“Having a decade in the market also instils confidence in our clients who are also encouraged to view the other high-end projects we’ve delivered. When they visit BLUE at Lavender Bay or The REVY in Pyrmont, they can see the design and construction quality we’re now known for,” added Alex.