Industry experts say buying an apartment, to live in or as an investment, is essentially the same as buying a freestanding home. But there are apartment-specific “rules of engagement” buyers should understand.

WBP Property Group executive chairman Greville Pabst — who has 30 years’ experience as a valuer and agent — said just as with a house, buyers should research the area and the developer and be discerning.

He also advised looking for a boutique development of under 25 apartments.

“In terms of affordability, it’s a given that apartments represent a more affordable option, but I think first-home buyers need to be cautious,” Mr Pabst said.

“Apartments are cheaper, but over the last 10-15 years, the capital growth performance just hasn’t been there across the board. Whether you’re looking at an apartment to live in or as an investment, you need that performance.”

TOP TIPS FOR APARTMENT BUYERS

1. Research the area, developer and capital growth performance of similar properties.

2. Buy in a “boutique” development with less than 25 apartments.

3. Remember the golden rule of property: “location, location, location”. Buy in the right suburb, on the right street and in the right position on the street or block.

4. Consider proximity to a “village” and other lifestyle factors.

5. Get professional, independent advice. Don’t rely purely on information from the selling agent.

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