Apartments: should you buy upstairs or downstairs?

One of the biggest considerations when buying an apartment is deciding if you’ll buy upstairs or on the ground floor.

It’s not just about getting views but whether there’s financial benefit to being higher up or lower down.

Greville Pabst, CEO of WBP Property Group, recommends researching the target suburb to understand what’s influencing its home buyers.

“This will give you a very good indication of the type of apartment that will provide the best returns,” Pabst says.

“With that said, when looking at the performance of apartments, generally those positioned on higher/top levels tend to experience greater capital growth, being not only more attractive to investors and owners, but also to tenants.”

Top or bottom?

Pabst says there are pros and cons for upstairs and downstairs.

Ground floor apartment pros

  • Courtyards
    “The main advantage of ground level apartments is they often include courtyard areas that are much larger than balconies, which can almost act as another room if positioned well.”
  • Absence of stairs
    “For areas with an ageing demographic, easily accessed downstairs apartments can be desirable.”
  • No neighbours below
    No need to worry about bothering underlying neighbours, especially if you have children.

Ground floor apartment cons

  • Privacy/security concerns
    “This is particularly so in inner-city areas, where a high proportion of the population are professional single female tenants and security is a top concern, and is reflected in rent prices,” Pabst says.
  • Noise and disturbance
    “Ground floor can be very noisy in regards to foot and vehicle traffic and being close to a side driveway means vehicle lights can often shine into living rooms.”
  • Upstairs neighbours
    “The noise produced by apartments above can be a huge concern for buyers and tenants.”

Upstairs apartment pros

  • Improved views
    Views attract a premium when selling, especially in cities and near water.
  • More security and privacy
    “Upstairs apartments are positioned further away from the street and generally have windows that are not accessible,” Pabst says.
  • More natural light
    This is important in the inner-city, where there is often more overshadowing from tall buildings.


Upstairs apartment cons

  • Less appeal for retirees
    “For areas where there are larger populations of older people, stairs are a major concern so investing in an upstairs apartment without lift access can be unappealing to buyers/tenants,” Pabst says.
  • Can be hot
    Depending on the apartment’s aspect, upstairs and top-floor apartments can sometimes produce much heat in summer.




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