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Apartment prestige seen in 'residents-only' formula
31 January 2008, Fiona Cameron, The Australian

THE trend for luxury apartment developers targeting owner-occupier buyers is gathering pace, with a string of projects worth more than $300 million planned on the Gold Coast.

With short-term tenants and particularly holidaymakers seen to lower the tone of apartment projects, developers are using "residents-only" covenants as buyer drawcards.

Owners can lease their apartments, but not on short-term contracts.

The trend is resonating with the market, and $26 million of pre-sales have been recorded in the recently launched XXV apartments at Main Beach.

The $51 million project is a joint venture between a Macquarie Bank offshoot, Parkview Group and David Group.

At Rainbow Bay on the southern Gold Coast, former Macquarie Bank executive Scott Ponton is planning two projects, the $20.7 million Eden and $13.9 million Ciel, both on the "residents-only" concept.

On the Esplanade at Burleigh Heads, building is due to start soon on Amalgamated Property Group's $90 million Element apartments.

Also at Burleigh, APG is developing the $32 million Ivory tower, and has racked up more than $20 million in sales at an average of more than $3 million.

The $90 million eco-friendly Elysee Residences at Kirra on the southern end of the Gold Coast is nearing completion and has secured more than $21 million ofsales at an average of more than $3million.

Agent Chris Litfin, of Litfin Project Marketing, said residents-only beachfront apartment projects would be the stand-out performer in the Gold Coast apartment sector this year.

"The demand for prestige beachfront apartments targeted specifically at the end user has never been stronger," Mr Litfin said.