Gary Dempsey
Gary Dempsey has been developing projects for over 30 years. Image Supplied
  • Says developers exploit sizes of apartments by using 'vague measurements' to inflate their true size
  • Says many buyers are 'seduced' by oversized display sites

In a call that may surprise some of his competitors, Gary Dempsey Development’s founder, Gary Dempsey, has argued the next WA government needs to address tightening regulations and improve transparency towards apartment sales.

The call comes just days before the Western Australian State election which will be held this Saturday, 13 March.

Mr Dempsey, whose portfolio over the past 30 years ranges from waterfront apartments to health infrastructure and civic buildings, says many buyers are misled when purchasing an off-the-plan apartment, resulting in disappointment with the final product.

I have been frustrated for a long time by the number of developers providing – misleading at best and false at worst – information regarding the size of apartments which I think reflects poorly on those in the industry who are not engaging in this sort of behaviour. 

“When they use this term it allows some developers to inflate the size of either the individual rooms or the apartment as a whole by up to 10 per cent, which is really significant when you’re talking about the size of an average apartment.”

Gary Dempsey

Tighter regulations to force developers to disclose actual living space is one suggestion he has.

Many developers, he says, use ‘vague measurements’ that feature thickness of the external common walls of an apartment when calculating the size of an apartment – although they don’t technically own this.

He added this makes it difficult for buyers to compare apartments from different developers.

Another area Mr Dempsey said buyers are often left in the dark about includes insulation within an apartment.

“I think buyers should at least be aware that the apartment they are looking at purchasing for instance does not have insulation in the internal walls and ceilings (sadly a common practice across the industry) so they at least able to make an informed purchasing decision.

“Currently there’s no requirement to tell buyers this and they only find out once they’ve moved into an apartment with acoustics that are so bad that it’s not liveable.”

Gary Dempsey

He concluded that he has spoken to many buyers who have been ‘seduced’ by misleading display sites – such as those with oversized bathrooms and kitchens – leaving many buyers disappointed when they move into their apartment.

“What concerns me is that the bar is set very low and that it tends to give all developers a bad name,” he said.

“What we need is some clarity, better regulations and transparency so that apartment buyers in WA have confidence in the product they’re buying.”

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