As we’re all aware, house prices are continuing to soar across Melbourne. While this is good news for property investors, owner-occupiers – particularly first home buyers – are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the rising prices. Assemble Communities offers an alternative, highly supported pathway to home ownership by bridging the gap between renting and buying through its innovative Assemble Futures housing model.

Unlike traditional rent-to-buy models where tenants pay above-market rental rates to go towards a deposit, Assemble Futures clients sign up for a fixed-term rent, with the option to buy later. This means future residents sign up for a five-year lease (at a pre-agreed market rate) with the choice to purchase the newly-built apartment at the end of the lease period, at a fixed price. Not only does this protect you from future shifts in the market, but it also means that if you choose not to buy at the end of your lease period, you can opt out, without any financial penalty.

Studio apartments are available to rent from $305 per week, with a future purchase price of $497,500; two-bedroom apartments are available from $560 per week, with a future purchase price of $735,000; and three-bedroom apartments are available from $790 per week, with a future purchase price of $995,000.

“We’re witnessing the strongest growth in property values in our history, rising at their fastest rate in almost two decades, and as a result, we have reached a crisis point in housing affordability,” says Kris Daff, managing director of Assemble. “Our housing concept, Assemble Futures, takes the volatility out of the market and provides absolute price certainty for our clients over the term of the lease and the end purchase price.

“This project provides those with a moderate annual income an opportunity to save for a home deposit, knowing that they have security in tenure and live only three kilometres from the CBD, in a quality designed apartment.”

Following the success of 393 Macaulay Road in Kensington, Assemble Futures’ second offering is 15 Thompson Street, Kensington. Designed by award-winning practice Hayball, these one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are architecturally designed to encourage a neighbourly, community spirit. Although the development’s core initiative is providing affordable home ownership options, no compromise has been made when it comes to the apartments’ liveability. The interiors are guided by principles of durability, functionality and longevity, with thoughtful design and a quality build.

The premium material palette includes durable benchtops and splashbacks made of Dekton (a stone-like composite of glass, quartz and porcelain), exposed concrete ceilings, timber floorboards as well as optional linseed oil based natural flooring. Beyond the apartments themselves, the wider development is designed as an extension of the homes. There’s a range of community facilities including entertaining rooms with kitchens – perfect for hosting larger gatherings. There’s also a multi-purpose workshop, a guesthouse for overnight stays, a parcel room, a cool store for perishable deliveries and a lending library.

To make the most of spring and summer weather (and so you don’t miss out on the traditional backyard-style barbeques), 15 Thompson Street also offers a stunning rooftop area fully equipped with barbeque facilities, a pizza oven, an edible garden and a dedicated kids area. Meanwhile, a 500-square-metre pocket park planned by landscape design firm Oculus offers open grass areas for play, and shady nooks to relax in. Accessible to both the residents and the wider community, the park is a vibrant and welcoming town square meeting place for neighbours and friends.

It’s clear that fostering engagement with the immediate community is key to the development, but 15 Thompson St also extends this mindset to the wider community through a range of eco-conscious initiatives.

Thanks to a close collaboration with environmental sustainable design (ESD) consultant Atelier Ten, the development is on track for a 7.5 NatHERS rating across the entire precinct.

Integrating a fully electric framework with passive design features – including natural cross-flow ventilation and the cooling benefits of exposed concrete ceilings – ensures the development is conscious of its long-term impact within the community and our environment. Some of the sustainable features embedded within the development include high-efficiency, reverse-cycle heating and cooling, track lighting, energy-efficient double glazed windows and water harvesting systems. The development also offers electric vehicle charging stations, car sharing and Amsterdam-style bike racks to help residents lead a healthier, more eco-conscious lifestyle.

As part of Assemble’s wider organic waste management strategy, you can also contribute to the health and wellbeing of the land beneath the development through a closed loop system. The onsite bio-composter will use microbial technology and heat to reduce organic waste volumes by up to 90 per cent in 24 hours, turning food waste into valuable fertiliser. You can then use the fertiliser to enhance the soil in the rooftop veggie gardens, or give away to local community gardens, family or friends.

15 Thompson Street, Kensington is the perfect opportunity for those looking to start their home-ownership journey.

Check out the project brochure.