When you think of renting, luxury and community might not be the first things that come to mind. But that's all about to change with the introduction of Home, a new "build to rent" development in Melbourne (and Sydney coming soon) that's setting a new standard for apartment living. I had the pleasure of staying at Home Southbank with the family, and was left completely rethinking the concept of renting (check out our stay here - link to reel.). From the moment we stepped into the building, it was clear that every detail had been meticulously thought out. And, as we discovered, it’s more than just a place to live— it’s a lifestyle.

Design and Comfort Combined

Collaborating with the award-winning architectural firm Bates Smart, Home‘s design is a testament to modern luxury. The architecture seamlessly blends aesthetic appeal with functional living spaces, providing panoramic views from every corner of the building. It’s like having a front-row seat to Melbourne’s breathtaking skyline, whether you’re lounging in your living room or working out in the gym.

Speaking of the gym, wellness is a cornerstone of the Home experience. The state-of-the-art facilities include a fully equipped gym, a heated pool, and a range of wellness services on offer, all bookable via an app, such as personal training, yoga, and spin cycle. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a long day or kickstart your morning with a rejuvenating workout.

Spaces That Inspire

Home Southbank truly excels in its shared spaces. The coworking spaces are a haven for those who work from home, offering a professional and comfortable environment. The top floor – the 39th floor – features the Residents Club: a shared living room with epic fireplace, numerous places to sit and read and an impressive library of coffee table books and novels to borrow. 

The Co-working Space is a dream for the self employed with a board room and breakout rooms available for use. For entertainment, The Screening Room is perfect for gaming sessions or for movie nights with friends and family. We also rented the Dining Room for a night, an ideal setting for hosting dinner parties too large for your apartment. With its incredible views over Melbourne, a cozy fireplace, and a TV, it feels like an extension of your home. The outdoor spaces are equally impressive. Barbecues and fire pits overlook the pool to enhance that community feel.

Community and Convenience at Its Core

As the team explained to me, Home is more than just a place to live—it’s a community. The pet-friendly amenities, including a dedicated pet spa, ensure that even your furry friends feel pampered (a major attitude shift to most rentals that ban pets completely!) 

The curated events calendar is packed with activities designed to bring residents together, from yoga classes and spin sessions to wine tastings featuring local winemakers. It’s designed to be a space where you can socialize, relax, and build connections with your neighbours. I found this so refreshing, having lived in other urban apartment building where you don’t even know, let alone speak to, half your neighbours. 

“We designed this for the Australian market, attracting a diverse range of residents from students and relocating workers to families and empty nesters,” explained Anne Baker from Home, on my tour of the facilities. “Our events and amenities cater to all, creating a vibrant and inclusive community.”

One of the most impressive aspects of Home Southbank are the incredible views. Designed to connect Southbank’s industrial heritage within a contemporary glass tower, the building offers sweeping city panoramas from wherever you are. It’s a visual feast that enhances the living experience, making you feel at once like you’re living in the clouds while also being in the heart of Melbourne’s vibrant urban skyline.

The Future of Renting: Build to Rent

The build-to-rent sector is expected to grow fourfold by 2028, and Home is leading the charge. Unlike traditional rentals, these developments are custom-built for renters, a concept that’s been successful in cities like New York and London but is relatively new to Australia. Home’s Southbank location is their first asset, Richmond their second, with another stunning development set to open in Docklands soon, followed by Sydney’s Parramatta and St. Leonards.

The pricing is on the premium end but is reflected in the quality of the build, facilities on offer and high-end finishes and furnishings from Australian designers and brands like Catherine Martin and Jardan.

No Landlords, No Hassles

One of the most significant advantages of living at Home is the absence of traditional landlords. The application process is streamlined, and residents can enjoy a hassle-free experience with one-on-one tours, rather than schlepping it to an inspection with thirty other couples before battling it out in the application process. 

There’s also maintenance on hand when things break, and a mail room that makes receiving deliveries a no-brainer. 

“Renting at Home means no landlords and no hassles,” adds Anne. “Our application process is easier, and our residents can enjoy premium services without the typical renting headaches. It’s all about making life easier and more enjoyable for our residents.”

As we packed up to leave our little Home away from home for the weekend, we were all feeling a little bereft. “Can we move in here, Mum?” the kids asked me repeatedly. And indeed if I was still in the rental market, I would be very tempted to start calling Home my home. 

Home apartments aren’t just a fancy development, they’re a major revolution in the rental market. With its blend of luxury, community, and convenience, Home offers a new way of living that’s set to change the face of renting in Australia for the very best. 

By Sigourney Cantelo; Sigourney and her family were hosted in Mebourne by Home

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