With the government push to encourage housing development, several land estates have been underway. The main service areas exist on the outer fringes comprising of Point Cook, Williams Landing, Craigieburn, Wallan, Melton, Werribee and Pakenham.
The aim of these new estates is to provide a sense of sophistication through developing town centres, creating local employment and health and leisure related facilities such as bike paths. Some estates are even going one step further and providing common facilities such as gyms, pools and tennis courts for exclusive use of estate residents. Point Cook appears to be the most sought after and priciest suburb for land, located approximately 25 kilometres south-west of Melbourne’s CBD. On average to purchase in the suburb will cost $558 per square metre, with a typical allotment costing around $270,000. Those unable to afford in the area will be pushed out to areas such as Tarneit with less demand, located 28 kilometres south west with a median price of $470 per square metre and land prices averaging around $189,000 for a standard allotment. Lot sizes in the area are becoming smaller in order to attract first home buyers and young families who are taking up around 75% to 80% of vacant land sales and who are budget conscious buyers seeking the flexibility of building smaller houses on smaller blocks.
Source: Fairfax graphic
A rare development in Ascot Vale, located approximately seven kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, has recently been undertaken. Known as the Ascot Chase/Enclave development, the project consists of 400 dwellings on 16 hectares of land located on the boundary of Walter Street, the Walter Reserve, Newsom Street, Stanford Street and Doncaster Street. Features of the development include close proximity to Melbourne’s CBD, two hectares of parkland, wetlands, an outdoor amphitheatre and walking and cycling trails. The developers of the estate, Mirvac, are releasing land of approximately 250 to 300 square metres and implementing design guidelines such as requiring a minimum 6 Star NatHERS energy rating. In comparison to the land estates in outer regions, it is evident that Mirvac has undertaken a different approach to provide smaller lots, resulting in a greater amount of lots to be sold off individually.
As these lots are in greater demand due to their proximity to the city less money is spent on advertising. In order for individuals to be aware of such developments they initially are introduced through local council’s planning and building sections, as well as the developer’s own marketing. Developers such as Mirvac will initially advertise through their own websites as well as emailing prospective buyers on their database. For individuals eager to purchase in such areas it is imperative to stay updated on local council developments as well as register for developers’ mailing lists.
Overall, vacant land markets in new estates are performing well with increasing demand evident. Upper Point Cook, one of the newly released estates consisting of 2,000 lots, has been the second fastest selling development in Melbourne, selling out six months ahead of schedule. Due to the ample demand for properties in Melbourne and increasing prices, vacant land markets will not have a major impact on the rest of the market. Rather they provide a foot in the door for first home buyers and young families to purchase a home they potentially would not have been able to afford.
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