The Smartline Report – August Edition

The month in review: Melbourne

By Herron Todd White
August 2015

A typical house in the outer western residential fringe of metropolitan Melbourne is a single storey 3- to 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom brick veneer dwelling with a concrete tile roof, front porch and an attached double garage. These modern builds are prevalent within developing suburbs such as Point Cook, Tarneit, Wyndham Vale and Williams Landing.

Standard finishes and fixtures for a basic home include a solar panel boosted hot water system, aluminium windows, laminated kitchen and bathroom bench tops, ceramic tile flooring and standard builder’s range carpeting or timber-look laminex. A typical price range to construct a basic dwelling with turn key specifications will vary depending on the land area, site excavation and building area. For example a newly constructed dwelling with a building area of say 150 square metres will typically range from $1,000 to $1,250 per square metre for a midrange quality build.

Current costs are similar to the construction figures in Herron Todd White’s May 2009 Month In Review in which construction costs were also stated as typically being between $1,000 and $1,100 per square metre of living area. This is thought to be because of efficiencies created in the building industry over the past five or so years. Drivers of these building efficiencies include construction times being cut down from an average of 16 weeks to 10 weeks due to an increase in pre-fabricated building material being used in construction practices, reduced curing times in the slab (waffle slab) and associated reduced labour costs.

An example of a mid-range quality completed construction is 6 Laurence Way, Tarneit, a 2008 one storey modern, 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling with an internal living area of 162 square metres. The house comprises ceramic tile and builder’s range carpeting, laminate benchtops in the kitchen and bathrooms and an attached double car garage. The 2008 completed property sold in June 2015 for $365,000.

Construction of high end prestige residential dwellings can feature double storey reproduction properties with brick walls, terracotta tiled roofs, timber windows and underground basement parking for several vehicles. The finishes are of very high quality with marble bench tops and tiling, timber parquetry flooring with under floor heating, indoor/ outdoor swimming pool and built-in high tech security systems. Construction rates for the high end prestige sector range from $3,500 to $5,500 per square metre, indicating a significant rise from the 2009 report figures of $2,500 to $3,000, indicative of the labour intensity of such builds.

Two examples of high end prestige completed constructions are:

10 Duggan Street, Balwyn North. A brand new neo Classical style 2 storey dwelling with 5-bedrooms, 5-bathrooms and 3-car basement parking. Features include high decorative columns, 6.4 metre ceilings, a crystal chandelier, European oak parquetry, marble gas log fire, cinema and study, pool with water feature, terrace with views over the valley and around to the city skyline. The building area is 608 square metres on land area of 828 square metres. The main building added value rate equates to approximately $4,132 per square metre. Sale price was $4,428,000.

16 Boandyne Court, Toorak. A two level contemporary style, rendered masonry dwelling with 3-bedrooms and study, 3-bathrooms, 3-car underground basement parking with a total living area of 356 square metres and land area of 710 square metres. The dwelling construction was completed in 2015 and sold for $5,500,000 in the same year. Analysing this sale, the main building added value rate is approximately $4,247 per square metre.


Please note that information in this publication is subject to change without notice. Smartline assumes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or mistakes in this document. © Smartline Home Loans P/L 1999 – 2015. Australian Credit Licence Number 385325


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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.