The month in review: Newcastle
By Herron Todd White
An article of this type really doesn’t feel right unless we utilise a liberal dosage of gross generalisation. So let us commence with many general, sweeping statements which ignore outliers or things that go against trend. Let us, if we may, lump many things together into one theme. In fact, let us, if you will, create a column the likes of which is the equivalent of a generic project home with build costs of say $1,550 per square metre for a full turn key package.
The fringes of Newcastle and outwards are seeing a glut of housing under construction. This is on top of new estates being released and new stages in existing estates adding to the stock available. When we say fringes, we are talking Cameron Park, Fletcher, Fern Bay and West Wallsend. New estates and new stages are constantly being upgraded to allow project home builders to refine and tweak their many packages.
Generally speaking a turn key type proposal will be in the order of $1,400 to $1,700 per square metre for a basic style of home with a floor area of around 150 to 160 square metres, attached double garage, small alfresco and basic landscaping. Landscaping would likely see some Colorbond fencing, concrete driveway and some turf. Inclusions could include predominantly laminate benchtops, split system air conditioning units and vertical blinds. It would be fair to say that many of these offerings are targeted towards the investor. Many of the rooms are compact, finishes are designed for longevity and not necessarily fashion and yards appear easy care. This has risen from approximately $1,100 to $1,300 per square metre several years ago.
We have seen building rates of up to $5,000 per square metre for luxury homes with sites that have building constraints. If the site is moderately contoured or even steep the earthworks alone can significantly increase the building rates across the board. Add in an architecturally designed pool on a site like this and structural engineering works are a massive impost on the build costs. Like anything bespoke, the cost is always going to be higher on a comparative basis than something effectively bought off the rack.