The month in review: Canberra
By Herron Todd White
Canberra and Queanbeyan have several heritage sites mostly located in the suburbs closest or surrounding Canberra City such as Ainslie, Griffith, Reid, Campbell and Kingston and in the Queanbeyan Town Centre (Isabella Street, Rutledge Street, Collett Street and Crawford Street).
The heritage sites are mostly Federation and Californian bungalow style dwellings.
Heritage properties in Queanbeyan can range from $600,000 to $900,000. In Canberra’s inner north, examples include Ainslie at $700,000 plus and Reid at $900,000 plus and inner south, Kingston at $950,000 plus (if in a good location).
What makes these dwellings desirable is that they are centrally located and in desirable locations and neighbourhoods (usually close to the city). Renovations of good quality on these heritage dwellings are proving to be quite valuable and naturally command strong prices as they have a unique aspect and a unique building construction (simply, everything old is new again). As always, heritage sites have particular restrictions on what owners looking to renovate can do to the property and will most likely experience higher construction costs to achieve renovations that reflect a mixture of the dwelling’s period character and the inclusions of modern features. Over-capitalisation is not much of an issue for these dwellings as the locations of the heritage areas usually already command strong price points.
Purchasers are usually paying a premium price for these properties which can be seen from the sales in these areas. The purchasers who usually buy these dwellings are mostly owner-occupiers, mum and dad investors or keen renovators.
People understand the potential of these types of dwellings, so when they are available to purchase, it is usually with high interest.
From a valuer’s perspective, heritage properties are typically a bit more difficult to value than your stock standard dwellings due to the unique nature of the property, restrictions on potential improvements and the general lack of heritage dwelling sales. Historical data for these unique sales and knowledge of the locale are important when gauging values.