27/02/2007 - 22:00

Blackburne seeks fresh fields

27/02/2007 - 22:00

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Blackburne Real Estate is bracing for a big year ahead, with a new name and fresh image to be part of its planned push into east coast and international property markets.

Blackburne Real Estate is bracing for a big year ahead, with a new name and fresh image to be part of its planned push into east coast and international property markets.

The agency is in the midst of adopting its new name, Blackburne Property Group, which aims to highlight a diversified approach to property services incorporating development and consulting, project marketing, strata management, residential and commercial sales and leasing, and, in recent months, finance broking.

Blackburne Property Group managing director Paul Blackburne said the company would also be forming a Blackburne International division and was excited about opening offices in London and Singapore within the next six months, to source investment opportunities in eastern Europe and Asia.

The group launched offices in Victoria and Queensland last year, providing investor clients with about 50 house and land packages a month.

A Sydney office will open in late March.

“To open our eastern states offices was a very difficult choice. This required a significant capital outlay and for us was a new market,” Mr Blackburne told WA Business News.

The decision seems to have paid off, however, as the cooling Western Australian property market drives investors east in the search for coastal house and land packages in new estates of between $250,000 and $350,000.

Mr Blackburne said the issue of affordability in the WA property market was a major concern at present and that, in order to grow, the company had to look beyond its home state. 

“I think the economy in general will stay strong. Demand will stay strong but there will only be moderate price growth,” he said.

“Properties will continue to sell but growth will be between five and 10 per cent. Some well-located properties will still achieve very good growth.

“It’s all about sourcing a quality product.”

In WA, the group is still heavily involved in residential apartment sales and management services and will launch six sales projects of between 50 and 100 inner-city apartments in the next three months.

It has already sold all 112 apartments in the 22-storey Sky tower, and most of the 280 apartments in the 32-storey Altus Tower on Adelaide Terrace, East Perth.

On the property management and strata side, the group has more than 1,000 new properties contracted to come into its portfolio.

Mr Blackburne bought most of the assets from the Blackburne & Joyce group, a company his father John built from scratch in the late 1960s, three years ago. In that time the company has grown from 18 staff to 82.

Revenue this year will be approximately eight times the average achieved by Blackburne & Joyce over its last 10 years in operation, Mr Blackburne said.

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