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Built-form estates moving in

A popular development option in other parts of the country, built-form estates are starting to compete with traditional house and land packages in Western Australia, as Tracey Cook reports.

 

HOUSE and land packages are a long-standing and popular feature of the property landscape in Western Australia.

The traditional house and land package is facing competition, however, from housing estates that are completely designed and constructed by developers.

Already a common feature in the eastern States markets, built-form estates are a relatively new concept in WA.

By designing and constructing entire estates developers not only attain greater profit margins and economies of scale, but the development process gives them more control over the quality of the urban form, streetscaping and enables blanket policies such as sustainablity initiatives to be applied across an entire estate.

Property developer Australand launched its first built-form venture in WA last year with the release of Frankland Springs Village One, which comprised 18 single level villa homes within the greater Frankland Springs estate.

Once completed, the village sold out in under a month, attracting mainly owner-occupiers.

Following the success of that initial offering the developer is planning to commence two new built-form projects this year, Frankland Springs Village Two and a village in its Anchorage Estate in Rockingham.

Australand general manager (WA) Chris Lewis said there was no doubt the market was moving towards more built-form estates.

Mr Lewis said part of the shift towards built form was that development land was so tightly held.

He said once a land parcel had been secured, there was a need for developers to maximise the opportunities it presented.

Mr Lewis said built-form packages provided a greater profit margin and greater control over horizontal and vertical urban form, and street scaping. Overall quality control also was ensured, he said.

According to Mirvac Fini chief executive Adrian Fini, built-form estate development is much more difficult than multi-level apartment tower development.

Mirvac has been developing built-form estates in the eastern States for a number of years – its Newington estate in Sydney will have 2,600 dwellings when fully completed. 

In WA, Mirvac Fini is due to release the first stages of its green titled housing development in the $700 million Burswood Lakes joint venture, The Peninsula.

The release will be in addition to a pre-sale release of a second apartment tower in the massive project. When finished, all 1,200 dwellings on the 17.1-hectare site will be designed and constructed by Mirvac Fini.

Mr Fini said built-form estates ensured quality of construction and quality of design throughout the estate. 

He said issues such as sun orientation, sound attenuation, overlooking and overshadowing could be better handled within the framework of a built-form estate.

“It takes a lot of work to do it properly,” he said.

Mr Fini believes built-form estates will grow in popularity as they show good capital growth and deliver more certainty in amenity of design to consumers.

“The marketplace is screaming out for this type of quality product,” he told WA Business News.

However, Mr Fini said house and land packages would remain a fixture in the property market.

“Built form is much more complicated to do and some [developers] don’t like complexity,” he said.

A joint venture between traditional land developer, Nigel Satterley, and a traditional home-builder, Dale Alcock of Dale Alcock Homes, may result in the two local WA companies entering the built-form estate market.

Late last year Mr Satterley purchased the former CSRIO marine research site in Marmion for $8.605 million. The 2.18ha development site is 200 metres from Marmion and Waterman beaches.

According to Mr Alcock the joint venture group is currently conducting feasibility studies into whether the land parcel will be sub-divided or developed as a built-form estate.

Despite this initiative, Mr Alcock said house and land packages would always have a place for lower to middle housing markets.

“The public in WA have been raised on house and land packages and deciding how to go about design and elevation,” he said.

Mr Alcock said built-form estates would tend to be focused where the site was unique or the developer wanted a specific and unique look.

He said holding costs, stamp duty and finance costs involved in built -form estate development also meant that the product was not as affordable as house and land packages.

 

“The marketplace is screaming out for this type of quality product.”

- Adrian Fini

 

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