Cedar Woods Properties has made its third significant Western Australian land acquisition for the year, adding a 35 hectare site in Byford to its portfolio.
The WA-based property group has been an active buyer of local land for the past two years as rival developers have struggled with high debt levels and been forced to offload holdings bought in more buoyant times.
The $9 million acquisition of the remaining 320 lots in the Byford-on-the-Scarp development ends listed player Aspen Group’s links with area which went back to the height of the property boom when its Aspen Development Fund Number 1 bought that estate and another in Chittering in a package from Futuris Corporation for $65 million in February 2007.
Since then, Aspen has completed about half the development prior to the sale to Cedar Woods. Earlier this year, it had sold another 32ha/350-lot site closer to the Byford town centre to Cedar Woods for $6.5 million.
Cedar Woods has been a stand-out performer in the property sector, reaping the rewards of a more stable balance sheet after holding back from buying at the height of the land boom late last decade.
According to Morningstar, Cedar Woods total shareholder return for the past five years has been among the state's best, with an annual average of 20 per cent and a very high 54 per cent during the past 12 months ending June 30. By comparison, Aspen recorded a five-year TSR average of -22 per cent and last financial year it was struggled at -45 per cent.
Cedar Woods WA state manager Stuart Duplock said the company was looking for acquisitions that fitted its portfolio and strategic needs.
In April, the company bought 40.5ha for $22.35 million in the northern eastern corridor suburb of Brabham on the eastern border of Whiteman Park.
“We are looking for sites that complement what we already have,” Mr Duplock said.
In the case of the land in Byford, Cedar Woods now has the equivalent of 680 lots in a growth area where it was not represented before this year.
Cedar Woods said the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale, which includes Byford, had population growth of 38 per cent during the 2006 to 2011 Census period, and is forecast to grow a further 44 per cent to 2016.