09/11/2015 - 10:15

Congested market of high achievers

09/11/2015 - 10:15


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SPECIAL REPORT: New players have big ambitions in Perth’s apartment market, with listed company Finbar Group and Golden Group heading our ranking of the biggest developers.

Congested market of high achievers
BIG PLANS: Andrew Sugiaputra says Golden Group is planning to establish itself as a top apartment developer. Photo: Attila Csaszar

New players have big ambitions of climbing the ladder of Perth’s largest apartment developers.

Many companies may bill themselves as ‘Perth’s leading apartment developer’, but the numbers suggest only one player is clearly entitled to make the claim.

ASX-listed Finbar Group is the top gun, according to BNiQ research, with more than 4,400 apartments completed since its first project was finished in 1998.

However, the group’s pipeline is not the most prolific in the business, with Golden Group, best known for its land developments in Perth’s southern suburbs, laying claim to a $3 billion pipeline of 4,500 apartments at Belmont Park.

Finbar has just over 3,000 apartments on its work sheet, a schedule many pundits believe is more certain than Golden Group’s ambitions.

Nevertheless, Golden Group is expected to lodge the first development application at Belmont Park in a matter of months, following the Town of Victoria Park’s endorsement of planning guidelines for the Burswood Peninsula.

Golden Group managing director Andrew Sugiaputra said providing all levels of amenity, such as shops, cafes, supermarkets and services, alongside the apartments would be a unique proposition in Perth.

“It’s actually an opportunity, where you can really have a good think about where everything will fall into place and how each one of them will interact between the retailers and the residents within the first precinct,” he said.

Meanwhile, national development giant Lendlease also has designs on making its mark in Perth’s apartment market, despite its lack of project experience in Western Australia.

Lendlease recently lodged the first development application at its Waterbank project, where it ultimately plans to build 1,000 riverside apartments.

Other newcomers with nothing on the ground but big pipelines include internationals Fragrance Group and ICD Property, as well as locals Westbridge Property Group and Sirona Capital.

Among the locals with strong track records, Blackburne Property Group is another developer often talked about as a leader. Since being established by Paul Blackburne in 2003, the company’s development arm has completed more than 1,200 apartments, with a further 865 apartments in its pipeline.

Blackburne also has significant property management and marketing arms, with the diversified company the main driver behind Mr Blackburne’s reported estimated wealth of $536 million.

However, the BNiQ numbers show Blackburne is the third-most productive developer in WA, with Frasers Property Australia having built 1,749 apartments, with a further 1,282 being planned, mostly at Port Coogee and Cockburn Central.

Frasers WA residential general manager, Tony Perrin, said that total included a portfolio of properties developed by Australand, with which Frasers merged towards the end of last year.

“The history of our business speaks for itself, we’ve been in this market for a number of years producing a lot of product, and we went into this market many years ago because we saw it being the future,” Mr Perrin said.

Also among Perth’s top apartment developers are a trio of companies with significant construction operations.

ASX-listed developer and builder Diploma Group has developed 1,207 in its own right, but its completions total 3,087 when including apartments built for other companies.

Pindan has a similar track record; its construction business has started 3,505 apartments in the past 10 years, while its development arm, Pindan Capital, has completed 375 and has a forward pipeline of 807 units.

Construction giant BGC was unable to provide accurate data to Business News regarding its historical apartment development numbers.

BGC was responsible for building many of the thousands of brown brick flats situated around most of Perth’s suburbs and would likely be among the top producers.

Its recently established BGC Development subsidiary has a steady pipeline of modern projects, with more than 400 apartments in the works. Its Tribeca projects at The Springs in Rivervale are its flagship developments.


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