10/10/2019 - 09:45

Mirvac steps up affordability

10/10/2019 - 09:45

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National developer Mirvac is spearheading a push for more affordable housing product in Western Australia, with initiatives designed to provide a stepping stone to home ownership and reduce ongoing living costs.

Mirvac steps up affordability
An architect’s rendering of the Bennett Springs townhouse on offer for Mirvac’s Affordability Experiment. Image: Mirvac

National developer Mirvac is spearheading a push for more affordable housing product in Western Australia, with initiatives designed to provide a stepping stone to home ownership and reduce ongoing living costs.

The latest project is Mirvac’s Affordability Experiment, a partnership with electricity retailer Synergy and low-income loan provider Keystart.

Mirvac’s experiment allows a family to live in a high-tech house with a comprehensive range of sustainability features, including solar panels and batteries, and a water-efficient garden, for 12 months, with energy and water use to be monitored as well as spending and savings patterns.

Mirvac general manager residential WA, Paige Walker, said the initiative was an important step in showcasing medium-density terrace housing as an affordable alternative to a sprawling four-bedroom home.

“We hope to take key learnings from the experiment across areas including energy, water, landscaping, technology, automotion and finances to achieve increased efficiency and apply the concept at a larger-scale precinct level in the future,” Ms Walker said.

The Affordability Experiment complements Mirvac’s recently launched Rent to Buy initiative, which allows residents to pay rent that will be saved and refunded for use as a deposit to purchase a home.

Mirvac’s Rent to Buy initiative involves a 2.5 per cent deposit being placed on a property, and if rent payments are met for a 24- or 30-month period, Mirvac will transfer rent payments into a settlement account to be used as a loan deposit.

Speaking earlier this year at a roundtable discussion hosted by Western Australian Apartment Advocacy, Mirvac senior development manager Steven Kavalsky said the company was heavily committed to Rent to Buy, having acquired two sites to cater for the concept.

Mr Kavalsky said Mirvac’s Rent to Buy scheme had already been launched at Claremont, and while it was a trial limited to 10 apartments, it was designed to deal with the affordability aspect of purchasing a house.

“Developers are thinking more broadly, they are pushing the innovation barriers and affordability barriers as well,” he said.

“It’s just coming up with different ideas of how we move stock and how we market them, and it’s the messages that we’re putting out to market.

“We are constantly in dialogue with the Department of Communities and Keystart and we’re working with both of those on opportunities at the moment.”

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