28/09/2004 - 22:00

Property prices forced upwards

28/09/2004 - 22:00

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Property prices forced upwards

As the Shire of Busselton’s population increases and people clamour to possess their own share of the region, property prices are inevitably driven up as supply struggles to keep up with demand.

With several major Perth developers vying for a slice of the profit pie, including the Satterley Property Group, Heath Development Company, Saracen Properties, Mirvac Fini, W R Carpenter and the Lester Group, the standard of developments is increasing, and an estimated 5,000 new lots will be made available to the market in the next five years.

Real Estate agent Peter De Chiera has been based in Dunsborough for over 25 years, and the first home he sold for $26,000 is now worth over a million dollars.

Mr De Chiera said that there had been exceptional capital growth in the region.

“Capital growth has averaged 20 per cent per year in the last few years, and the growth in the area has been very dramatic,” Mr De Chiera said.

“The vast majority of buyers are lifestyle investors who want to secure a part of the region.”

He added that there was an acute shortage of listings under $500,000.

“The local government is trying, but struggling to provide the infrastructure necessary and there is a lack of appreciation by the State Government on the need for infrastructure spending.

“Developers are trying to take some of the pressure off by creating satellite towns such as Vasse Newtown,” Mr De Chiera said.

Koltasz Smith, development consultants and town planners partner Martin Richards said the complexities of the planning system were problematic, and were intensified because the pressure for growth in the region was so great.

“Just two years ago Dunsborough Lakes struggled to sell a handful of lots a year at $55,000 each.

“New owners, sensible upfront investment in soft and hard landscaping, better urban design and buyer confidence now sees the starting price in the low $90,000s with some elevated blocks fetching nearly $300,000,” Mr Richards said.

He added that the inundation of land availability and willing buyers led to planning difficulties.

“A more holistic approach to the way things are dealt with is needed rather than [it] being fragmented and reactionary,” Mr Richards said.

“A cohesive vision is needed, rather than addressing single issues.

“If what you are proposing lies within a vision, then it should be able to go ahead.

“The coastal location is why people come here and this needs to be maximised – a nucleus of development and activity are needed on the foreshore.”

Shire president Troy Buswell said the debate that needed to be had, is what physical size the towns would get to.

“Most people who live in Busselton or Dunsborough would not support unlimited urban sprawl,” Mr Buswell said.

“Modal development models, such as Vasse Newtown, with no physical links to the surrounding towns are an excellent way of dealing with growth.”

He added that the he did not support large-scale development on beachfront areas.

South West Labor MLC Adele Farina said the main street in Busselton was dying and that a more detailed stage of planning was required.

“The community is divided on foreshore development but a vision from the shire is needed,” Ms Farina said.

“There is enormous potential for growth, and it is going to happen whether people like it or not – the best option is to do it in a planned and sustainable way.”

Vasse MLA MP Bernie Masters said the urban aspect of planning had been done very well but there was a very significant failure to provide facilities and services that will be needed.

“The roads are not of a suitable standard, the hospital should be bulldozed and rebuilt, education facilities are inadequate, deep-sewerage provision is lacking and there has been a failure to provide recreational facilities,” Mr Masters said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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