12/09/2013 - 15:40

Summit steps up renovation retail (with video)

12/09/2013 - 15:40


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Summit Homes Group has taken its focus on the home improvement business to a whole new level with tonight's launch of a $6 million indoor display centre with a second-storey renovation in Myaree.

Summit steps up renovation retail (with video)

Summit Homes Group has taken its focus on the home improvement business to a whole new level with tonight's launch of a $6 million indoor display centre with a second-storey renovation in Myaree.

The state’s fifth biggest residential home builder and 18th largest property developer believes its centre is a one-of-a-kind for a construction company, offering the ability to show off kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor entertainment spaces and even a second-level adults’ retreat extension in the same way that new home builders typically use display homes.

The facility will be officially opened this evening.

Summit managing director David Simpson said decades-long experience in home renovating had led to idea of giving customers the opportunity to feel and touch the fittings and finishes in one place.

Traditionally, the renovating clients have to independently undertake the time-consuming task of visiting specialist providers when refitting an established home.

“Although the internet is booming there is nothing like coming in to see it,” Mr Simpson told Business News.

The 2,462 square metre display centre has been built on a site adjoining Summit’s significant office and operational operations in Myaree.

Mr Simpson forecast a robust residential property market, including an expected 26 per cent increase in revenue for his group, although he cited delays in approvals for land releases as a significant issue despite years of industry complaints to government.

His predictions on buoyancy were backed up by the Master Builders Association, which last week stated that Western Australia’s residential construction market was set for a strong upturn, with low interest rates fuelling pent-up demand in the wake of strong population growth.

Mr Simpson said the home improvement market was growing, in part, because Perth’s sprawl made renovating an existing home in a more central suburb an increasingly attractive option.

Furthermore, the cost of housing transactions and the fact that children were staying at home longer weighed in favour of extending an existing house for some people when compared to building anew.      

John Simpson started the family owned business, in partnership with National Westminster Bank, in the 1960s as the Rockingham Park land development operation in what was then Perth’s most southern reaches.

In the 1980s, the group went into partnership with a builder under the banner Summit Homes.

“After the 200th time someone asked ‘do you know a builder’ we decided to into that market,” David Simpson said.

In the late 1990s the group bought out the bank and then, a couple of years later, took 100 per cent of the building operation.

“We were the silent partner,” Mr Simpson said.

“It was pretty daunting at the time.”

In 2011-12 the building business started nearly 860 homes, placing it fifth in the state behind Julian Walters’s JWH Group with almost 1,100 starts, Pindan with more than 1,120, Dale Alcock-led ABN Group’s 2,371, and Len Buckeridge’s BGC at almost 2,700.

Last financial year, Mr Simpson said, the company had 1,000 starts and turnover was $230 million in building alone. He is forecasting revenue of $290 million in 2013-14. The company directly employs 300 people and, in addition to home construction and renovation, has 16 business lines from plumbing to ceilings that complement its building operations.

Summit is unusual in being placed in the top 20 in both land development and home building. Only national property group Australand joins it in that space, ranking 11th in land development and 19th in residential construction starts.

In terms of land development, Summit has subdivided 1,821 hectares, which now have 10,000 homes on them in projects such as Heritage Park Estate, Parkland Heights and Harrington Waters Private Estate.

It has 2,000 lots in its land bank and 1,800 lots in estates under development, which ranked it ahead of the Lester Group and behind Aspen Group when Business News last surveyed the sector at the start of the year.

Aspen has since sold two Byford estates with about 500 lots to Cedar Woods, which is likely to push major listed developer to ninth position in WA ahead of private player Heath Development Company, which had slightly more than 4,000 lots under development.

Summit also owns a retirement village in Kingsley and commercial office buildings in Stirling and Subiaco.



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