Monday 28 February 2022

Commercial Deal Activity Hits Record Highs

Investors after a foothold in Australia’s commercial sector have been spending big, setting an annual record of $70.8 billion in transactions.

Deal volumes increased 69 per cent year-on-year, eclipsing the previous record set in 2015, according to the latest Australia Capital Trends report from Real Capital Analytics.

The report showed apartment buildings were the most tightly held income property asset with the volume of sales dropping 78 per cent.

Meanwhile, retail led the market with volumes increasing 138 per cent with several shopping centres exchanging hands.

The biggest deals were two industrial portfolios, Blackstone bought GIC’s 49 per cent share of the Dexus Logistics Trust for more than $2 billion and sold its Milestone Logistics Portfolio for $3.8 billion.

Blackstone continued to be a big player in the Australian property sector also making the biggest deal in offices, spending $925 million on a half share in Grosvenor Place.

This was followed by the EY Centre sale for $579 million when Mirvac teamed up with UK-based investor M&G Real Estate.

Acquisitions by property sector: Australia

Property 2021 Annual Change Change vs 2015-19 Average
Office $21.9bn 60% -11%
Industrial $28.0bn 71% 99%
Retail $17.2bn 138% 11%
All commercial $67.1bn 80% 24%
Hotel $2.1bn 55% 24%
Apartment $0.6bn -78% -27%
Seniors Housing $1.0bn 153% -11%
Income Properties $70.8bn 69% 20%

^Source: Australia Capital Trends report from Real Capital Analytics

RCA head of real estate research Asia Pacific David Green-Morgan said Australia was a top performer, behind only Singapore and China for industrial sales and Singapore for office sales in the region.

“The Australian market has bounced back significantly better than many of our global peers, particularly in the office and retail sector,” Green-Morgan said.

“Australia is one of the very few major markets that saw retail volumes increase on pre-Covid averages.”

RCA head of real estate research Benjamin Martin-Henry said the Sydney office sector was once again the number one investment market despite persistent uncertainty surrounding it.

“Investors have shown a lot of faith in the Sydney office market with some significant transactions over the year,” Martin-Henry said.

“We also have another $2-billion worth of Sydney offices awaiting settlement, which is a promising sign.”

Meanwhile Australian investors were the most interested party in domestic retail.


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Airlie Beach apartment development gets approval

Whitsunday Regional Council granted approval for the vacant lot on Port Drive to build three apartment blocks.

Meridien has secured approval for its 52 apartment complex at Airlie Beach.

It came after an approval recommendation from council officers for the proposed three and four-storey buildings, designed by Fender Katsalidis.

Whitsunday Regional Council granted  approval for the vacant lot on Port Drive to build three apartment blocks.

The plans for a residential and short-stay apartment development at 26-32 Port Drive includes one, two and three-bedroom layouts.

Mayor Andrew Willcox voted in favour of the development.

The proposal meet the town plan other than its height.

The council report noted its proposed height was lower there than existing buildings at the Port of Airlie.

The Balmain Group secured permission last year for a 12 storey hotel at 24 Coconut Grove, Airlie Beach.


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

How the French Art Deco influence inspired Greg Natale’s design of The AU, Surfer Paradise apartments

ASF Group’s brief to Natale was to create something very layered, with a strong European influence

The AU, a luxury apartment development situated across from Surfers Paradise Beach, is the first apartment development on the Gold Coast with interiors and common spaces by the interior design legend Greg Natale.

The Sydney-based Natale, who has clients all over the world, counts Hamilton Island House, on the exclusive Great Barrier Reef island, and Dawes Point House in Sydney, as some of his local work in his vast portfolio.

No designer has truly made it without New York City on their portfolio. Natale has previously designed a luxe apartment in Midtown Manhattan, and also a country house in Oklahoma in the Midwest of the USA.

The multi-award-winning Australian designer, who is known for his masterly use of pattern and colour, and his bold application of both in creating tailored, curated and sophisticated spaces, fit the bill for ASF Group, the developer behind The AU.

The AU

The AU
52A The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217 

ASF Group’s brief to Natale was to create something very layered, with a strong European influence.

“I opted for a light palette with French Deco influence so that the owners could add personality to the spaces with furniture and art,” Natale told Urban.

Rather than drawing inspiration from previous projects, Natale drew from the French Deco era for the interior design, inspired by French Deco motifs and finishes, crafting each space to harmoniously exist with the rest of the building’s form.

“The shared spaces have an elevated, polished and formal feeling which is a nice contrast to the beachside location. I worked with the organic, curvy nature of the architecture of the building and used curves and repeat circle motifs in my design,” he said.

“I love the European feel of the spaces right on this iconic beachfront location, and a favourite feature is the light and airy feel of the apartments.”

There are just 12 whole-floor apartments and 2 three-storey penthouses in the striking 19-level building, which features a facade made almost entirely of golden class. One of the five-bedroom penthouses with its own indoor-outdoor pool has already been snapped up for nearly $9 million.

The full-floor apartments start from 255 sqm and have four bedrooms, all with accompanying bathrooms, kitchens with natural stone bench tops, and an open-plan living and dining areas and a 14-metre-long balcony that faces the beach. Luxury starts immediately, with a private lift entry for residents.

The resident amenity is located on the podium level, with a gym and residents’ lounge space, which sit beside the infinity pool that looks out across the sand and ocean.

The podium level also features a barbecue and dining facilities, along with a sauna, ideal for unwinding after a few laps in the pool.


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Cromwell flags $3b office float as it goes capital light

Cromwell Property Group has flagged plans to carve out and spin off a $3 billion portfolio of Australian office towers into a separate, managed property trust as part of its broader transition into a “capital light” fund manager.

The move to demerge and float its Australian office assets – the mooted trust could hit a market capitalisation of close to $2 billion – comes as the Brisbane-based player accelerates plans to shift its efforts into funds management, while holding co-investment stakes in the vehicles it manages.

The strategy has taken shape since the appointment of a new chief executive, former Investa head Jonathan Callaghan, who was appointed to the top post last year after a period of corporate turmoil at the $2.3 billion company.

Cromwell’s existing portfolio includes more than $12 billion of assets, with interests in Australia, Asia and Europe. That put Cromwell in a good position to become “a capital efficient global real estate fund manager”, Mr Callaghan told shareholders, handing down the 2022 interim results.

“Over the past 10 years funds management security prices have significantly outperformed REITs (real estate investment trusts),” he said.

“Central to our future strategy is the aim for Cromwell to transition to a capital light funds management business model.


“The new externally managed REIT is the first step in furthering this strategic ambition, while giving investors the option to invest in two different vehicles with different risk return and growth profiles.”

The new REIT, which will be created out of the 17-asset portfolio Cromwell holds locally, forms part of a broader strategy Mr Callaghan outlined which includes simplifying the business, extending its existing funds management platform in Europe and Australia, and developing more capital partner relationships.

Mr Callaghan, a former lawyer, was appointed to lead Cromwell after his predecessor Paul Weightman effectively walked the plank, in an effort to stave off further ructions with its Cromwell’s major investor, Singapore’s ARA Asset Management, which has since been taken over by ESR. In the fallout from the upheaval renowned corporate raider Gary Weiss took over as Cromwell chairman.

On Thursday, Cromwell reported a 2022 interim statutory profit of $132.5 million, which takes into account changes in portfolio valuations includes, down from $145.2 million a year earlier.

Operating profit rose to $96.4 million, compared to the 2021 interim result of $99.1 million. It has paid 3.25¢ in distributions over the 2022 first half and flagged a 1.625¢ payment for the March quarter.


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

This graph shows why it’s so hard to save a house deposit

Australian home values rose almost 10 times faster than wages last year, with the market boom pushing the dream of homeownership further out of reach for more Australians.

House prices across the country surged 22.1 per cent last year, according to CoreLogic figures, while wages rose just 2.3 per cent, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.

“That’s a massive gap,” said CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless. “[However] even though we haven’t seen such a large gap historically, it’s very common for housing values to rise substantially more than wages have, hence this ongoing worsening affordability.”

CoreLogic modelling shows dwelling values climbed at more than double the annual pace of wages over the past decade, up by an average of 5.5 per cent each year compared with a 2.3 per cent average rise in the wage price index.

While there had been periods where wage growth was the stronger of the two, it had been substantially outstripped by rising home values long term, Mr Lawless said. Dwelling values nationally have almost tripled over the past two decades, up about 194 per cent as of December 2021, while wages climbed about 81 per cent.

Every state and territory recorded a substantially larger lift in property values, both last year and long term. Tasmania had the largest gap in 2021 with dwelling values surging 28.7 per cent – the strongest growth in the country – while wages lifted 3 per cent.

NSW and Tasmania had the largest difference over the decade, with dwelling values increasing more than four and three times faster than wages respectively. They were followed by Victoria and the ACT where values climbed more than two-and-a-half times faster.

Mr Lawless said those already in the property market had seen the benefit of equity accrual, but the substantial difference between property and wage growth had made raising a deposit and funding transaction costs a more formidable challenge for first-home buyers.

“It makes it harder and prospective buyers may need to be more flexible in the housing they aspire to in their first home, potentially turning to apartments rather than houses, they might need to look a bit further afield to the outer suburbs … and a lot more people are looking regionally as well,” he said.

More Australians would also have to rent long term, which would affect household wealth, retirement and rates of homelessness, he said.

HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham said the fall in interest rates to record lows had been key to the widening gap, with cheaper access to credit enabling households to borrow more money, ultimately driving up property prices at a rate that significantly outpaced sluggish income growth.

Though first-home buyers today have lower borrowing costs, Mr Bloxham said they faced an accessibility or affordability challenge, as they needed to save a larger deposit and take on more debt to get into the market.

Shore Financial chief executive Theo Chambers said many of his first-home buyer clients, who stretch across the east coast, were turning to help from family to get into the market, either via a cash contribution or a loan guarantee.

“The bank of mum and dad is helping a lot … I’d say at least half, say 60 per cent [are getting help],” he said, noting it was even more common in more affluent areas like Sydney’s lower north shore and eastern suburbs.

Buyers had compromised more on their wish lists and borrowed more to keep up with the market, Mr Chambers said, noting record low rates in recent years had made people happy to borrow more – sending debt-to-income ratios climbing. While the majority of the mortgage broker’s clients were still trying to borrow at their maximum, growing talk of rate hikes was making more people think twice.

Mr Bloxham said sluggish wage growth figures suggested the Reserve Bank would not be in any hurry to lift interest rates, and would move gradually when it did. He expects to see two cash rate hikes in the third and fourth quarter, taking the rate to 0.5 per cent by the end of the year, at a cash rate of 1.25 per cent by the end of 2023.

That will cool the housing market, at the same time as wages are hoped to improve. While the gap between property and wage growth would narrow as a result, affordability would still be a challenge, Mr Bloxham said, with first-home buyers facing both high prices and rising mortgage rates.

“If we want to remedy this situation … a lot of the focus needs to be on boosting housing supply,” he said. “That involves more supply in cities, more urban infill, looking at the regulatory environment to allow more land to become available. That’s the sort of direction that policy ought to take to deal with the affordability challenge.”

Mr Lawless said slowing property price growth and potential falls to come, combined with the outlook for higher wages, could narrow the gap and lead to temporary improvement, but that it would take a lot more to address the underlying issues causing poor housing affordability.

In addition to boosting housing supply, Mr Lawless said governments should be reviewing the impact of transactional costs like stamp duty, with many more properties now subject to the highest rates, ensuring infrastructure programs run parallel with population growth, and providing more funding to support those who cannot afford to buy or rent.


Article Source:



from Queensland Property Investor

Friday 25 February 2022

Hutchinson Builders could seek 443 Queen St, Brisbane construction tender second time around

Hutchinson Builders had bid for the project but could not compete with Probuild on the construction tender price.

With an estimated $5 billion in office, residential and infrastructure projects, Probuild had 18 major projects underway when administrator Deloitte Australia was appointed on Wednesday.

Stronger-than-expected pre-sales for Cbus Property’s 443 Queen saw construction begin ahead of schedule in August 2017

Probuild’s long-delayed 443 Queen St apartment project in Brisbane was a major contributor to the construction company’s failure as costs ran out of control, according to industry insiders.

Hutchinson Builders had bid for the project but could not compete with Probuild on the construction tender price.

With an estimated $5 billion in office, residential and infrastructure projects, Probuild had 18 major projects underway when administrator Deloitte Australia was appointed on Wednesday.

Due to its unique design the 443 Queen St tower has been described as a “tropical high rise Queenslander.”

“We came second on that job but Probuild were well under us (on price),” Hutchinson Builders chairman Scott Hutchinson told Brisbane’s Courier Mail following the rival Probuild going into administration this week.

443 Queen Street

443 Queen Street 443 Queen Street, Brisbane QLD 4000 

“Costs ran out of control,” Hutchinson speculated.

“Financiers are backing these projects without asking whether they have the balance sheet to complete the jobs.”

He said clients also had a role to play ensuring the price of building a project added up for contractors.

“The problem is some will want to get a backyard builder to construct the Opera House,” Mr Hutchinson said.

Mr Hutchinson said his firm would be interested in taking on incomplete projects but it was too early to make any decisions.

Hutchinson noted that Probuild’s South African parent Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO) had realised to its peril that the Australian construction industry was one of the toughest in the world to make money.

In a statement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Wednesday, WBHO said the “level of risk versus reward” in the Australian construction market meant the company would no longer provide financial assistance to Probuild.

Responsibility for the cost blowout of completion of the 47-level apartment tower at 443 Queen Street in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD will now be taken up by its developer Cbus Property, which is understood to have approached Melbourne lawyers Arnold Bloch Leibler on Thursday to represent them.

The press reports have suggested the project “may be haemorrhaging as much as $120 million,” The Australian reported.

WBHO blamed, in part, the Australian government’s “hardline approach of managing Covid-19”.

“A combination of border restrictions, snap lockdowns and mandatory work-from-home regulations for many sectors, has had a considerable impact on property markets,” it said in a statement.

Stronger-than-expected pre-sales for Cbus Property’s 443 Queen had seen the construction announcement ahead of schedule in August 2017 with the appointment of “tier 1 firm Probuild.” There was a 2020 completion schedule.

At the time, more than half of the 264 apartments had been sold as demolition of the office onsite and construction got underway at what was the last riverfront location in the Brisbane central business district.

The 47 storey tower which will include 106 one bedroom, 106 two bedroom and 54 four bedroom apartments saw 52 sales on its November 2016 launch weekend. Prices ranged from $569,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to $3 million for a four-bedroom. The vast majority of buyers were Brisbane owner occupiers, with 10 per cent of buyers from interstate.

By October 2020 when construction had been scheduled for completion, The Courier Mail reported it was only up to level 32  after a “revolving door of Probuild site managers.”

A blunder had seen windows in nine levels pulled out which threw the work sequence out for plumbers, plasterers, tilers and other trades.

COVID-19 restrictions on the three lifts on site allowed only four people at a time instead of the usual 10, so with almost 200 workers on the job, it’s taking some of them an hour before their work started.

Probuild wanted the trades to put in longer hours, but ran into opposition from the CFMEU.

There was one crane on site instead of two as the firm sought ways to cut costs.

The development application for the project was lodged with the Brisbane City Council in 2015, with subsequent extensive court delays from neighbours who were set to have their views impacted.


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Cube lodge application for $30 million residential community in Peregian Springs

Once approved, it will offer one of the last opportunities for freehold land in the coveted Peregian Springs region.

The Sunshine Coast developer Cube Developments has lodged plans for a $30 million residential community in Peregian Springs, which will be one of the last opportunities for freehold land in the coveted region.

The community, dubbed Lumeah, will see just 33 land lots released, ranging from 500s qm to 800 sqm.

The 2.79 hectare site on Pavilion Drive was originally pinned for 51 townhouses but instead, Cube is seeking to offer 33 exclusive land parcels.

The project, which has been lodged as a joint venture with Queensland builder McNab, will benefit from its position of being a short walk from the Peregian Springs Shopping Centre, beach and Surf Lifesaving Club and Peregian Beach Village, as well as being close by to well-regarded private and state schools.

Director of Cube Developments Scott Juniper said Lumeah has been designed to fit in with the existing style and feel of the surrounding streetscapes, with plenty of landscaping to its verges.

“The site itself is just spectacular, it’s nestled within the leafy and well-established community of Peregian Springs and is a stone’s throw from some of the best beaches the Sunshine Coast has to offer,” Juniper said.

“Majority of blocks back onto scenic outlooks and provide unbelievable ocean views.”

“We made the call alongside McNab to reduce the density from the existing DA approval for 51 townhouses, as we feel as though 33 lots is more aligned with the surrounding residents and will give this estate a truly prized and intimate feel.”

Peregian Springs is a small oceanside community just south of Noosa that boasts wide open greenspace, oceans and wildlife conservation sites.


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Gallery’s Surfers Paradise 35-Storey Tower Green Lit

A $290-million Gold Coast tower that underlines the trend for more space in apartments has been approved for one of the Glitter Strip’s main roads.

Plans for the Gallery Group’s 35-storey Chalk project on a 2064sq m site at 203-211 Surf Parade in Surfers Paradise were lodged with the Gold Coast City Council in August 2021.

The project will comprise 76 three-bedroom apartments, 36 of them with between 275sq m and more than 300sq m and priced from $2 million, from level six; and 24 two-bedroom apartments up to 119sq m, priced from $971,000.

The larger penthouse apartments start from $3.6 million and are on level 19 and above.

Local architects Raunik Design drew up the plans for the project, which has an average of 250sq m per apartment.

“We wanted to deliver a level of spaciousness and open-plan living that is typically unheard of in apartment living,” Barclay said.

“To put this size into perspective, the average Australian home is 235sq m—which are now the largest homes in the world.”

The move to greater space in apartments has been one of the by-products of the global pandemic, drive by a rise in owner-occupiers in prime sea- and tree-change destinations, with the Gold Coast among the most coveted locations.


▲ Gallery Group’s Chalk on Surf Parade has been green lit. Source: Gallery Group 

“The desire for more space and a lifestyle shift during the pandemic rearranged many lives; we’re looking for bigger homes, more flexible homes and for some, a second home,” Colliers’ managing director of residential Peter Chittenden said.

“The now well-publicised popularity of many coastal and regional locations has shifted demand for a greater variety of suburban locations and a huge appetite for prestige locations, both homes and apartments.

“During the past six months, we’ve noted strong demand for larger quality apartments with sales above $10 million, at their highest level ever.

“While open borders will further boost CBD demand, we expect this level of high-end demand marks a new and timely level of sophistication.”

Chalk also includes a residents-only full floor with a gym, steam room, pool deck and pool, spa, barbecues, teppanyaki bars, fire pit and cabanas.

It will also have a business centre with boardroom and workstations, and an on-site cafe.


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Should you be able to know how much your neighbours sold their house for?

Secret sale prices are in the spotlight after the Victorian government’s property market review raised the issue of uneven access to price information.

In most cases, when a property for sale finds a buyer, the selling agent marks its online listing as sold and includes the sold price, but sometimes labels it “price withheld”.

Vendors and buyers may request the price be kept off the sold listing, especially for more expensive properties or in sensitive situations such as a divorce or deceased estate.

The state government review lists challenges for the property market aside from underquoting and housing affordability, including that it can be difficult for buyers to test the accuracy of a price guide set for a property.

“Tools and databases exist to help identify market trends and accurately value properties,” the review’s consultation paper says. “However, the publicly available versions of these lack granularity and specificity.

“The detailed information they contain is only available to subscribers who pay substantial fees. The review understands that many real estate industry professionals pay for this access.”

Many buyers rely on price guides to decide which properties to inspect, but it is difficult for them to independently verify what a reasonable selling price might be, making an accurate price guide “a critical element of a fair and efficient sales process”, the paper said.

All property prices become public on settlement and can be accessed through a land title search – for a fee, and with a delay.

Whitefox Advocacy managing director Nicole Jacobs met this week with a new client who was trying to research the market but sometimes could not get sold price data, which felt like “flying blind”.

“It is definitely something that plagues buyers because if they’re trying to do their due diligence, which is great, trying to work out where that property sits in the market and they have holes in the market, it’s very difficult,” she said.

She was also sympathetic to sellers, such as a chief executive who did not want their employees to know their home sale price.

“It does come down to the agent using the correct Statement of Information to give correct data,” she said.

“They have to include data from all the information that’s out there, and that will include databases.”

Wakelin Property Advisory director Jarrod McCabe has seen buyers unable to find out how much a property sold for.

property market

Sometimes vendors don’t want neighbours or colleagues to know how much their home sold for.CREDIT:PAUL ROVERE 

“Not being able to determine what a property sold for can influence buyers in terms of what they might be prepared to pay because they don’t know what the market has been prepared to pay for a similar property,” he said.

“Buyers use sale prices to determine whether they should be prepared to stretch a bit more, or not pay up to a certain level.”

At the top end of the property market, a withheld price is the first thing many vendors request, Jellis Craig Stonnington partner Michael Armstrong said.

“Some people have very public jobs, and I sympathise on that front with people not wanting others to know what is personal information,” he said, adding the trend was a particular Melbourne trait.

“There’s a counterbalance to say the market functions more freely when accurate information is available to everyone.”

In practice, he said buyer’s advocates and valuers ask agents for withheld prices as part of their research, and in situations where a trusted relationship exists an agent may share information where they know their trust will not be abused.

He said agents are duty bound to put the most relevant comparable sales on their Statement of Information, and that can include undisclosed results.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria president Adam Docking said withheld prices are a “tiny, tiny part of the market” and often due to family reasons, a divorce or a deceased estate.

He noted that prices become public later, after settlement.

“It’s just for privacy – neighbours, ex-boyfriends, whatever, anybody who wants to know what a property sold for wants to know straight away,” he said.

“By the time it’s released through the Valuer General maybe they’ve forgotten.”

He added agents, in practice, ring another agent and ask for a withheld price if it’s useful for an appraisal, and the agent would then reply with the price and a request not to use it in their marketing.

“In metro Melbourne there’s enough sales results to be able to use for a Statement of Information, and if there’s not enough sales results the agent will use their professional judgement to set the price for the SOI without using direct comparables,” he said.

“The welfare of the people involved in the transaction, being the purchasers and the vendors, must be paramount with any decision the government takes with regard to disclosure of prices.”

Wakelin’s Mr McCabe advises buyers to focus on more than just the sale price, and to attend relevant public auctions to find out more detail.

Was there only one person bidding? Were there five bidders? But of those five, did three drop out $300,000 below where the home sold?

“Easier access to information is always going to help,” he said.

“Information is not necessarily knowledge. Just because you’ve got the sale prices, doesn’t necessarily mean you know what the market’s doing.”


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Commercial property investors push yields down to new low

Bullish investors pushed up the prices of investment properties and the corresponding yields down to a record low across Burgess Rawson auctions in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane this week.

Over the past three days, 32 out of 41 properties were sold for a total of $134 million on a blended yield of 5.03 per cent, lower than the 5.10 per cent average yield recorded across all Burgess Rawson auctions last year.

Melbourne was the standout, featuring a blended yield of 4.51 per cent, the lowest of any of the company’s auctions, aided by exceptional demand for five large format retail assets.

At the final auction in Brisbane on Thursday, listing numbers were affected by the late surge of omicron in the state, with six properties put up for auction and five of them selling.

“Coming out of the gates a little slower, we found that vendors were hesitant to list property while Queensland was going through its first COVID outbreak,” Burgess Rawson partner Campbell  Bowers said.

“But the buyer interest was there, and we had strong bidding across all the properties.”

Four out of the five Queensland properties sold to interstate investors, with the best result a showroom and retail outlet in Currumbin Waters with a new five-year lease sold to national electrical retailer Haymans.

After spirited bidding, the buyer paid $1.908 million for the property on a yield of 4.46 per cent.

Mr Bowers said Currumbin Waters, on the southern Gold Coast, is a “very, very busy area and property prices have just gone through the roof”.

The highest price paid on the day was $6.125 million for the fully leased ground floor of the Otto building at Mermaid Beach, also on the Gold Coast, with an initial annual rental return of $305,000.

It has a mixed tenant base including a dental surgery, laser clinic, radiologist and tax account. It sold on an initial yield of sold of 4.98 per cent.


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Thursday 24 February 2022

Lendlease’s over 55’s vertical retirement village, Bernborough Ascot opens display apartment

Two and three-bedroom apartments are available, starting from $655,000

Lendlease’s over 55’s vertical retirement project, Bernborough Ascot, has opened its newly designed display apartment.

It has been styled by furniture and design brands, Coco Republic.

Designed by architects Marchese Partners, each apartment offers open plan living and large balconies for entertaining.

When completed, Bernborough Ascot will feature 300 independent living apartments with amenities including a village green, health and wellness studio with a pool, spa, gymnasium and consulting rooms, a rooftop terrace, restaurant, and outdoor dining areas.

Two and three-bedroom apartments are available, starting from $655,000.

“Ascot is one of Brisbane’s most premium suburbs, so the design of the display apartment had to reflect the demographic and complement the luxury track-side location of the village,” Coco Republic’s National Commercial Manager, Charlotte Dub said.

Lendlease Retirement Living managing director, Nathan Cockerill said the availability of high-quality retirement living options was an important part of this precinct.

“Ascot is one of Brisbane’s most premium suburbs, so the design of the display apartment had to reflect the demographic and complement the luxury track-side location of the village.

“Partnering with Coco Republic provides an excellent opportunity for retirees considering downsizing to seek information and advice from their team of experts.

“The availability of high-quality retirement living options is an important part of this precinct, creating diversity and the chance for retirees to downsize in style in a genuine community setting,” he said.

“We’re creating a connected community where residents have the utmost choice and opportunity to pursue an active lifestyle, being close to all essential health and community services, shopping, and sporting facilities.”


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Probuild collapse to hit apartment project delivery

Its South African parent appointed administrators after propping it up over the past four years

The South African parent company of Probuild has appointed administrators to the Australian construction company.

Workers were leaving Probuild construction sites on Wednesday.

Workers were first seen removing their tools from Cbus Property’s 443 Queen St project in Brisbane, a much delayed project.

Its projects also included in Melbourne, the Far East Consortium’s West Side Place project site, a $2 billion, four-tower development.

Probuild have been constructing the latest stage at the master planned Caulfield Village, delivering over 430 Build-To-Rent (BTR) apartments, for the BECK Property Group.

Projects include the 65-storey residential UNO building in Melbourne scheduled for completion next year.

The Melbourne-based firm, one of the largest construction companies in Australia, took over construction of Sydney’s new glass IMAX building in Darling Harbour after the collapse of Grocon.

It is also doing construction for Frasers Property at Macquarie Park.

Probuild directly employs 500 staff, with the collpase set to impact on thousands working as subcontractors.

Apartment developers will need to update their off the plan buyers on revised construction timelines.

Johannesburg-listed builder Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon confirmed it put the Australian business into administration after it had been operating at a loss.

“With effect from 22 February 2022, the company… will no longer provide financial assistance to [Probuild holding company] WBHO Australia,” WBHO said in a statement.

Deloitte Turnaround & Restructuring partners Sal Algeri, Jason Tracy, Matt Donnelly and David Orr will be the Voluntary Administrators over certain companies within the WBHO Australia Group.

Probuild’s most recent annual financial filings put revenue at $1.3billion.

Algeri confirmed WBHOA had been a  major contributor to the construction sector and the broader economy, including as a direct and indirect employer.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenging trading conditions for many businesses, and for WBHOA, which has also been impacted by certain loss-making projects.

“Our immediate focus will be to undertake an urgent assessment of the entities’ financial positions and work with key stakeholders to stabilise the business and projects where possible.

“We will assess options to preserve value, and engage closely with creditor groups and other stakeholders across the spectrum, including clients, employees, unions, suppliers, contractors and sub-contractors.

“We will also also be commencing a sale and recapitalisation process in order secure a new owner for the businesses.”

A $300 million acquisition of Probuild fell through in January last year after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he would reject China State Construction Engineering Corporation’s bid for the Australia-based and South African-owned company.

National security concerns linked to state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corporation’s connections to the Chinese defence industry was understood to be a key reason for the Treasurer not to approve the foreign investment.

Maxwell Shifman, National President of the Urban Development Institute of Australia, recently noted cost blow-outs in the wake of the initial success of HomeBuilder had created major underlying challenges for the industry in what was emerging as possibly a “profitless boom.”


Article Source:


from Queensland Property Investor

What you need to know before renovating an investment property

Everyone loves a renovator’s delight, but how often do they turn into a renovator’s ruin?

Far more often than you’d imagine, says Belinda Botzolis, valuer and senior property strategist at Metropole Property.

Because while it can be good fun with an investment property to pull out a rickety old kitchen and replace it with acres of gleaming marble, and to transform a grotty bathroom into a dazzling white spa, many amateurs discover that they’ve spent far more than they could ever recoup.

“It’s easy to get carried away and overcapitalise on an investment property,” Botzolis says.

“A lot of the time, I blame social media like Instagram and then the beautiful pictures in home magazines. People want to emulate the images and, too late, they discover that those tiles are handmade imported porcelain and cost $130 a square metre.

“People can just get caught up in the beauty of renovations rather than thinking about what they want to achieve. Every dollar you spend, you want to get at least $2 back, otherwise there’s no point. Of course, you want to attract good tenants and maybe sell later for a higher price, but if your property is in an area where people are happy with Laminex, why would you choose Carrara marble?”

Australians are still in the midst of a pandemic renovation frenzy, with $11.82 billion worth of renovation approvals granted last year.

But while the lack of international travel means many of us have more spare cash than ever before to splurge on renovations, it’s important, with an investment house or apartment, to not go too far.

In a market with rapidly rising prices, it’s even easier to overspend.

But to get the best bang for your buck, it’s wise to be more cautious, say the experts.

“In a city like Sydney, property values will still double every seven to 10 years,” says Phil Lovell of architectural builders Lawson and Lovell.

“And if you’re in an exclusive area as an owner-occupier, by the time you’ve finished your renovation, your home will have increased in value a lot.


“But with an investment property, it’s important you go with a reputable builder and be careful not to overcapitalise.”

It’s also critical not to be too avant-garde with the renovation of an investment property, warns Peter Georgiev, director of Archicentre Australia.

He was once asked to design a bathroom in a house with clear glass walls, but persuaded the owner to add some etchings to the glass to avoid everyone outside seeing everything.

Another notable trend to avoid, he advises, is having a bathroom in a bedroom.

“But real estate prices generally are going up so much, and rents are so healthy, that whatever you spend, eventually the marketplace will give it back to you,” Georgiev says.

“And if you go into debt to renovate, now is a good time with such low interest rates.

“But generally, with an investment, you just want to create something that’s nice and clean and neat.”

That also means something that’s not too in vogue, which will date easily, agrees Botzolis.

“If you’re spending a lot, go more for something Grace Kelly and rather less the Kardashians,” she says. “You want it to age well so you can follow the money, rather than the latest trend.”


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Brisbane’s office market takes off with more than $500m in sales

Lendlease has bought into Brisbane’s Olympian dream through its new $1.5 billion opportunity fund, Real Estate Partners 4, partnering with Marquette Properties to buy the so-called Dexus “Blue Tower” at 12 Creek Street for $391 million.

The property first went to market in August last year with a price guide of $450 million and is understood to have had serious early interest from Arrow Capital Partners with backing from Starwood Capital.

But that did not go ahead, with Marquette filling the breach and selling its vision for the building – which includes a $25 million repositioning plan – to Lendlease, which has 49 per cent of the partnership.

The balance is held by Marquette and a syndicate of 180 investors it pulled together to seal the deal with Dexus, which was facilitated by Justin Bond and Paul Roberts from Knight Frank and CBRE agents Bruce Baker and Flint Davidson.

Marquette now controls four buildings in the Brisbane CBD, including the “Gold Tower” at 10 Eagle Street, which it bought from Dexus and CPP Investment Board for $285 million last year.

Toby Lewis, managing director of Marquette, said he was “really excited” to be working with Lendlease, which fully endorsed the upgrade strategy in a city awash with 39 A-grade buildings, of which Blue Tower is one, but only a handful of premium offices.

“There’s only five premium-grade buildings in Brisbane and four of them have never sold, there’s great scarcity,” Mr Lewis said.

“So we want to elevate ourselves out of A-grade into premium grade, and we think that the building has all the attributes to that, we just have to tinker with it.”

In another major Brisbane CBD sale, global asset manager Mercer has bought the 25-storey office tower at 179 Turbot Street from KWAP, Malaysia’s largest public services pension fund, for $155 million.

The sale amount is well under the $172 million KWAP paid for the asset in 2013, reflecting its occupancy rate of about 50 per cent.

Brisbane market sources say KWAP adopted an inflexible rental strategy in which it opted not to meet the market in a city with routinely high vacancy rates, leading to a gradual exodus of tenants.

They say it remains an attractive, good-quality building with ample scope for Mercer and asset manager Investa to quickly boost current occupancy through a strategic leasing campaign.

Meanwhile, two new office assets in Fortitude Valley close to the Brisbane CBD have come on to the market, which has been buoyed by Brisbane winning the hosting rights for the Olympic Games in 2032.

AXA Investment Managers has listed Green Square South Tower at 505 St Pauls Terrace with a price guide of around $200 million.

It is being marketed by Tom Phipps, Bruce Baker and Peter Chapple from CBRE, and JLL’s Seb Turnbull and Paul Noonan.

Nearby, the HQ South Tower at 520 Wickham Street is also up for sale with a guide of $140 million. CBRE and Knight Frank are marketing the property, owned by M&G Real Estate, which occupies a 3000 square metre site.


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Morris Property Group Unveils Its Eighth Broadbeach Tower

Morris Property Group has lodged plans for a high-rise apartment tower on the northern edge of the Gold Coast’s Broadbeach, a project it hopes will tap into the demand for new beachfront apartments by interstate migrants.

The 38-storey project, planned for an amalgamated 1300sq m site at 13-15 Armrick Avenue, would be built across a vacant block and replace an ageing two-storey apartment block.

Morris Property Group, headed by Barry Morris, paid $8.8 million to put together the two titles in mid-2021.

The vacant block was sold with existing development approval for a 10-level building of 30 apartments.

The proposed 160-apartment development, designed by Canberra-based architects Guida Moseley Brown, will be targeted at local buyers as well as the interstate owner-occupier market.

The tower, to be known as Crest Broadbeach, will offer five two-bedroom apartments per floor between levels six and 32 and a mix of two- and three-bedroom apartments through to level 34.

The building’s top three floors will feature three three-bedroom apartments per floor.

A wellness centre, gymnasium, barbeque and dining area, and communal pool are planned for the top of the building’s podium on level five.

If realised, the development will be within 800m of the Broadbeach CBD, 1.8km from the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre and 1.9km from the Surfers Paradise CBD.

It will also be serviced by the Gold Coast Light Rail with the Florida Gardens Station 500m away.

Morris Property Group

▲ The site is close to Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise as well as the Star Casino and Gold Coast Convention Centre. Image: Guida Moseley Brown Architects 

The development will be the Morris Property Group’s eighth Broadbeach high-rise residential development.

Nearby, the developer has delivered Qube, a 40-storey, 200-apartment project, and Koko, a 31-storey development comprising 94 two-bedroom apartments and five three-bedroom, half-floor sub-penthouses.

Another development, Opus, comprising 113-apartments across 27-storeys is planned for a site on the opposite side of the bowls club from the proposed Armrick Ave tower.

The group is also developing Sandbar and Boardwalk at Burleigh Heads and Otto at Mermaid Beach, among other projects.

Nearby at 9-11 Armrick Avenue, Brisbane-based developer Turrisi Properties is pressing ahead with plans for a $100-million, 22-storey residential development at 9-11 Armrick Avenue before the Gold Coast City Council.

Prolific Sydney developer Iris Capital has also joined the Gold Coast property rush, lodging plans for a $800-million, two-tower project at Broadbeach’s Niecon Plaza site—the biggest project at Broadbeach since the completion of The Oracle apartments more than a decade ago.

It also has plans for a 38-storey apartment tower for a narrow 900sq m site at 73 Garfield Terrace in Surfers Paradise.

Gold Coast-based developer Leonard Steiner and joint venture partner Dimitri Katsimberis have lodged plans for a similarly scaled development on the corner of First Avenue and Surf Parade in Broadbeach comprising 46 apartments.

Meanwhile, Broadbeach Luxe Development, headed by director John Kubatov, recently launched its six-star, $160-million residential project at 2 Charles Avenue, comprising 28 apartments.

Sydney developer Macquarie Developments Group has also joined the fray, paying about $4.5 million for a 1200sq m corner block at 15 Rosewood Avenue. The site was sold with a permit for 186 apartments over 39 levels.


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Buyer cheat sheet: Where it’s easiest to upgrade from a unit to a house

Never has the gap between the cost of units and houses been so wide.

Last year’s extraordinary property boom saw prices rise almost everywhere in Australia and while units were not exempt from the rising market, it was the price of houses that really stole the show.

In the space of just 12 months, the median price for a house in Australia jumped by $214,250, soaring past $1 million.

Units also rose during that time but not by nearly as much: the median price rose by a comparatively modest $44,317 in the 12 months to December 2021.

It has become especially difficult in the capital cities, where the price gap between units and houses has completely blown out since the pandemic hit. The sudden rush of buyers to homes with more space saw demand for houses accelerate and prices skyrocket, while demand for units languished.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Sydney, where the price difference between the unit median and house median has leapt from $400,000 in December 2019 – before COVID – to $799,000 in December 2021.

The cost of a house is now double that of a unit. In some Sydney suburbs – Strathfield, Collaroy, Woolooware and Killara to name a few – the price gap between units and houses runs into the millions of dollars.

The median cost of a house in Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast is about $1.7 million more than the median price of a unit, while a house in New Farm, in Brisbane’s inner north, costs about $1.5 million more than a unit. Houses in Bulimba and Ashgrove are an $800,000 upgrade from a unit.

It’s a tough reality for buyers, says Domain head of research and economics Nicola Powell.

“It’s really polarising for owners of units who have their sights set on that Aussie dream of a house,” she said.

“When you’ve seen that gap grow, particularly if you’re a young family or expanding and you need that additional space, it can be disheartening.

“It’s probably changed the dynamics of a property journey.”

But there are always points of difference within a wider trend. An analysis of Domain data has found that across the country, there are suburbs and towns where the gap between units and houses sits at less than 10 per cent, and multiple examples of where the gap sits at around 20 per cent.

Dr Powell said while some of the areas with a small price gap between units and houses offered a relatively easy upgrade, it was important to note the nuance in each local market.

“When you’ve got a place where the price of units and houses isn’t miles apart, first of all it allows buyers to have greater choice and it means these are the areas where people can upgrade their property sooner. That’s important,” she said.

“Sometimes though, what you’re paying for is a buyer decision. For example, in some coastal towns, you may be able to get a house for not much more than a unit, but the units on offer may be on the waterfront, while the house is inland without the views and the lifestyle.

“So, while it’s possible to upgrade without taking on too much more debt, it’s about the makeup of the types of property there. A town like Goulburn in NSW doesn’t have a lot of major high-rises. The difference between a unit and a house there will be much closer than, say, Mosman or Bondi in Sydney.”


The Queensland town of Nelly Bay takes out the title for the easiest place in which to upgrade from a unit to a house in the entire country. And the gap isn’t just affordable, it’s non-existent – the median price for a house is actually 15.8 per cent less than the median price for a unit.

Nelly Bay, located on Magnetic Island off the coast of Townsville in north Queensland, has a property market where units reign supreme, said local agent Lorraine Marshall of Helen Munro Property.

“There aren’t many houses that are absolutely waterfront. Most of them are inland, whereas there’s a lot of units on the island that are literally right on the water with incredible views,” she said. “That’s why they’re more expensive.”

Ms Munro said local units and houses were being inundated with interest from first-home buyers, upgraders, downsizers and interstate buyers.

“It’s a real mixed bag at the moment. I think what’s great about Nelly Island is that there is the option to move freely between units and houses, depending on what you’re after. Some people end up selling their unit and moving inland to a house so they don’t pay body corp.”

Closer to Brisbane, the outer west suburb of Springfield Lakes has just a 17 per cent difference between its median unit and house prices, which equates to $75,300.

Shane Boyd of Harcourts Solutions said units and houses were both moving quickly in Springfield Lake thanks to a huge influx of buyers from Sydney and Melbourne.

“It’s certainly not as difficult to upgrade from a unit to a house here as it is in other areas. We’re talking a step up from a $400,000 unit to a $500,000 house. It’s not double like it is in other suburbs,” he said.

Closer to Brisbane City, there’s a 27.3 per cent difference in median price between units and houses in The Gap, a leafy suburb about 11 kilometres north-west of the CBD.

Upgrading from the median unit price of $715,000 to the median house price of $910,000 would require an extra $195,000.

Capalaba, in Brisbane’s outer east, has a gap of 44.6 per cent. Upgrading from the median unit price of $415,000 to the median house price of $600,000 equates to a $185,000 difference.

Smallest gaps between units and houses: QLD

State Suburb Region % gap Unit median House median Price gap
QLD Nelly Bay Townsville -15.80% $380,000 $320,000 -$60,000
QLD Scarness Qld Rural 11.90% $353,000 $395,000 $42,000
QLD Bargara Qld Rural 13.40% $429,000 $486,500 $57,500
QLD Springfield Lakes Brisbane West 17.00% $442,900 $518,200 $75,300
QLD Mackay Qld Rural 17.90% $280,000 $330,000 $50,000
QLD South Toowoomba Qld Rural 19.40% $335,000 $400,000 $65,000
QLD Taigum Brisbane North 20.50% $365,000 $440,000 $75,000

Data provided by domain

Western Australia

The easiest suburb in which to upgrade from a unit to a house in Western Australia is Rockingham, a beachside region located about 47 kilometres south-west of Perth.

The median price for a unit is $320,000, while the median price for a house is $393,500, equating to a gap of 23 per cent, or $73,500.

According to local agent Rob McGavin of Chalk Realty, it’s a gap that won’t be so small for much longer.

“The housing market in Rockingham is so undervalued. There’s been a price rise but, honestly, you can still buy waterfront property for $700,000, or a place within walking distance of the beach for $400,000,”  he said.

“We’re massively, massively undervalued and it’s because Rockingham is just shaking that working-class tag that it’s always had. We’ve got award-winning beaches, the premier (Mark McGowan) lives here … the area has really come along but prices haven’t gone up yet.”

Mr McGavin said buyers could still snag a one-bedroom apartment with 180-degree ocean views for $315,000.

“[For] every property we list, nine out of 10 inquiries are coming from the east (Australia). Places are selling quicker but prices haven’t caught up yet. It’s a matter of time.”

Also in Perth, the suburb of Inaloo, located about nine kilometres north of the CBD, has a gap of 31 per cent between unit and house prices, while Mandurah has a gap of 35 per cent, and Como a gap of 41.5 per cent.

Smallest gaps between units and houses: WA

State Suburb Region % gap Median unit Median house Price gap
WA Rockingham South West 23.0% $320,000 $393,500 $73,500
WA Innaloo North 31.1% $450,000 $590,000 $140,000
WA Mandurah South 35.1% $245,000 $331,000 $86,000
WA Como South East 41.5% $487,500 $690,000 $202,500
WA West Perth City 44.9% $345,000 $500,000 $155,000
WA East Perth City 46.5% $368,000 $539,275 $171,275

Data provided by domain


In Tasmania, the north coast city of Devonport is a standout area for affordable housing.

While the median price for a unit is $313,000, the median price for a house is just 22.4 per cent more, at $383,000.

Compared to the next best option, Sandy Bay in Hobart – where the gap between the median unit and house prices is 95.6 per cent – Devonport offers excellent value, said Mark Hurley of Roberts Real Estate.

“Certainly, you can quite easily get into a house for the same price as a unit,” he said.

“But I would say the main attraction when it comes to units is the location. You could find a house but it might be two to five kilometres from the centre of Devonport, whereas the units are within walking distance of everything.”

Local LJ Hooker agent Tyla Pyke said a lot of young unit owners were keeping their units and using their equity to upgrade to a house.

“They’re doing that so they don’t have to be in a chain when they’re buying but the fact they’re able to do that is because houses are not out of reach … it wouldn’t be possible in the bigger capital cities.”

South Australia

The town of Murray Bridge, 78 kilometres south-east of Adelaide, has a gap of 20 per cent between its median unit price ($229,000) and median house price ($275,500).

Morphett Vale, about 26 kilometres south of Adelaide’s CBD, is the next best option. The median unit price there is $289,000 and the median house price $396,000, equating to a gap of 35 per cent, or $107,000.

Just eight kilometres out of the CBD, Lightsview, in Adelaide’s north-east, is not far behind, with a gap of 37.7 per cent, or $135,500.


Article Source:



from Queensland Property Investor

Morris Property Group set for Crest Broadbeach apartments

MPG has just lodged a development application for Crest Broadbeach, a 37-level tower with 157 apartments at 13-15 Armrick Avenue designed by the Canberra architecture firm Guida Moseley Brown.

The longstanding ACT and Gold Coast apartment developer, Morris Property Group, is kicking off its solid 2022 pipeline of new projects.

The first is in Broadbeach, where Morris has big plans this year. They’ve just lodged a development application to the Gold Coast City Council for Crest Broadbeach, a 37-level tower with 157 apartments at 13-15 Armrick Avenue, designed by the Canberra architecture firm Guida Moseley Brown.

The two and three-bedroom apartments start from level five, above the three podium levels and level four amenity.

The extensive amenity, wrapped in terraces with seating and dining areas, features a pool, gym, lounge space, a private barbecue and dining space which can be hired, and a communal barbecue area.

Crest Broadbeach

Also part of the level is extensive co-working space, with a number of single desk pods, office spaces, and boardroom-style rooms.

There will be a maximum of five apartments per floor, with just three three-bedroom apartments per level on the higher floors.

Morris secured the two side by side Armrick Avenue sites last year, the two 647 sqm blocks totalling 1294 sqm.

The development is next door to the soon-to-be-launched tower by Turrisi Properties. Smaller at 22 levels, the tower designed by Rothelowman will have 81 two and three-bedroom apartments.

Crest Broadbeach will MPG’s eighth development in the exclusive suburb, after successfully selling out Opus, Koko and Qube.

The team are preparing to lodge development applications for a number of Broadbeach sites in 2022, including one on the dress circle Australia Avenue, just 200 metres to the beach.

MPG also recently acquired a site in Burleigh Heads, a huge 2,024 sqm double block at 1873-1875 Gold Coast Highway.

They are planning a project comprising predominantly two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments to provide housing more affordable to a broader section of the community.

“Burleigh Heads is a great lifestyle location and represents the relaxed Gold Coast way of life. 1873-1875 Gold Coast Highway is an amazing opportunity to provide more buyers with the opportunity to enjoy the Burleigh life,” Barry Morris said.


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Frasers Unlocks Land Bank for 2150-Lot Housing Estate

Development near Queensland’s largest release of residential land is ramping up with Frasers Property planning a 2150-lot development from its Australian landbank.

Flagstone, 50km south of Brisbane, was identified as a key part of Queensland’s Covid-recovery strategy with 27,000 lots there unlocked in mid-2021, attracting the attention of major developers.

Frasers paid $80 million for 250ha of land in the nearby suburb of New Beith from Peet Limited, with the sale expected to be completed in October this year.

The Singapore Exchange-listed company detailed its Australian pipeline, currently with $678 million (SGD$658 million) invested in it, in a recent business update.

Five development projects were added to Frasers’ pipeline at the start of the year, giving the company a running total of six projects across 232,000sq m in Victoria, three in NSW across 120,000 and four projects across Queensland, not including New Beith.

Meanwhile, Peet also expanded its footprint in Flagstone, taking 100 per cent ownership of its Flagstone City project.


▲ The $6.7-billion Flagstone City project by Peet will be the central hub of the priority development area which is half the size of Brisbane. 

The ASX-listed company purchased Spirit Super’s half stake in the development for $46.15 million on New Year’s Eve for the remaining 10,500 lots.

Peet chief executive Brendan Gore said they were managing their significant landbank in the region.

“The [New Beith] property was not on the company’s short- to medium-term development program and has been sold at a price which is an 83 per cent premium [net of transaction costs] to book value, providing strong market evidence of embedded value in Peet’s national landbank,” Gore said.

“We seek to manage our landbank in a manner that optimises the return on the capital employed and this sale follows our recent announcement of the acquisition of the balance of the Flagstone City project.”


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

Affordable housing drive will benefit everyone

Australia is one of the most expensive developed countries in terms of access to affordable housing, the impact of which is now being felt, particularly by our young people and those living on low incomes.

More than two years ago, a diverse group of parties from multiple sectors was asked to advise the Victorian government on what role the planning system might play in easing the problem.

Bear in mind that no matter from where you look, there has been severe underinvestment in social and affordable housing at all levels of government.

Victoria has the lowest amount of social housing, as a percentage of all housing, of any state.

If you need evidence of a problem, look around. Since 1990, home ownership rates have almost halved for under-35s, and they are falling in every age cohort to the lowest levels seen in the post-war era. Rental stress is everywhere and will get worse as interest rates rise.

As we restore our economy after the pandemic, our planning framework must urgently address the worst of our housing problems.

This means ensuring our long-term essential economic and social infrastructure – the things a livable city needs. Infrastructure Victoria nominates social and affordable housing “as one of the top three most important actions for governments to take in the short to medium term”.

Think of Broadmeadows and Geelong: places where housing for workers was a key part of Victoria’s industrialisation.

Our collective advice to government was that well-planned housing infrastructure delivers three types of benefits. It improves the operation of labour markets, providing homes for low-income families; alleviates and averts poverty; and creates healthy, robust and inclusive neighbourhoods.

It is widely accepted that land development pays for the infrastructure needs it creates. In the provision of open spaces we already accept that as the city grows, changes and intensifies, development should make a contribution to recreational and social infrastructure.

But the importance of housing for low-income families as a vital part of that infrastructure investment got overlooked.

There has been severe underinvestment in social and affordable housing at all levels of government.

A proposed 1.75 per cent developer contribution announced by the Victorian government will be phased in over two years, so developers and builders will have time to plan and adjust.

The Big Housing Build is in its infancy. It is a critical starting point, but it needs 10 years of concentrated, collaborative effort to get Victoria even up to the national average in terms of social and affordable housing supply.

The developer contribution is not and should not be seen as a tax, nor as a way for governments to avoid their obligations and substitute revenue. The initial media reaction – that the cost will be passed on to home buyers – is simplistic and dangerously misleading.

Such contributions are widely and successfully used in other countries. Research and experience in other advanced economies show these contributions, in fact, do not increase costs for developers, builders or, importantly, home buyers, but are drawn down from the significant uplifts in value that landowners gain as a result of government-granted planning and development rights. It is an equitable and efficient process.

It also serves to level the playing field. Currently, developers face vastly different-sized housing contributions (from 5 per cent to 15 per cent) required by local governments in Victoria through Section 173 Agreements.

Indeed, it even creates a net positive because tax receipts are channelled back into new streams of development and construction activity to produce the affordable housing. It is estimated 17,000 homes for low-income families and individuals can be built on the back of this contribution over a decade – private construction projects from commercial partnerships, not with government but with robust, highly regulated, non-profit, community housing providers.

New market opportunities will be created at a time when the industry is likely to need them. For example, the current HomeBuilder-induced demand faces a cliff in 18 to 24 months, as subsidies end. The contribution initiative will help keep contractors and supply chains going strong. The Social Housing Growth Fund vehicle will ensure funds raised do not disappear into the ether. They will go straight back to the industry.

Planning is not just about tweaking things here and there. It often requires bringing into being something that does not now exist, that will help solve a big problem for future generations.

Jude Munro is an academic and chair of the Victorian Planning Authority. Michael Lennon is the managing director of a national non-profit community housing provider. 


Article Source:

from Queensland Property Investor

4 Tips Property Investors Should Follow When Hiring Employees in Their Company

To say the least, the notion of running a viable real estate business on your own might be scary. Real estate investing necessitates a wealth of information as well as a diligent work ethic. Those that demonstrate these traits are more likely to be successful in this field. Success, on the other hand, is frequently accompanied by an increase in workload. The more your company grows, the more appealing it becomes to hire more employees. Indeed, having a professional real estate investing team is essential for success.

The property is a very desired sector to work in, so you’ll never be short on candidates. The difficulty occurs while searching for the ideal applicant. With many employment markets currently saturated, finding the right candidate for the position you have open is a difficult process. Here are some tips you should follow. 

Discuss Their Experience and Qualifications

Potential workers may sound amazing on their website or brochure, but you’ll need to ask a series of questions to get beyond the gloss and glam of their marketing and PR campaigns.

First and foremost, be certain that your employee meets all legal criteria (licenses, certification, etc).

After that, you should look into their background. Experts often advise avoiding working with a freshly hired employee who has no previous experience. While big names have years, if not decades, of expertise, it might be tough to reach out to them and have them address your complaints if they treat you like a number, resulting in bad service. They must also have a thorough awareness of the current rules governing the sale and administration of real estate and assets.

Of course, if you discover the proper individual, these components will come with training. Companies like help you manage your employees. They’ll collaborate with you to develop a strategy for achieving best-practice compliance and HR practices, help you along the way, and congratulate you after you’ve achieved it.

Determine What Tasks You Can Delegate

Learning to delegate is simply that: a talent that can be taught. It’s not something that comes naturally to most people, especially small company owners. Assign yourself to the things you excel at and delegate the rest. If negotiating the sale of a house is your strongest ability, but you truly struggle with bookkeeping, for example, that is a task to outsource.

If you can’t properly specify the assignment, don’t allocate it to someone else. The time you’ll save by not having to rewrite a job a second time will offset the time you’ll save by working on it (and potentially creating a description for next time). To efficiently distribute jobs, you’ll need excellent leadership abilities, and you shouldn’t wait too long since the more work that gets done, the more room there is for new work. When determining what responsibilities to outsource and what to recruit an employee for, it may come down to whether the work fits within your main areas of strength and if that function is required on a regular basis.

Rely on References

Word of mouth and referrals/feedback based on previous customers’ experiences are two of the finest ways to discover the correct property management. You might ask your real estate agent for recommendations for reputable property managers if you have one. Whether not, ask colleagues or friends who have assets in the same region if they can recommend any property managers. Question regarding the greatest services they offer or any problems they’ve encountered. 

Property Investors

Be Realistic

Many job postings – in a variety of areas – include a long list of responsibilities that should be handled by a whole department rather than a single person.

If you want your new hire to succeed, don’t expect them to stretch themselves across a wildly diverse range of responsibilities in a way that is both effective and sustainable. Respect their limitations and make the most of the unique collection of skills they have to offer. Employees are, after all, one of your most valuable assets. Smart investors believe that investing in the people behind a company is just as important as investing in the ideas, and you can do the same with your real estate business.

Finally, trust your instincts. If you can’t put your finger on why you don’t like a potential client, don’t hire him or her. Even if they have all of the certifications and expertise you require and have meticulously answered all of your questions. You didn’t get to this point in your life by not believing your instincts, so don’t do it now.

Your rental properties should work like a well-oiled machine if you have the correct real estate investing team members on your side. You are only as excellent as the real estate investing group you surround yourself with.



from Queensland Property Investor

Tuesday 22 February 2022

VIMG Plans Boutique Apartment Project in Kensington

Apartment and office developer VIMG has returned to Melbourne’s city fringe for its latest residential project after securing two neighbouring sites in Kensington.

VIMG, which has offices in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, is planning to build a mid-rise apartment project on the corner of Albermarle and Hardiman streets.

The amalgamated 1700sq m Kensington site is currently home to an industrial building and vacant lot after a brick warehouse was demolished as part of a previous permit for the site.

VIMG picked up the 700sq m portion of the site, at 28-32 Albermarle Street, in mid-2021 before consolidating the two sites.

Under plans lodged with the City of Melbourne, VIMG is planning a seven-storey apartment project comprising a mix of commercial and retail ground floor tenancies.

The Plus Architecture-designed development will feature 300sq m of ground floor office space, a 200sq m cafe, and a 300sq m pocket park.

The development will offer 64 apartments in one-, two- and three-bedroom configurations.

It will sit above a single basement level for 68 cars which will feature a vehicle stacker to park cars up to three vehicles high in order to maximise available parking space.

The proposed apartment building will be 200m from the Macaulay Train Station and close to North Melbourne, Flemington Racecourse and the CBD.

While much of VIMG’s Melbourne development projects have been in the outer suburbs, including Box Hill, Glen Iris and Prahan, it has been looking for development opportunities closer to the city—particularly in the inner north and north-west.

Development sites in Kensington, a suburb tipped for further growth with the development of the new Melbourne Metro Arden railway station, have become increasingly rare.

Driving up demand has been an increase in affluent owner-occupiers eyeing high-profile projects close to retail amenity, public transport and within reach of the CBD.

The suburb, once occupied by some of Melbourne’s largest industrial processing facilities, is forecast to accommodate approximately 10,000 residents and 9500 jobs by 2025.

It is currently home to a number of prospective residential development projects.

At 15 Thompson Street, Assemble Communities—which focuses on housing for low- and middle-income households, recently secured approval for a $190-million build-to-rent project comprising 199 dwellings.

Assemble followed up that recent approval with a $30-million purchase of a 7000sq m site at 402 Macaulay Road where it has plans for a further 400 build-to-rent dwellings.

Nearby at 287-313 Macaulay Road a private developer has plans before the council for a similarly scaled 12-storey mixed-use development comprising 130 apartments, office and retail.

Melbourne apartment developer UAG has approved plans for a six-tower project of 424 apartments on a 8800sq m site at 350 Macaulay Road.

Meanwhile, in the neighbouring suburb of North Melbourne, Pace Development Group is preparing to break ground on a 358-apartment project at 87-105 Racecourse Road.


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