A good mix of dwelling size is important

A good mix of dwelling size is important
A good mix of dwelling size is important

I had learnt a little about suburb lifecycles recently  - how a suburb can change over time.

Generally speaking new areas usually attract young couples and families, but also some mature aged people like grandparents wanting to be close to their grandkids and who can help support and care. So it's important that new areas do have a mix of housing available. 

I've recently been researching a new location after finding a good dual occupancy development site there. 

In the past, I have put this suburb aside as the land was expensive and generally lot sizes smaller, however a large enough site came up and as I ran the figures on it, my heart beat increased!

This suburb was experiencing fast growth due to new land estates opening  and there was a fair amount of land to be released in the location. Because of this, the government had allocated money for community services, facilities and infrastructure.

The suburb is also very well located being only 20 minute drive into Newcastle CBD.  In the new estates, it was predominately large four or five bedroom family homes being built and even though the land was expensive reflecting the facilities of the master planned estate, after some research I could see the opportunity for good demand for smaller dwellings.

The area was popular with families building new homes and wanting to be close to good quality schools - there is a well regarded primary and high school within walking distance. Parents could work in Newcastle and be home early for the family.

The estate offers a bushland location with beautiful views over wetlands, quality sporting fields, a community centre and a new shopping village had popped up within five minutes with a shiny new Coles open and Aldi store under construction.

The M1 freeway access to Sydney is just a few minutes drive away. This estate was well placed location wise and also for future growth.

For me, building three bedroom villas in a location that is dominated by four or five bedroom houses makes a lot of sense. There would be several markets for these villas on completion; young people who can't yet afford to build the larger homes, separated people looking for smaller dwellings, single parents and empty nesters looking to downsize. I think if the location and facilities are good, a lower entry point for rent and sale prices - can be a good differentiation for your development.

Also sales of the larger, more expensive dwellings could impact positively on the values of smaller dwellings if there are no direct comparable sales.  There could be good demand from renters wanting all the benefits of the estate for a smaller outlay.


Jo Chivers

Jo Chivers

Jo Chivers is director of Property Bloom, which manages property development.

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