West is the best; Western value

Aspire for VillawoodWHEN it comes to best value new house and land packages in Melbourne, the cry is still “go west, young man’’.
A lift in demand has seen residential land prices rise in recent months, increasing the cost of a new home and land package across growth corridors.
But industry figures say new homebuyers can still pick up a four-bedroom home on about a 400sqm block for between $360,000 and $380,000 in Melton. Orbit Homes director Paul Millson says that home usually will comprise the four bedrooms, two living areas, a covered outdoor zone and a double garage.
Mr Millson adds that budget and first homebuyers can still secure a smaller home for around $300,000 or less. There have been some packages advertised recently for as little as $260,000. Mr Millson says for that price buyers usually will secure a three-bedroom home on a 250sqm-280sqm block. “That’s the best value in Melbourne,’’ he says. In the outer southeastern growth corridor – comprising Pakenham and Officer – buyers can pick up a similar size combination for about $300,000-$315,000.
In other areas of outer Melbourne including Cranbourne, Craigieburn, Mickleham, Epping and Mernda a basic four-bedroom home on a 400sqm block will cost buyers anything from $390,000 to $420,000.
Mr Millson says once-in-a-lifetime low interest rates had increased demand and pushed up land prices. “There was quiet period until the latter part of last year and there was a price correction downwards, but land has gone up in the last six months,’’ Mr Millson says. “And I think it (the higher prices) is here to stay. The market is pretty strong.’’
Tony Johnson, the executive director of land developer Villawood Properties, agrees that strong migration levels to Victoria and consistently low interest rates are feeding demand. Mr Johnson says potential buyers can still pick up a 194sqm four-bedroom house on an average 428sqm lot at Trillium estate in Mickleham for $390,000. Smaller packages start from $279,900.
“Immigration continues to be strong,’’ he says. “There is a lot of demand in the market for available supply and this corridor (the north and the northwest)
has been pin-pointed as a hot spot for the Indian community. With interest rates being so low and consistent, there has never been a better time to get in the market. This has certainly been a strong motivator for buyers and we are seeing this, with the huge number of sales at both Trillium and Aspire in the west.’’ Mr Johnson maintains that despite modest price rises in the last few months residential blocks are “extremely affordable’’.
“If you compare land 10km out of the Melbourne CBD (central business district), you could be looking at a 450sqm block for around $700,000. If you go a little bit further north to Trillium or northwest to Aspire, you are looking on average, at around $225,000. For the same size block, there is potentially a half a million dollar difference.’’
Housing Industry Association chief economist Harley Dale says Melbourne’s new home sales are starting to recover after a “lean’’ couple of years for builders and developers.
“Pent-up demand has been unlocked by record low borrowing costs which emerged at the same time as an economic recovery and higher net migration numbers,’’ Mr Dale says.

By Andrew Brasier


A selection of estates

Some estates in Melton/Eynesbury include Waterford, Eynesbury, Pennyroyal and Willandra, in Plumpton (Aspire), in Wyndham Vale (Manor Lakes), in Mickleham/Greenvale (Trillium, Greenvale Gardens and Providence), in Mernda and Doreen (Mernda Villages, Laurimar and Berry Lane), in Point Cook (Saltwater Coast and Featherbrook), in Wallan (Wallara Waters and Woodlands Edge), in Officer (Cardinia Lakes), in Cranbourne (Casiana Grove), and in Bacchus Marsh (Stonehill).

Published in The Indian Weekly (First Weekly Indian news Magazine in Melbourne, Australia)