As 2014 swings into action, so too have forecasts and predictions about what we can expect across the national residential housing market. This month we check in with local property developer and Urbex General Manager Wayne Rex to see what’s install for Darwin.
What will we see in Darwin over the coming months?
We anticipate that new land releases will dominate the Darwin residential market throughout the early half of 2014 resulting in steady growth in sales. At Urbex for example,we have land releases planned within our Johnston Ridge and Zuccoli developments. We also envisage land prices will stabilise and interest rates will continue to remain at historic lows, all of which present favourable conditions for home buyers.
How should people prepare for a land release?
People should start with their finance and seek a pre-approval from their lender to purchase. As competition in the market increases those with pre-approved finance stand the best chance of securing land and the new home of their dreams.
What are buyers looking for?
Affordability continues to be one of the biggest factors for home buyers in Darwin. While some developers have reduced land sizes to increase affordability, Johnston Ridge has large lots to accommodate families and people looking for lots with room to move. Builders have also done considerable work in their designs to bring out new, affordable housing solutions.
How is Darwin performing nationally?
Darwin has one of the strongest performing residential property markets in Australia, buoyed by resource projects and job creation. Down south, large price growth fuelled by an undersupplied land market is forecast in both Sydney and Brisbane. Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart are in for a slow year while resource-rich regions including Narrabri in New South Wales, Cairns in Queensland and Ballarat in Victoria are also predicted to flourish.
When property goes on sale in the Darwin region it moves quickly. So how do you prepare, avoid the frenzy and ensure you get the block that’s right for you? We chat to local property developer and Urbex General Manager Wayne Rex.
What should people consider when looking for land?
It’s important to not only look at your needs now, but what will serve you in the years to come. Building your own home is likely to be your biggest investment and you want to ensure it’s suitable for years to come. Do you have a growing family and need room to move, space to tinker with your quad bike and boat or does the sound of mowing the lawn make your toes curl? At Urbex, we design communities with all of this in mind and have a range of land sizes to suit your budget, lifestyle and needs for under $300,000.
What should I ask a developer/builder?
It pays to work closely with your developer and research the community well before you’re ready to buy. Assess the contour lines, falls and pitch running through the area and understand how these factors, as well as the orientation and layout of available blocks, can affect the style of homes that you can build on the site. If you have the design of your dream home in mind, work closely with the developer to find a block to suit and
if you’ve already chosen where you want to live, then use Urbex Home Select to help you find the perfect home.
Will there be more land releases before Christmas?
Urbex have lots under $300,000 available for purchase now, with limited releases planned for the coming months. People looking to buy are encouraged to seek pre-approved finance and start their research now, as demand and competition is likely to increase on the back of multi-million dollar resources projects.
The lives of five Territory families changed last week after they secured an affordable house and land package at Zuccoli.
Five packages, priced from $475,550 to $542,000, went on sale for low to middle income earners who had progressed their application to approved purchaser status under the government’s Territory Government’s Real Housing for Growth Plan.
Sold on a first in, first served basis, Jenna Hingston said she was delighted to be one of the successful buyers. “It’s a dream come true. I couldn’t breathe and they (Urbex) were trying to ask me questions. I think I was in shock,” she said. Ms Hingston, who’s always wanted to own her own home, said she seriously looked at buying a property for more than a year. “I’m just really grateful. I missed out on the last housing release in February, which was disappointing. “To be the first caller through this time and know that a brand new home will be mine makes it all worth it.”
Urbex General Manager Wayne Rex said the sales followed the recent success of the housing release at Johnston Ridge. “Urbex is committed to providing a range of affordable home ownership opportunities for Territorians,” Mr Rex said. “Our team has worked hard with government and local builders to deliver a range of quality house and land packages at affordable price points.”
The house and land packages included home designs by the Bendella Group, NIMM Constructions and The Total Group.
To be eligible for the government’s Real Housing for Growth Plan home buyer initiative, buyers must meet eligibility criteria including income limits and have finance approval in-principle.
Zuccoli is a master planned community developed by Urbex in partnersip with the Northern Territory’s Land Development Corporation. When complete the suburb, located along Lambrick avenue just off Stuart Highway, will be the largest in Palmerston and will incorporate schools, sporting facilities, commercial/retail centres, community facilities and an extensive range of walking and bicycle tracks.
People wanting more information on life at the Village can visit www.zuccolivillage.com.au or call Janzey Pratt on 1300 556 950. Application kits and further information about the Territory Government’s Real Housing for Growth Plan can be found at www.housing.nt.gov.au.
When you need more space for a growing family should you buy a new home or consider renovating? Both are costly, time consuming and stressful. We take a closer look at renovating versus buying in Darwin with local property developer and Urbex General Manager Wayne Rex.
Is it cheaper to buy or renovate in Darwin?
The latest HIA dwelling forecasts indicate that residential housing construction across the Territory is up this quarter on last year. Many Territorians are realising it’s often cheaper to build a new home than buy and renovate, thanks to several Government incentives. The Herron Todd White March Review also highlighted that Darwin is in a rising market and the cost of existing homes is increasing with plans for renovations for many families now unachievable.
What are the costs of renovating?
To undertake a renovation you need to account for permits and council fees, builder and contractor charges, material costs, design and drawing charges, and in some circumstances rent. You also need to weigh up if you will manage the project yourself.
What do I need to know before I renovate?
Renovating is noisy, dusty and dirty work. Can your family live through the mess and disruption? Renovations often take longer than expected and cost more than budgeted, and at the end you may still not have the home of your dreams. Finding short term accommodation elsewhere in Darwin while the work is done could also be a challenge. The latest property data from Herron Todd White suggests the rental market is tightening and this trend is expected to increase. Whether you build or renovate, always check a builders’ work before negotiations.
What else should I consider?
Do your sums and think carefully about your family’s future needs. Be careful not to over capitalise on a renovation and consider if
it will meet all your family’s needs in years to come. At Urbex, we design communities with flexibility and room for growth that are both appealing today and for generations to come. Our neighbourhoods have the latest innovations in green spaces and shaded areas with greater energy efficiencies.
The Month in Review, released March 2013.
HIA Dwelling Starts Forecasts, released March 2013.