Good property development books

Dear Guys,

Just wondering if there are any books relating to property development that you would recommend? Are there any ones written from an Australian perspective?


Hi Sunstone

I would recommend Jan's books, naturally. Thereafter, two of the better ones that I have read recently are:

"Streets Ahead" by Monique Wakelin and
"It's easy to be a property millionaire" by Craig Turnbull

Have fun

Dear Dale,

Thanks for the reply.

Have read the somers books. When I looked at "streets ahead" I felt that it would have been okay but it is really just good for beginners I didn't feel (Consumed 15 property books in the last five months.)

What I am looking for is actually with residential property development. Eg. multi-unit or townhouse development.

Things like.

-Conducting feasibility study.
-Understanding basic principles on size of land required (e.g roughly how many units/twnhouses built on a certain size of land. How much common area needed. etc.)
-Recommendations on setting up project timeline.
-Recommendations on how to manage construction process (hints and tips etc.)

Generally how to take a property development project from start to finish.

Also do any of the local councils have publications that easily help with understanding zoning?

Thanks in advance for any input people can share in this area.

Each state and for that matter each council will have its own requirements. Determine where you want to develop and then go and talk to the relevant authorities. One book you may want to have a look at is 'The Property Developmemt Process: Western Australia' by H.L. Reynolds & P.L. (1998) ISBN 0 646 35442 6

Most books on Property Development are written about doing large scale developments e.g. Office buildings, Subdivisions but the concepts are valid for any scale. The specific details you want, you will need to do some local groundwork.
Dear Jo,

Thanks for the post. Definitely a good selection.

Did you use any of these books in your learning journey?

Or is most of the development knowledge you gained from the "school of hard knocks"?


Hi Sunstone,

To be perfectly honest with you - I haven't even had a good look at the books on offer. My banker sent me the link when I was asking him about some software.

I wouldn't say that I have that much development knowledge - I'm currently on a major learning curve now and absolutely loving it. But the school of hard knocks is always my preferred learning method!

University of Hawksbury (Western Sydney) did at one time run a 1 week property developement course which I found very good. Give them a call.

Michael G
Quick update on:

'The Property Developmemt Process: Western Australia' by H.L. Reynolds & P.L. (1998) ISBN 0 646 35442 6

Website link that I posted above no longer works (they have deleted it subsequent to my contact) and it had pre-GST pricing.

However if anyone is interested in purchasing it, it is:

$78.76 plus $11.00 for overnight delivery.

You need to ring the Curtin bookshop on (08) 9266-3469 to order it.

Will give you an update on the book later when I get through it.


For those in Melbourne there is a book "Property Development: A Beginners Guide" put out by Greg Thompson earlier this year that may be worth a look. It takes you through the process of a recent development in Port Phillip. $69.95 at McGills in Elizabeth St.
Originally posted by Sunstone
Quick update on:

'The Property Developmemt Process: Western Australia' by H.L. Reynolds & P.L. (1998) ISBN 0 646 35442 6

I've just borrowed this book from the library.
If you haven't already bought it, I'd have a look at it first.
It seems mainly aimed at large scale estate development, there's nothing that really applies to the small scale, subivide a block & build 6 units type development.
It seems mainly about the planning, and the input of the various parties involved.
Its all very general with little specific detail.

My recommendation is;
get it from the library and don't waste your money.


The other idea is to goto the councils themselves. Many of the bigger councils have downloaded building codes, and other have iformation nights.

Dear Kim,

Thanks for the input.

Already have purchased it although have to wait a couple of weeks until I get back to Aust to pick it up.

Still it is hard to get good Australian based material on certain things. Will pick out the good bits and give further feedback.

Jas - Have you come across any worthwhile material to purchase from councils?


- Have you come across any worthwhile material to purchase from councils?

Have a look at my other message in this section about the Residential Design Codes - WA.

This is chock full of good info and if you download its free.

Other states should have similar codes.