new housing stock in canberra

Hi all,

WOW is all can say.

I went to a new house/land release estate the other day which is located in Watson (inner north subrub of Canberra - but right on the edge of Canberra from that direction).

Anyway, I've always complained that new apartments etc in Canberra are too small, but what i saw on Saturday really does take the cake (and concerns me about future family homes in Canberra).

These were described as houses. A place you can make a home and a place you can raise children and live as a family in this so called family friendly housing estate...

So what are they....

This is the average home in the estate:

- 207 sq/m block of land
- 3 bedroom home (yes described as a house which you turn into a home)
- 1 bathroom
- 1 garage
- no ensuite
- 90.8 sq/m living space (for 3 bedrooms!!!!)

Cost - 429k!!!!!

The above is an average one - some of the larger houses (remember they are described as actual houses) come into 95 sq/m to a "massive" 101 sq/m. Those ones hover around 439-445k. Some are freestanding and some have shared walls (but still are called houses).

So what about the area - yes, it is in the inner north and yes the old area of Watson is a very nice suburb which is relatively close to Dickson. But these new ones, are on the edge of Watson, right next to the Federal hihgway (which is the road to Sydney), nowhere near buses, not within walking distance to the shops, and basically stuck outside the rim of the suburb. There is a servo nearby that sells basic grocery items at 15-20% more then Woolies and this servo is known to be a night hang out for those who cruise and race the streets in hotted up cars.

Call me old fashioned or something, but i cannot fathom a separate 3 bedroom home, where you can raise a family, being under 100 sq/m and still costing you 420-445k (which will come close to 500k when you include stamp duty and legals).

Now the thing that gets me, as i was at this release, there were heaps of youngish couples there being "aggressive and very determined" in making certain they were getting their names on the list and getting as much info as possible. In other words, some people were very determined to the point of being crazy....

From all that, not thinking of the poor location, but the actual size of these "houses" and the price involved just blew me away - especially since they are being decribed as houses.

I cannot understand how people would spend so much money to get so little. I guess it is the pressure in having to get onto the first rung of the property ladder.

But having said that, I'm sure if people sat down and thought about it, they could do far better in paying 440k for not quite 100/sq metres of living space on 200 sq/m of land. To me, that is just plain ridiculous.

Am i the only one thinking like this?????


g
 
This is the average home in the estate:

- 207 sq/m block of land
- 3 bedroom home (yes described as a house which you turn into a home)
- 1 bathroom
- 1 garage
- no ensuite
- 90.8 sq/m living space (for 3 bedrooms!!!!)

Cost - 429k!!!!!

The above is an average one - some of the larger houses (remember they are described as actual houses) come into 95 sq/m to a "massive" 101 sq/m. Those ones hover around 439-445k.

To put things into perspective though, Australians live in houses that are about twice the size of European homes. The sizes quoted above would be typical for Europe (UK is 76 sq m). http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8201900.stm And if you on-sold it to a British migrant they'd think it was a palace - their average plot sizes are under 90 sq m http://www.home.co.uk/guides/news/tmc.htm?10284 & http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/6068170/Honey-theyve-shrunk-the-house.html

So people (including families) can and do live in these small spaces.

As did (and do) Australian families. There are a lot of very basic ex-Airforce and housing commission homes in Melbourne that are around 100 sqm for a 3br house. They have similar specs to the above with the main difference being 3 times the land. For generations families raised kids in homes without ensuites.

You'll find them in suburbs like Laverton, Werribee, Doveton, Dallas, Heidelberg West and Chadstone. The latter, being next to posh suburbs might even be dearer than $400k.

Given that some people buy small apartments for that money (refer to another thread where one in a 60s/70s block sold for $500k), a house (even if on a tiny block) may represent reasonable comparative value and would be affordable to a dual income household (though I'd still think Queanbeyan and Charnwood was better value, despite their lesser reputation).
 
As did (and do) Australian families. There are a lot of very basic ex-Airforce and housing commission homes in Melbourne that are around 100 sqm for a 3br house. They have similar specs to the above with the main difference being 3 times the land. For generations families raised kids in homes without ensuites.

I agree that older style houses may be of the same size - but the thing is, you can expand/renovate them as time goes by (and as your family size increases). The reaosn for this is that the land size is much bigger.

It will be very difficult to renovate a home that is only sitting on a 200 sq/m block. Plus, I don't think you'd be allowed to renovate it anyway as these "houses" are in an estate that has convenants and where you have to pay a yearly community title fee (which is about $800 per year). This is on top of your normal rates and service costs.

I realise the developers are hungry for profits and i realise that other people in other countries live in smaller houses compared to the average Aussie. While i do not agree with the McMansion concept, i do believe that there should be a balance or a standard in house size and land size.

To me, the price for what you are getting is just too high. Especially when this estate is aimed at young couple in raising young families.

Now i know that the older style homes in places like Newcastle, Sydney etc may be about the same same size on roughly the same sized blcok, but were those places priced the equivalent of 440-450k in yesterday's money when they were first built? Those older places thoguh were also built in the inner city environs, but the places I am referring to in Watson are built on the edge of a city.


g
 
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'Go to your room' is no longer a punishment but something to look forward to as that's where the TV/X-box/wii/ipod/computer is!

I've editted my post to take that line out. I don't want to sound cliched in repeatng that quote all the time (even though i think it is valid).

I do agree with your view about "going to your room" is not punishment now.
 
i sat down to an MBA meeting with ACTPLA (canberras concils and building freternity) and they were talking about doing 300m2 blocks with 200m2 of living they were thinking of allowing them to be two story for these purposes, yes i think it is crazy too!

but me thinks!
$449 for these small units and blocks on the fringe should be an eye opener to realise that when they sell HTW and COLLIERS valuers, will aggree that is the value of them (no brainer).
so when they sell it will be bringing (draging) up all of the other homes and units that are near them. ie, a 700m2 block with 100m2 living (old yes) should be valued at ,at least 30% more than previous prices .
i have seen this happen in new magreger, now watson(new), and it should happen in the new weston area too, these new homes and land release will sell for over $900k price ,some might get to 1.1 million, so there fore i can see the rest of old weston becoming 1.2 million based on the land sizes alone, it might take about 2 years though. :eek:
 
Was this the village building co release (ie, "The Fair")?

Had a look at these. Very small, nothing that would interest me, plus it was all on community title - yuk.

Plus, Village building co is usually a cheaper way to get into the market, however it is a case of you get what you pay for. I know, I live in one.
 
Thought I would add that my house is a little 3bed, 118m2 living - but I was one of the lucky ones in new macgregor who got a 515m2 block (corner) and a double garage. A rarity for village building.
 
Hi GG,

I agree with all you've said.

However, at the same time, I won't be surprised when these tiny 3 b/room homes being offered for $400k start selling for $500k in a year or two. Like you said, the buyers are "aggressive" and "determined" - this will push these prices up further (over time).

There won't be enough little houses for everyone. Demand will exceed supply, prices will increase. Your 3 bedroom shoebox on a "nature strip" worth of land at the *** end of Canberra (or would this be the 'head' end?) will now be worth half a million.

Cheers,

Jamie
 
I do share your concerns but Canberra is full of 96 sqm houses which we know as "govvies", all three bedroom, one bathroom and generally, at the time, NO garage (you had to build that later).

I reckon people are better off buying an old govvie in an established area for around the same prive and at least getting land that they could value-add to when the "variation 200" rules change (the rules against multi-unit more than 250m from shops).
 
I do share your concerns but Canberra is full of 96 sqm houses which we know as "govvies", all three bedroom, one bathroom and generally, at the time, NO garage (you had to build that later).

I reckon people are better off buying an old govvie in an established area for around the same prive and at least getting land that they could value-add to when the "variation 200" rules change (the rules against multi-unit more than 250m from shops).

yep and a quick reno , and an extension at the right price would be a neutrally geared property and an extra 150k in your pocket too! :D
 
As a local, I have to say the way Canberra is being developed is crazy. My Bro-In-Law (who is a builder and did our recent Queanbeyan renovations) has had a look through the plans for the Molonglo Valley suburb development that starts this year. Apparently the developers are planning for this to not be a first home buyer area, but rather for people upgrading. The cheapest blocks will be around $350k, for perhaps 350sqm of land. And this is apparently the plan for the 17 new suburbs (although I think they will have to do some more of their 'affordable housing' crap that they normally pull).

I have no idea how the ACT government thinks it's doing the right thing here. The only thing I can think of is that because land sales is a major source of income for the ACT, they are doing what they can to maximise revenue. It sure isn't helpful for locals trying to break into the housing market though.
 
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