North Watson / Majura Rise - Canberra

Hi all,

I've been doing some recent looking in the North Watson / Majura Rise of North Canberra and i must say that i am not impressed at all - especially when considering the prices of the homes in these areas.

The homes are Mcmansions, they fill up 85% or so of the block (ie next to nothing for a backyard), have weird designs, some have very weird windows, the streetscape is bland and boring, very little parking space for visitors etc etc etc.

Then there is the so called townhouses in this area too - very strange designs and to me, not worth the 450k or thereabouts pricing for them,

For the people who are familiar with this area - do you like it? Would you pay 600k for a quickly thrown together box that is meant to be a house in this area?

I have written before about how depressing the quality of the new housing situation is in Canberra (for me anyway), but if this area represents what suburban life in Australia is going to become then i'll stick with the regionals anyday. At least in the regionals you get a yard, and the roads are wide enough for side street parking, and you can get at least 2 cars parking in your driveway, and more importantly, the children have a safe and secure place to run around in.

Am i just being too critical?


Thanks


g
 
You just described most of the new housing construction all over canberra. ;)

You know, once I would have been appalled by it - I moved here from regional NSW, where having an acre for a backyard was pretty common. But truth be told, I am not sure if I am just becoming acclimatised to Canberra or what, but I am begining to veiw it in a different light. How much do people in canberra actually use their backyards??? And when they do, how much space do they actually require????

I still appreciate a big backyard, but it is mainly because of my Labradore needing room then an actual need for more space.
 
I also hail from regional NSW and i grew up with a 220 acre backyard. That was a good size.

However, now living in town, i still prefer to have a decent backyard. Having a dog is a necessity for me and a dog requires a good back yard. Plus, having a safe and secure place for junior to play in (without the thought of strangers sharing the playground with him) is good for the soul as well.

I am unaware of what data exists that describe how many people actually use their back yard, but i think our climate, and our lifestyle must demand a decent backyard fro the growing family - at least for a vege patch, a clothesline (and not relying on a clothes drier), place to park your bikes, a place for the dog to feel at home, a garden shed, place where kids can play backyard cricket and a place to sit and drink wine on the warm summer nights, the backyard tree(s) etc.

I would not like to see a country, that has so much available land, where families are cooped up inside small boxes because they don't have any yard and their only form of physical workout is jumping in front of the Wii (and parents are too scared to let their kids go to the common playground because of the evil strangers).

Having said that, i do realise that many would claim that a decent backyard for homes leads to more suburban sprawl etc and that we all should be living in apartment buildings with shared facilities in order to control sprawl and to save the environment - and i have lived in places like that. But a growing family, still needs to have adequate room and space - and not pay over 600k for an oversized house that covers the majority of the block.

But that is just one aspect, this area of canberra is not appealing at all. the streetscapes are woeful, bland and boring and i would hate to see how emergency vehicles would get down the narrow roads if a real emergency was called.



thanks


g
 
gg1965

I agree prices are too high and I also hate narrow streets
I'm surprised that councils approve a development when it doesn't meet basic building standards. Where are visitors going to park?

I was looking at some defence Housing in Nowra not long ago and the streets were so narrow there was no room to turn around if you drove in the wrong street. You would have to use someone's driveway to turn around.

There was no concrete footpath either so people avoided walking on the lawn and were walking on the narrow curving road instead.
I was not impressed, I got back onto the main road and kept driving.
 
Big backyards in Canberra are a thing of the past. IMO it's a combination of land scarcity driving up prices and time-poor households not wanting to maintain a massive patch of sunburnt grass outside their backdoor.

The drought coupled with water restrictions might make big blocks unappealing (it does to me). I'm in Gunghalin, in an OK sized place on bugger all land - suits me fine.

Cheers,

Jamie
 
FYI to all of you that posted in my thread on the Spence townhouse, I didn't end up getting the townhouse in Spence due to the full FHOG boost passing and the contracts being unclear as that deadline loomed. It was $330k, keep a look out on it end of year, i have a feeling it'll be about $360k!

Kinda represents how overpriced Canberra is. I saw the other day new blocks at Molonglo are selling from ~$270K+(I think it was) just for a tiny block .......sums it up really. It'll become one of those houses you speak of with barely any garden and it'll still end up being a tiny house and will cost $600K.
 
IMO it's a combination of land scarcity driving up prices and time-poor households not wanting to maintain a massive patch of sunburnt grass outside their backdoor.
Jamie

What land scarcity?
There is a lot of vacant land around Canberra and all at 10 mins drive
 
Trust me, almost nothng's a 10 minute drive anymore !! i remember the days when Canberra had a "peakminutes" instead of peak hour but its much busier now.
 
I believe one of the reasons for little - no back yard in Canberra is water usage. To keep lawn (or anything non established native) alive through summer you need to use a large quantity of water (and then only at certain times to avoid sunburn, and still a high chance of plant life dying). Before moving down the coast we had a house with a yard for the dog - he hid from the sun (in summer) and found the warmest bits in winter, other than that it barely got used.

Also the smaller the yards the less distance pipes, powerlines etc have to stretch, creating lower costs (especially when multiplied so many times)
 
What land scarcity?
There is a lot of vacant land around Canberra and all at 10 mins drive

It isn't that there isn't land around, so much as the ACT government release it at a much slower rate then demand and in very small parcels. The land component in our H&L package is a 400sqm block and cost $210k about 7mths ago. The parcels of land on sale now (I actually think they are all sold) for the next stage in the same suburb is 50k more for the same size.
 
Rugrat has already beaten me to the issue about the government not releasing land. Land is not a scarcity at all - its just the supply of it is being limited by the government. Some will argue that causes the high prices too.

If only more people would say "bugger off" to the ACT government and move over the border to places like Qbn, Jerra, Murrumbateman etc.

My latest complaint about new developments is that some houses are actually being sold with fake grass!!!! (and people are buying it)))

This has me totally bewildered.

I understand the water sitaution, but honestly, having fake grass in your backyard is a bad joke i think. I laid some locally grown turf in one of my IPs in Sth Canberra and it is made for the area and our summers and winters cause no concern for this turf. it gets watered maybe twice a week at night time and is on a timer with water coming from a tank. No problems at all.

I cannot understand how you can enjoy a backyard with fake turf. The feeling of walking barefeet on real grass, sitting on it and just veging out while lying in the shade with real grass is very pleasurable.

Fake grass! what is this world coming too....


g
 
Fake grass is also really really bad if you have kids or dogs. In summer the underlay doesn't have the cooling properties of normal turf - so it just heats up, and up, and up. Not good on bare feet or paws.
 
FYI to all of you that posted in my thread on the Spence townhouse, I didn't end up getting the townhouse in Spence due to the full FHOG boost passing and the contracts being unclear as that deadline loomed. It was $330k, keep a look out on it end of year, i have a feeling it'll be about $360k!

Kinda represents how overpriced Canberra is. I saw the other day new blocks at Molonglo are selling from ~$270K+(I think it was) just for a tiny block .......sums it up really. It'll become one of those houses you speak of with barely any garden and it'll still end up being a tiny house and will cost $600K.

Are you talking about this one? http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/s...t-name-provided-weston-canberra/1316743816011

The land has been release and starts from 400k. Not 270k.
 
Are you talking about this one? http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/s...t-name-provided-weston-canberra/1316743816011

The land has been release and starts from 400k. Not 270k.

OMG.....this is from the above allhomes link:

-------------------------
$400,000-$650,000

Through design excellence, the size of the blocks commence at 508 m2, with the bulk in the 600 m2 to 700 m2 range and a few exclusive sites are at 900 m2. The result of this is - no overcrowding.

Prices start from $400,000, with the average around $500,000. This is a unique opportunity to purchase land only (ie no land and house packages) direct from the developer and to design and build a home that suits your lifestyle.
-------------------

400k for 500 sq metres of land only!!!! And for land that you don't really own either...

Entry into this estate in a few years time (after the houses are built) will be at least a million.


g
 
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