APPROPRIATENESS OF MANNINGHAM’S HIGH DENSITY STRATEGY IS QUESTIONED AS DEMAND FOR APARTMENT LIVING DECLINES

Sandman Oz” shares some thoughts on why Highrise  hasn’t ever moved in Manningham…

Speculative permits, risks associated with purchasing off the plan, lack of a fixed rail infrastructure, lack of public off street parking and difficult terrain are among the factors contributing to a low demand that has stymied the progress of high density apartment development in Doncaster.

The Doncaster Hill High-rise Strategy was adopted in February 2002 as an Activity Centre with bold plan to build 4,080 high-rise apartments by the year 2021. We are now in the 12th year of the period and only 13% of the quota has been delivered. Of the 535 apartments built, 98 were funded  by the Government’s affordable housing program.     The July report (2013) on the progress of Doncaster Hill indicated only one development is currently under construction.

The DDO8, a medium density strategy, surrounding Doncaster Hill was approved in March 2007, apartment development prescribed on main roads and adjacent  side streets, was planned to deliver more than 9500 dwellings. There are no official figures available on its progress, but in the best case scenario it is estimated that no more than 4% have been built, predominately in the main road precinct. The lack of demand has caused Manningham Council to limit apartment buildings to main roads and have determined that most development in side streets, apart from where the land exceeds 1800m2, will be restricted to “high yield” two storey townhouses.

 

  • SPECULATIVE PERMIT, is where an owner sells land with an approved development, adding significantly to end costs.

 

  • PURCHASING OFF THE PLAN has high risks for both purchaser and developer.  There are risks with the developer going bust, producing an inferior product, or taking far longer to complete the project than originally advised. One point that is not always considered is that most off-plan purchases are not open market transactions. The developer sets a price that you either pay or you don’t. The real question is, what is the property worth on completion? If the market value of property dropped by say 15%, the banks will only lend on the property’s value upon completion, not the contract price, which means that the purchaser would be obliged to cover any shortfall in the mortgage loan. If it is a large development there can be 1 to 2 years between market launch and completion which might seem like an eternity in a falling apartment market.

 

  • GROWTH FOLLOWS FIXED RAIL  The Doncaster Hill strategy is the only principal activity centre without a railway station.

 

  • PUBLIC OFF STREET PARKING is nonexistent in an area that has the third highest use.


Sandman Oz

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