Building quality has been under the microscope for some time, so why aren’t more developers taking steps to reduce their construction risk via an in-house building team?
It may appear counter-intuitive, but the number of genuine developer-builder companies operating in Perth can be counted on one hand, particularly when it comes to larger-scale developments.
Despite the significant benefits of a developer having an in-house builder, including increased quality-control and reduced risk, few construction or development organisations have been successful in making the developer-builder model work.
Mr Michael Read, Director of M/Construction (part of M/Group), one of only a couple of successful larger-scale developer-builder firms in Perth, said the model is generally considered best practice, but it can prove difficult to create a good partnership.
“Achieving the right fit in terms of staff or partnership can prove difficult in an environment where the cultures tend to be quite different. In Perth, our main players are fairly established and there needs to be a lot of trust between both parties for the model to work effectively,” he said.
“While there is unquestionably merit in having a good appreciation of the development process as well as maintaining complete control of the entire building program and its outcomes, the concept has not been fully embraced by the sector and most developers continue to outsource to third-party builders.”
Unlike most construction-based firms, M/Construction evolved within its parent company, M/Group. The company was initially introduced to improve the building quality and maintenance of M/Group’s apartment and commercial projects, but quickly earned industry credibility to work independently of the group.
M/Construction uses its value-add service model to attract new building contracts and build on its capabilities in the building and maintenance sectors. The company recently took home three awards at the Master Builders Western Australian Awards for Excellence, including Best Multi-Unit Development between $10-$20million for Form Apartments by Match; an award the company has won two-years running.
Although most builders today offer a form of design-construct service, a developer-builder can operate both as a single service or independently, and both disciplines’ credentials are of equal calibre.
“Construction is without question a distinct skillset that requires a lot of experience. This is why some 90% of developer-builder companies derive from building firms initially rather than developers. However, the development expertise should not be overshadowed in the mix,” Mr Read continued.
“Certainly, within our organisation, being involved across the entire design and construction process creates a sense of pride in our staff. It is a different experience than working purely for a construction firm. We get to take ownership of the project from concept to completion.”
Michael Read joined M/Group as a highly qualified and experienced Registered Builder with some 20-years under his belt in top-tier organisations. Rather than a company merger, the M/Construction team was built from within the organisation which helped to circumvent any potential staffing or cultural issues.
Of Western Australia’s top twenty builders, very few are considered to be true developer-builder.
Find out more at www.mconstruction.com.au
OUR TOWN | Fremantle EpisodeRead more
We are pleased to announce that Match was part of the OUR TOWN Fremantle episode that aired on Channel 7 & GWN7 on the 24th August 2019, which featured Heirloom by Match & M/27 Apartments by Match.
Signed Proof Backs Market ImprovementRead more
Amidst the flurry of market projections and crystal ball predictions, boutique land developer Monument, part of M/Group, is celebrating ‘signed proof’ that a significant upswing in the market is now occurring – and the forecast for land buyers looks even better.
In a period that has been clouded by negative commentary, the company has successfully pre-sold 50% of its first land release at the Atop at Beeliar estate, procuring signed contracts even prior to titles being issued.
Director of land at M/Group, Mr John Wroth, said such a positive result of pre-selling off-the-plan lots has been virtually unheard of over the past three years, where sales were almost always attributed to titled land. He said while there is no doubt the boutique and limited nature of land at Atop has contributed to the sales, a range of external factors continue to have a positive impact on the market.
“Since the Federal Election, there has been a notable increase in enquiries across all our projects. This level of activity has also been reported by other developers, but all market indicators are just hearsay until there is concrete proof of sales,” he said.
“At Monument, June was recorded as an extremely strong month in terms of enquiries and sales and July is shaping up to be even stronger. The significance of having signed unconditional contracts on the table before titles confirms that there is renewed confidence in the market and property buyers are feeling confident to invest.”
Record low interest rates, recent tax cuts, First Home Buyer Grant incentives and relaxed lending rules also provide for a solid platform for investment.
Mr Wroth believes that a stronger and more vigorous property market will greatly impact land buying options, with increased quality and quantity of land available.
“The market slowdown certainly reduced the production of new land, with some developers opting to pull back on construction altogether. We are now able to progress construction of future stages and features that really set the estates apart,” he said.
“As a boutique developer, we predicted the possibility that any surplus of land would ultimately run dry in a slow market. We had the capacity to invest in continued construction at Atop so that when the tide turned, we would have ‘ready to build’ land available and packaged with stunning landscaping and ocean views.
“With the completion of construction on Stage 1, we are well placed to meet what is inevitably going be increased market demand.”
“Atop has been meticulously designed around the site’s existing typography. This includes majestic Tuart Trees retained at its highest point along with nature play areas for ‘discovery play’ and meandering walking trails with nesting hollows set aside for the area’s wildlife. It is also a quick walk to Beeliar Village with supermarkets, specialty services, restaurants and cafes, as well as close to the local primary and high schools,” Mr Wroth continued.
“Being first to market was not our only strategy to attract attention when the market shifts, we also wanted to create a unique statement for buyers. Atop at Beeliar is certainly that place and we are looking forward to ongoing interest as the market continues to return.”
Atop offers stunning ocean views and stretches across 11.8 hectares. It includes 171 homesites with varying lot sizes from 217sq.m to 630sq.m. This includes a mix of ocean and parkland view options with natural land undulation that provides character in lot levels.
The recently completed first stage of development includes 37 titled lots from 217sq.m to 494sq.m priced from $199,000.
To register your interest for any of the above opportunities, visit www.atopbeeliar.com.au or call Damyn Strang 0434 070 654.
Another Year… Another Win!Read more
For the second year in a row M/Construction has been awarded Best Multi-Unit Development between $10-$20 million at the Master Builder Awards Excellence in Construction – but this time for our Form by Match building in Port Coogee.
It goes without saying that construction quality is a top priority when looking for a new apartment and we’re proud our team has been recognised as the best in the business for the second year in a row when it comes to boutique apartments.
Along with this accolade, our Maintenance & Minor Works division were awarded Best Educational Building under $1.5 million for Leda Educational Support Centre.
Finally, Josh Stott’s hard work paid off managing the construction of Form by Match as he won Project Manager of the Year.
Unique Regional Opportunity on the Cards at Chester Pass MallRead more
Property company, M/Group, has submitted a development application (DA) to the City of Albany that could introduce a Bunnings Warehouse to the Chester Pass Mall shopping precinct.
Approval of the application would see the existing Bunnings currently located on Albany Highway relocate to a 14,000sq.m purpose-designed space. A number of additional improvements to Chester Pass Mall would also be made, including carpark shelters and upgrades by other retailers.
M/Group Director, Mr James Collis, said introducing a new Bunnings to the area will be a welcome addition to the precinct and could expand Chester Pass Mall’s its catchment across Great Southern region.
“In addition to the 35,000 people within Albany, we anticipate that families throughout the Greater Southern region will travel long distances to shop here. This puts Chester Pass Mall in an extremely unique position and could provide benefits to all businesses in Albany,” he said.
“The approval of our development application would create a shopping experience that complements surrounding retail found along Chester Pass Mall and offers improved traffic management and parking to home improvement customers.”
Bunnings Director of Property Andrew Marks said should the development application be approved the new store will provide Albany residents with an even wider range of home improvement and outdoor living products in a bigger and better store.
“The new Bunnings Warehouse development will feature a fully enclosed timber yard, nursery, more car parking for our customers as well as offering job opportunities for local residents.
“All of our team members from the existing Albany store will transfer to the new store once complete and will continue to be on hand to provide customers with expert advice on their D.I.Y projects.
M/Group National Shopping Centre Manager, Ms Cherie Daly, said she is confident that a Bunnings in the area will be welcomed by the community.
“I’ve no doubt that a larger Bunnings will be welcomed by both the local and extended community,” she said.
“Should our DA plans be approved, Albany would see an injection of $15 million of investment during the construction phase alone.”
While a Chester Pass mall centre refurbishment is also being strategised for the longer-term future, plans are yet to be confirmed.
Apartment Living and Today’s MarketRead more
Where would you say Western Australia’s unit living/apartment market is currently at?
The property market in general is cyclical. It follows a bell-curve pattern that sees prices peak at the top of the market and level out at the bottom. Investors and market commentators monitor this process carefully to maximise investment potential before an upwards shift occurs. The apartment market is not immune to this cycle and we are currently experiencing a lot of movement from investors. This signals that we might have hit the bottom of the cycle, but also that an expected upturn is likely to take place due to our strengthening economy and record low interest rates.
All this aside, most know that the enduring nature of property means that if you tick the boxes of location, limited supply, quality build and unique design, apartments are likely to hold their value for the long term – regardless of market factors.
Do you think more people are moving into and living in apartments than say, 10 years ago? What traits about apartment living do you think have contributed to this?
When Match started building apartments almost two decades ago, we were conscious of a global shift towards apartment living. There were certainly sceptics that believed Perth would always favour the house and land ‘dream’, but we weren’t so sure. Fast forward eighteen years and our predictions have all come true. There is a definitive lean towards apartment living and awareness of the economic and environmental aspects associated with continuing the urban sprawl. Many are trading that plot of land on the outskirts of the city for lifestyle and location. Apartment living just makes more sense.
What kind of demographic of people are living in apartments in 2019? Is there a mixed variety?
The range of people being attracted to the apartment lifestyle is now as diverse as their reasons for doing so. We see young and upwardly mobile singles and couples wanting to make the most of their proximity to cafes, CBD and nightlife, and we’re also seeing families preferring to raise their children close to the beach rather than in the thick of suburbia. Perhaps the most exciting market group are the downsizers, who are all about creating an idyllic and ‘low maintenance’ lifestyle without moving too far from their families or where they have lived for most of their life.
What future do you see ahead for Western Australia’s apartment market? Do you think it’ll continue to grow, and why is this?
The underlying factors that will continue to support the apartment market include population growth and an increasing market trend towards apartment living. The value-system of the emerging generations will be key for driving demand for new and architecturally appealing apartment designs. As more people gravitate towards apartment living, we will see an increase of amazing spaces. This represents incredibly exciting prospects for individuals as well as the Perth streetscape alike.
We’ve come a long way since the ‘cookie-cutter’ apartment blocks that were primarily built for the investor and rental market. Apartments today are considered architectural spaces that focus on the end user and their varying tastes and preferences.
Just as you would have earlier discerned over the features of a stand-alone house, we are now finding that people are drawn to apartment designs that reflect their personal taste and lifestyle preferences.
The more distinctive, rare and well-located the apartment is, the more value you are intrinsically buying into.
Comments by Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group
Construction completion has been achieved at Form by Match located in prestigious Port Coogee Marina Estate. The interesting block formations designed to maximise natural light, views and orientation benefits give this apartment development a presence like no other in the area.