What key drivers attracted you to develop in Fremantle and what is it that makes it attractive from a developer’s perspective?
Interestingly, our initial focus on Fremantle raised some eyebrows. In the early days we did significant work building a reputation as an inner city developer. All our projects were strategically located around the CBD and we actively promoted a new form of urban living specific to this area. It appeared in vast contrast to the eclectic beach and port side environment of Fremantle, but to us it held similar hallmarks.
What Match is very good at is identifying strategically located sites with good infrastructure and growth prospects. We laid our first claim to land in the early stages of South Beach Estate because we saw enormous potential.
Many find it hard to pigeonhole Fremantle due to its location and diverse population. However, it is without question a place where people want to live and we believed we could offer something unique to the mix.
Give us a brief overview of your Fremantle-based projects (past and current)
The Summer, South Fremantle – COMPLETED
Australia’s first Green Star Multi-Residential Building offering 36 luxury apartments with ocean views.
Heirloom by Match, Fremantle – COMPLETED
Highly celebrated and award-winning adaptive use of Fremantle’s iconic Dalgety Wool Stores heritage building.
M/28 by Match, South Terrace, Fremantle – COMPLETED
A boutique development of just 20 apartments and 6 commercial spaces located in the very heart of the eclectic South Terrace community.
M/27 by Match, Parry Street, Fremantle – UNDER CONSTRUCTION
A boutique development of just 40 park side apartments and conservation of the heritage listed substation building located in the midst of Fremantle’s historic and cultural centre.
Somersault, Fremantle – COMPLETED
An apartment complex of 58 affordable living residences inspired by the materials and textures synonymous with Fremantle.
Sublime, North Fremantle – COMPLETED
Just 16 beautifully appointed apartments incorporating exteriors with colours that reflect the nearby “Dingo’ flour mill.
Match has also extended its interest along Fremantle’s Coastal Corridor into areas such as North Coogee and Port Coogee including apartments and terrace homes.
There’s now a long list of developments planned or underway in Fremantle – what do you think has recently made it attractive for development?
Fremantle is definitely a place where increased development activity greatly improves the area’s atmosphere and appeal.
As Perth’s second largest CBD, the transition from a tourism and industrial location to a central residential and lifestyle hub has required both good planning and a period of adjustment. As more people are attracted to the area, they stimulate demand for residential product and, in doing so, creates an atmosphere that resembled some of the best and most populous cities in the world.
The factors that today make Fremantle so attractive could not simply be switched on. Match identified the City’s potential a long time ago but knew it would take capacity to build capacity. It is so great to see what has emerged since we arrived over a decade ago.
What are your anticipations for Fremantle’s future property market and the town itself?
Match has invested heavily in Fremantle and, in particular, its coastal corridor. We now have quite a significant footprint of projects in and around the area. We wouldn’t have made Fremantle our focus if we didn’t believe in its growth and potential.
There are very few places in Australia, if not around the world, that offers such a vibrant urban atmosphere with outstanding community infrastructure, as well as access to a coastal lifestyle. This is unique and unique translates to value.
We believe the town will continue to evolve as more people move into the community. Fremantle will continue to be a sought-after location, and quality product will become the differentiator in the property game.
We have been extremely lucky to work with a city council that is both visionary and takes a collaborative approach to development. Good planning underpins the success of any environment, and shutting the doors on development completely could have been disastrous for Fremantle.
What many might not realise is that what we are seeing now is the result of a considered approach that has been in the works for over a decade.
Strategic development sites, such as Heirloom, have been instrumental to opening key areas of the City to the public and reinvigorating the area’s incredible history.
There have been many bold moves taken over the years by the City of Fremantle, so it’s great to see everything come together for them and the community.
Comments by Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group
A Welcome MoveRead more
State Government moves to speed up major development projects have been met with praise from the residential construction sector, which says the policy changes will meet demands of the modern apartment market and reduce unnecessary expenditure.
The recently announced decision includes the fast-tracking of metropolitan and regional developments worth $20 million and $5 million or more respectively.
Described as a once in a lifetime change to Western Australian planning policy, the reforms are part of the State Government’s COVID-19 recovery initiatives, aimed at kick-starting jobs and economic activity in WA.
Match parent company M/Group Managing Director Lloyd Clark said the government moves would help developers avoid needless spending and give developers a better idea of when their product could be delivered.
He said Perth would largely benefit from increased infrastructure such as apartment complexes, but it could become problematic if developers were not keeping an eye on whether new buildings matched demand levels in the state.
“A more predictable development timeline will assist in the coordination of the supply chain, which involves many small businesses and can have a significant impact when delays occur,” Mr Clark said.
“Ultimately Perth residents will be the ones to benefit from increased infrastructure that does not take years to arrive and new amenity that will result from commercial developments.
“A more streamlined approvals process will certainly introduce a level of diversity into the apartment market, but there is a risk that it could encourage an oversupply of apartments.
“If the market does not respond to an apartment project, the complex might not get off the ground.
“The onus is certainly on the government to manage this process, but it will ultimately be a commercial decision whether the developer decides to proceed or not.
“Apartment buyers still need to remain diligent and do their homework to source credible developers with a track record or works before they put their deposit down.”
Despite a risk of oversupply, Mr Clark agreed the reforms were a welcome change to traditional processes, which involved a lot of time and consultation costs when engaging with local and state governments.
He said it was well known that development projects resulted in positive economic impacts and unlike in other industries, activity in construction led to helpful affects felt across a broad range of indirect businesses.
“The very nature of a development project means that the greatest impact remains local,” Mr Clark said.
“The development sector has historically been the go-to vehicle for government bodies looking to stimulate the economy because no other sector can really deliver the far-reaching benefits.
“The State Government’s planning reforms and response to COVID-19 will provide a great opportunity to upgrade or replace inefficient structures and meet the demand of a new and modern apartment market.
“Perth was relatively late in the game with regards to accepting apartment living as a genuine lifestyle option.
“Older product was therefore built largely for investment with an emphasis on capacity rather than design and functionality.
“Times have changed dramatically since then, and we now have the opportunity to make old buildings more relevant and sustainable, or replace outdated structures with buildings that will enhance the streetscapes.”
The reforms follow three years of consultation on major development projects that were brought forward sooner than planned to better support WA workers struggling in a slumped economy.
The changes include more than 25 amendments to the 2015 Planning and Development regulations, which are designed to remove planning system barriers, provide consistency and clarity for developers navigating the policy, and reduce burden on local governments.
Excerpt from The West Australian, 11 July 2020
It’s a Race to Get the Best Sites at the Right PriceRead more
The Governments’ incentives have created a flurry of buyer interest with Perth’s best homesites being snapped up at pre-Covid-19 prices. However, as demand increases and stock dries up, buyers need to be aware of inevitable price increases that are likely to create an impact across the entire home building supply chain.
Since a consecutive string of government announcements introduced home building incentives to stimulate the economy, Perth developers have been working tirelessly to meet new demand from people wanting to take advantage of the incredible savings.
Of course, the best and most well-located homesites are attracting most of the attention.
Boutique land developer, Monument, is experiencing this more than most. The company specialises in boutique, high demand and limited supply land-sites located close to city in established areas.
In the past month, Monument has sold over 40 homesites across its three estates, and its sales consultants are taking new enquiries on a daily basis.
Mr John Wroth, Director of Monument parent company, M/Group, says while this seems like a good problem to have, buyers need to act fast in order to secure their home and land package before the industry responds to the increased demand.
“The response to the government incentives has been enormous, but the reality is that many developers had been running according to a measured release plan of land stock prior to the announcements, so the best available lots are now simply walking out the door,” he said.
“The process of new approvals is arduous and timely and in the case of boutique developments such as ours, there is only a limited amount of land we have available. While we have no intention of increasing our land prices, other companies will find it hard to avoid the pressure for builders to meet demand through their supply chain is likely to impact building costs.”
“It is imperative that buyers recognise the extraordinary buying conditions and ensure they are finance-ready to act fast in securing the best possible land package for their new home.”
Here are some tips to help you secure the best lots on the market.
- Bigger is often seen as better!
Larger lots continue to prove the most sought after and, as such, are often in short supply. While it may be easier to secure larger lots in the outer suburbs, value is always going to be on location so do your homework and buy wisely.
- Be on the front foot with frontages
Home frontages of 15m or more are rare and popular. They often have a wait list of multiple offers in place, so it is prudent to get in fast and secure one as early as possible.
- Be finance ready
Make sure you have your finance pre-approved and speak to your mortgage broker or bank before making the commitment to buy a lot. Being prepare not only gives you the buying power to secure the lot you want quickly, it also means you won’t miss out.
- Secure your building contract now
It is unlikely that Perth will experience better building conditions any time soon, particularly with incentives that could save up to almost $70k on a house and land package. It is therefore important to recognise that the cost of building a home is currently based on pre-Covid-19 prices and builders are only able to commit to these prices if you sign quickly.
- Location is everything
Don’t be bedazzled by low prices in large outer-suburb estates. Your money will work harder and your home will be valued higher in the long-term if your land is surrounded by established infrastructure. You’ll also have the benefit of not having wait years for it to arrive.
- Don’t settle for second best
Monument offers a range of homesites across three well-located environments at various stages of development.
Atop in Beeliar is currently selling elevated, ocean view and park side lots in Stage 2 and 3 from $304,000, with Stage 4 scheduled for release and ready for titles by November. This stage will offer ocean view lots from $298,000.
The Wedge in Wellard North incorporates a community park, playground and walk trails, and is surrounded by the natural bushland of Bulrush Nature Reserve. It has sold out of Stage 1, and will have titles in place for Stage 2 in October. Lots are available from 375sq.m to 537sq.m with prices starting from $174,000.
Finally, the company’s inaugural land estate, Hamelin Park in Secret Harbour. It is just three-minutes from the beach and only has six lots left, which are priced from $194,000.
All Monument land estates are designed to impress and are located in well-established suburbs with shops, good schools, public transport and employment at your doorstep.
For more information visit www.landbymonument.com.au
A Terrace Home Affair for MatchRead more
Most people know that Match has been a significant trailblazer for the Perth apartment living scene. This well-earned distinction was bestowed over two decades ago when the company founders challenged Perth’s planning code and pushed design parameters to protect our streetscapes from large unsightly ‘cookie-cutter’ apartment product.
The introduction of cutting-edge boutique apartment design into our urban environments was something many had not seen before, and the company’s ability to secure highly visible and strategic lifestyle sites made everyone sit up and notice.
Today, Match is still delivering a stunning range of apartment designs and the market is now fully aware of the benefits apartment living can provide.
So, why is the company shifting its attention to Terrace Homes?
After its enormous success in the apartment sector, Match recently stunned its followers by introducing two projects that have moved away from its recognised apartment formula.
M/31 Terrace Homes and M/32 Terrace Homes are located in Landcorp’s visionary Shoreline Precinct in North Coogee.
The two projects are idyllically positioned just metres from the coastline and, like all other Match product, are distinctive in design and layout.
Lloyd Clark, Managing Director of Match parent company, M/Group, said the new category of housing was an exciting shift for the Match design team, but was not such a huge leap in terms of the company’s design philosophy.
“Every one of Match’s projects is distinctive in many ways, because we design specifically for the location and the residents we hope to attract to it,” he said.
“There is no doubt that Perth’s perception of apartment living has changed over the years, and that more and more people are moving away from the half acre block on the fringes of the city to a more lifestyle-driven atmosphere closer to the action.
“When we secured these incredible sites at Shoreline, we saw an opportunity to give our residents an experience that sits somewhere in between.”
M/31 Terrace Homes by Match are well-appointed three-bedroom terrace homes that include open plan layouts that integrate indoor and outdoor living. Each home comes with a double carport, private and sheltered courtyard, and is architecturally designed to maximise light, space and breeze.
M/32 Terrace Homes by Match is based on a unique architectural style that uses beautifully landscaped laneways and a central lawn area to create a sense of privacy, serenity and space. The terrace homes are designed to be ultra-modern and their floorplans are spacious laid out across three stories.
“As the apartment market has evolved, so too has Match’s desire to keep meeting the demand of people who want the best out of their lives and their home environments,” he said.
“We helped to break the mould of apartment living back in the early 2000’s, now we’re looking to bring even more to the table in terms of innovation and style.”
Prices for M/31 Terrace Homes by Match start from $550,000 and M/32 Terrace Homes by Match start from $685,000.
Government Grants a Welcome Injection for Land BuyersRead more
Government incentives to buy land and build new homes has sent demand for land skyrocketing, according to Perth land developers.
“We are only weeks in from the state and federal governments’ stimulus announcement and the response has been significant,” Monument parent company M/Group Director John Wroth said. “So much so, that we expect to sell our current stock across all projects within a month.
“This is absolutely monumental. People are quickly responding to the prospect of up to almost $70,000 in incentives. Those who previously could only budget for outer-fringe areas might now be able to afford the more desirable land close to the city such as Beeliar, Piara Waters and Treeby.”
“However, this is a finite window of opportunity and I would strongly encourage anyone looking to get a foothold in the more sought-after areas to act quickly before prices adjust to demand.”
Cuttone Property Group Managing Director Phil Cuttone has also witnessed a significant growth in interest.
“We are seeing a significant spike in sales with most developers having to now consider constructing more lots to bring on new stock as quickly as possible before the December 31 grants deadline,” he said.
“The next three to four months should see titled stock being depleted across all urban areas around Perth, especially in affordable first homebuyer areas.”
“Lifestyle areas such as North Dandalup and West Pinjarra are also benefiting from land uptake where a significant increase of sales is evident.”
While this current period may be welcomed by developers, the future of the land market is dependent on a number of factors, from employment and migration growth to affordability, according to Mr Cuttone.
“Once we can look beyond the COVID-19 implications, the outlook may be positive in Western Australia compared to the eastern states, where the land prices have been at artificial highs compared to Perth which has experienced the opposite,” he said.
“I have an optimistic view of the recovery in the Perth land market for the future, anticipating that land prices will be steady for the next few years after the end of the grants, given that there is an oversupply of affordable land coming onto the market in the future.”
Mr Wroth said while land stock was being quickly bought up, buyers were spoilt for choice.
“Land buyers are certainly not starved for choice with four corridors of development and some very attractive infill land sites on the table,” he said.
“The market shake-up could have some impact on zoning, with some high-density zoned sites possibly changing to direct land subdivision.”
“However, this will all be dependent on the state and federal governments’ ability to maintain demand and stimulate the economy through the job creation, migration and improved relations with our South East Asian neighbours.”
“It is important to recognise that the property market is strong aligned to a good economy.”
The land market has been performing well recently, according to REIWA data witnessing 5049 sales for the year to March 2020, with a median price of $248,000 and 5.1 per cent change in prices for the year.
Piara Waters and Baldivis we two hotspots for land sales, witnessing 201 and 192 sales, respectively.
While the average days on the market for the land was 60, some areas like Bedford and Kinglsey witness an average of 299 and 329 days on the market, respectively.
Most areas of Perth have seen price increases, with Perth south eat witnessing a 7.1 per cent increase for the year, while the inner suburbs or Perth suffered and 10.1 per cent decrease.
Excerpt from The West Australian Property Report, 20 June 2020
Apartment Buyers PounceRead more
While COVID-19 has sent ripples throughout all sectors of the real estate market, Managing Director of Match parent company M/Group Lloyd Clark said that the negatives would be short-lived, while the positives would have a longer-lasting impact for the apartment sector.
“Just as quickly as Perth moved through the restrictions, enquiries returned,” he said. “The disruption had significantly less impact that initially anticipated,”
“Firstly, we saw the apartment industry reinvent itself to provide highly digitalised access to apartment spaces.”
“Equally, our market became adept at reviewing possible investment opportunities online.”
“For a sector that deals significantly with off-the-plan products, this was really a watershed moment, and when enquiries returned, these people were highly qualified and informed buyers.”
Mr Clark said the pandemic has created a much-needed shift in a market that has become a little congested with speculative developers on projects that may or may not have come to fruition.
“It allowed everyone in the industry to review risks an introduce risk aversion strategies,” he said.
“What this means for apartment buyers is some developers may have reconsidered their position in terms of new project development, and off-the-plan deposits can now be redirected to solid operators such as Match, which has demonstrated time and again resilience in varying market conditions.”
Edge Visionary Living Managing Director Gavin Hawkins said the developer also witness a spike in enquiries as restrictions started to lift.
“We have seen a huge spike in enquiry as COVID-19 restrictions have eased, and especially following the new government incentive announcements,” he said.
“With equity markets now above where they were little more than 12 months ago, the initial fears have dissipated and buyer confidence within the sector is returning strongly.”
The apartment market had a big change-up in May of this year when new strata reforms came into place offering a variety of changes to how strata acts operate.
From 10-year maintenance plans, to minimum education for strata managers and a more efficient dispute resolution process, it was the largest shake up in decades and one Mr Hawkins said was a plus for buyers.
“It certainly allows for more flexibility in providing a co-ordinated, staged approach to developments,” he said.
“The key take-out, however, is providing more clarity and protections for the buyers which is obviously a good thing for both buyers and the sector.”
Mr Clark said many byers were unaware of recently available stamp duty rebates when buying an apartment.
“This will help purchasers buy into under-construction apartments, as well as pre-construction,” he said.
“This means purchasers can take advantage of the stamp duty rebates and other incentives and may not have to wait prolonged periods to move into an apartment.”
The value of apartments has remained relatively steady over the last ten years, falling just 0.7 per cent in Greater Perth over the period, according to REIWA data, with the median sale price for the year to March 2020 recorded at $378,000. The median unit rental price for March was $340.
The suburb of Perth recorded the most unit sales in the year to March, with 264, closely followed by East Perth (245). Near city suburbs Scarborough (210), South Perth (209) and Maylands (180) rounded out the top 5.
Outer-ring suburbs Rockingham and Mandurah also saw high levels of activity, with 115 and 108 sales respectively.
In terms of sales value, only two sub-regional markets saw an increase over the year to March, with the Perth South West market realising an increase of 2.6 per cent and Mandurah boasting a massive increase of 17.3 per cent.
South Perth witness the biggest apartment sale price of $7,150,000in the year to March while Dalkeith the lower quartile, median and higher quartile sales were all in the million dollar range, with the wealthy suburb recording and 37.3 per cent spike in prices for the year to March. The opposite was true in Crawley which witnessed an equal fall over the period.
Excerpt from The West Australian Property Report, 20 June 2020
How to make your Government incentives work harder for you
It’s an exciting time for land buyers! Government incentives have made it the most affordable time to build your own home in over a decade, and land options are plentiful across all four corridors of Perth’s metropolitan areas.
But before you dive into making the dream of building your own home a reality, it’s important to consider the long term value prospects of this extremely rare opportunity.
According to Mr John Wroth, Director of Monument parent company M/Group, your choice of estate today could have a massive impact on how much the home delivers in the future.
“These are unprecedented times for those looking to build their own home. The Government incentives could effectively save up to $70k on a house and land package, and we are already experiencing the thrust of buyers wanting to take advantage of the opportunities,” he said.
“However, not all land estates are the same and there are clear indicators that you can look for in an estate now that will give you a higher return when you’re ready to sell in the future.”
Here’s how you can increase the value of your Government incentives.
Stay close to the action
Homes in the inner suburbs of the city will invariably attract higher values than those on the fringes.
Equally, as the population grows and subdivisions expand, the inner suburbs will become more sought-after due to the limited supply of land availability.
People will always want to live closer to the action, and the closer you are, the higher the price you will achieve.
Look for good amenity
Being close to shopping centres, schools, transport and community infrastructure, such as parks and walking trails, will always add value to a home.
Today, some developers are investing a great deal into high-quality amenity and facilities that not only attract a thriving community but also gives residents a broader lifestyle experience that extends beyond their four walls.
Find something special
If an estate stands out for you now, chances are the future buyer of your home will feel the same.
Take notice of carefully considered features within an environment that help to create an important point of difference. This could be the deciding factor between your home and another when someone is considering a purchase.
Also make sure the estate isn’t too large. An over-supply of similar stock will increase the competition when your home hits the market.
Fastrack your investment potential
It’s easy to be swept away by the potential of an estate, but how long will it take to get the promised amenity.
Most estates progress in line with the number of lots sold, which means earmarked shopping centres and schools may be pushed out longer than you anticipate depending on market factors.
Ideally, find a location with established infrastructure. This will not only give you immediate access to the benefits the amenity provides, but also the assurance that your home ‘package’ is ready for sale when you choose to hand it over.
Not all estates are the same. Monument is a boutique land developer that offers infill land sites within established areas. It prides itself on delivering a well-considered development design that introduces something unique and special into the marketplace – enhancing future resale or rental prospects.
“Monument tries to tick all the boxes in terms of maintaining and improving property values for its owners. We design our estates around the environment’s natural topography, materials, rocks, trees and other plant life and we are always looking for ways to weave creativity and interest throughout our developments,” Mr Wroth continued.
“Our estates continue to attract a great deal of attention and it’s an added bonus to us that we can future-proof our buyers’ investment.”
Monument’s current land portfolio includes The Wedge in Wellard North, Atop in Beeliar and Hamelin Park in the coastal community of Secret Harbour with other opportunities coming on board in the near future.
For more information visit www.landbymonument.com.au.