Opportunity is Knocking - The Sunday Times HOME

Property developments are no longer just for the seasoned experts. A new breed of first-time developers are capitalizing on WA’s rapid population growth and the updated Residential Design Codes

Low interest rates, high population growth and low rental vacancy rates are creating an ideal landscape for amateur developers. A growing band of mum-and-dad investors are opening property portfolios, teaming up with Perth’s builders to construct profitable unit developments, family residences and starter homes. They’re doing their homework, shopping around for the best deals, thinking carefully about location and learning to make design decisions based on the bottom line. Broadway Developments reports that budding developers are more switched on than ever, hunting down cost-saving initiatives that will help give them more return on their investment. A division of Broadway Homes, the company currently offering free demolition up to the value of $15,000 if two or more homes are being built as a part of a development project on an established sire. Sharene Leatherbarrow, developments consultant at Broadway Developments, says would-be developers aren’t afraid to ask for help and advice so that they can avoid pitfalls. “With investment builds, there is less focus on emotion and more focus on return on investment,” she says. “Personalising changes or items to your own taste won’t always give you the return on your spend.” Sharene says growing interest in multi-unit developments reflects a changing market. There’s a growing acceptance of strata properties because they are generally close to infrastructure, while urban infill continues to present opportunities to subdivide and profit. While some investors choose to retain and rent out their new investment property, others are developing to sell.