In the midst of a heated debate over housing affordability, developer Growland believes it has struck the right balance between the scale of its $600 million Victoria Square development and attractive amenity to be able to offer its one-bedroom apartments at an “affordable” $298,000. This is well under Melbourne’s one bedroom median price of $330,000, according to CoreLogic.
Also, 90 per cent of the 900 apartments to be built in the project will be under $600,000, thus qualifying for the Victorian first home buyers’ grant which comes into effect on 1 July.
“The timing is good,” says Project Director James Harrison. “Not only was the project designed at a time when the industry believed it would be subject to new design rules setting a 50sq m minimum for one-bedders, but the value is even greater given virtually all first home buyers of these apartments will qualify for the grant.”
The Victorian government didn’t in the end proceed with implementation of that 50 sq m limit, but Growland is proceeding anyway and the one-bedders will be comfortably over that minimum at 61 sq m.
Construction starts on the first two towers containing 400 apartments “at the end of the year,” says Harrison.
Growland’s ability to offer its apartments at an affordable price has been helped by the fact that the group bought the site in Footscray, in Melbourne’s inner west, five years ago, at a price well below what it would have cost today. “We got it before the big uplift,” says Harrison, “and this is a key factor in us being able to offer the apartments at very competitive prices.”