Townhouse surge predicted for middle and outer ring suburbs

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One major Australian residential developer believes space and affordability constraints will lead to a rise in the popularity of townhouses in Australian cities.

Developer Cedar Woods is currently launching the early stages of the St. A development, which consists of 250 townhouses in St Albans in Victoria.

The suburb is 16 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD and Cedar Woods state manager for Victoria and Queensland Nathan Blackburne believes there will be a surge in townhouses in similar suburbs across the nation’s capital cities.

“Townhouses are far from a new concept. If you look art cities like London and Paris they’re extremely common,” Blackburne said.

“In Australia they’ve historically been reasonably common in the inner city rings, but I think the middle and outer rings are going to see a lot more townhouses start to pop up,” he said.

While suburbs further out from city centres may have traditionally been locations for people looking for the typical “Australian Dream” of a detached house on a quarter-acre bloke, Blackburne said improved public transport links are helping to reshape people’s attitude.

“We’ve had really strong interest so far. In the stage one release we sold all but two townhouses and we’ve had great interest in stage two as well,” he said.

“So far the buyers have predominantly been from Melbourne who see the growth prospects and really strong public transport links the suburb has.

“People’s attitudes have changed in recent years. Not everybody wants a house on a large block, they won’t something a bit more low-maintenance where they can live out of the city centre, but easily access it for work and those sort of things, and that’s why we see a places like St Albans being so strong.”

The Victorian Government is currently undertaking a $220 million upgrade of the St Albans train station, which has included the removal of level crossings on main arterial roads in the area.

While a lack of similar options in the area may have helped the strong sales Cedar Woods has seen in the St. A development, Blackburne believes more projects will follow as land supply closer to the Melbourne CBD dwindles.

“That’s very much so going to play a role in the increase of townhouses. In the inner urban areas we’re starting to see supply dry up and that’s going to help the shift to further out from the city centre.

“For the owner occupiers a townhouse presents a bit more of an affordable option and while investors traditionally favour established housing,  we think an area like St Albans that has strong fundamentals like transport and schooling is going to appeal to them too.”
 

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