Lit­tle won­der that small is beau­ti­ful for a new breed of buyer

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE - Nathan Mawby

SMALL houses are set to be­come the next big thing in Melbourne. A grow­ing amount of re­search is start­ing to point to town­house-style properties as the new main­stay of Melbourne hous­ing.

Colin Keane, di­rec­tor of Re­searchFour, has noted the tra­di­tional 1000sq m (quar­ter-acre) block of land has been su­per­seded by smaller, and usu­ally more af­ford­able, al­lot­ments.

Re­view­ing National Land Sur­vey Pro­gram find­ings, Mr Keane said smaller lots gained up to $21,000 in value over the past three years.

He is pre­dict­ing the rise of the town­house as the new fam­ily home.

‘‘Most fam­i­lies buy­ing on Melbourne’s outer fringes are trav­el­ling 15km fur­ther to se­cure a block of land that is only 70sq m big­ger, at a price point which is sim­i­lar to a new well-de­signed town­house from where they came,’’ Mr Keane said.

Deon White, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of ur­ban de­sign with Robert­sDay town plan­ning, echoed the pre­dic­tion.

‘‘The trend of the McMan­sion is on the de­cline; Aus­tralians are turn­ing away from the su­per-large Aus­tralian home,’’ Mr White said.

‘‘In­stead they’re start­ing to en­gage with the con­cept of the smaller home. Peo­ple want to live a lit­tle more; they want less of their in­come drained into their weekly mort­gage re­pay­ments.’’

The de­sire for smaller al­ter­na­tives is also be­ing driven by a grow­ing num­ber of buy­ers who are check­ing the run­ning costs of homes, ac­cord­ing to Mr White.

Ro­han Ames, of de­vel­oper R.Cor­po­ra­tion which has be­gun tar­get­ing young fam­i­lies seek­ing townhouses, said projects in their sta­ble had proven pop­u­lar among such buy­ers in Maid­stone, Chel­tenham, South Yarra and North Melbourne.

‘‘The suc­cess of the de­vel­op­ments in­di­cates that buy­ers aren’t just recog­nis­ing the value for money in a more de­sir­able area; they’re also redefin­ing the fam­ily home,’’ Mr Ames said.

$650,000-$700,000 with­out a car park. $700,000-$750,000 with a car park.

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