House upgrades behind demolitions boom
MELBOURNE’S most demolished suburbs have been revealed.
And rather than townhouse and apartment developers, it’s homebuyers and owners looking for bigger houses in those suburbs who are behind the wrecking ball.
New figures from the Victorian Building Authority show 5345 demolition permits were issued in 2017-18.
Master Builders Association Victorian chairman Steven Peluso said for large parts of Melbourne 30 per cent of homes being knocked down would be replaced by a family home, particularly in the suburbs that see the most demolitions.
“And that has increased,” Mr Peluso said.
But the activity for townhouses and apartments had slowed down as requirements to have 30 per cent open space on a block cut back scope for development.
Homes builder Porter Davis has come close to doubling the number of new homes it is building to replace a recently demolished abode.
Hot spots include Blackburn, where Porter Davis accounted for one in every five demolitions in the past financial year.
General manager digital and marketing Shaun Patterson said the company was also seeing growth in Melbourne’s west around areas like Altona.
He said about 60 per cent of Porter Davis customers were demolishing a long-time family home.
“The reality is, in today’s environment, it’s very easy to knock a house down and put a new one up,” Mr Patterson said.
“Certainly families and downsizers are driving it.”
Soaring house prices had helped many homeowners fund a bulldozer and rebuild, said Metricon sales and brand manager Damian Morabito.
“Rising house prices, if anything, have been a positive for this market, enabling families and empty-nesters to leverage the equity in their land to assist funding their projects,” Mr Morabito said.
Online Demolition owner Andre Langley said the wrecking business was booming at the moment.
Across all the demolition work he completed, the majority were people knocking down a house to replace it with a more modern abode.
“A lot of them are demolishing family homes from a number of years,” Mr Langley said.
Mr Langley’s company demolished the 13-year family home of Lisa Croxford and Tony Barrett this week.
The family loved the street and their house and their kids were in local schools, but the home “leaked like a sieve”, Ms Croxford said.
“It is also tricky to upsize in the area and near impossible to get a well-built modern home. Hence, our decision to stay put, demolish and rebuild,” she said.
Glen Payne of Online Demolition takes a coffee break in a Forest Hill house he is reducing to rubble.