You home­wreck­ers

House up­grades be­hind de­mo­li­tions boom

Herald Sun - - NEWS - NATHAN MAWBY nathan.mawby@news.com.au

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.

Pic­ture: DAVID CAIRD

Glen Payne of On­line De­mo­li­tion takes a cof­fee break in a For­est Hill house he is re­duc­ing to rub­ble.

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