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October 22, 2012 | Media Statement
Blocks ripe for building two-storey “walk-up” homes are the hottest opportunity being tracked down by investors keen to craft higher density developments in the midst of Perth’s housing affordability crisis, according to Subiaco buyer’s agency Property Wizards.
Property Wizards’ Liz Sterzel said a recent change to planning laws had created a loophole making the savvy wealth-creation strategy possible.
“The brilliant opportunity the loophole presents is being able to build two-storey walk-up homes which may look like a townhouse but are actually two apartments, one on top of the other, where each unit is a separate property with its own title,” she said.
“The potential return on a development like this is higher than with normal villa and townhouse developments but the best bit is that the costs are similar.”
Ms Sterzel said, in many cases, a block where you could typically build two townhouses might present the opportunity to build four two-storey walk-ups.
“The key wealth-creating strategy here is that the costs should be about the same for developing four homes that can be sold or rented out for a much larger profit than simply building two houses,” she said.
Ms Sterzel cautioned against going it alone in the new development space though.
“While there is the potential for creating a bigger, less risky and more valuable portfolio at a similar outlay, there are major pitfalls to be avoided,” she explained.
“Of course, finding the right block is crucial and even when it appears you have the correct one, that may not be the case due to council regulations or the shape of the site.”
According to Ms Sterzel, design was also a critical factor.
“Be careful when choosing designs for two-storey walk-ups – consultants who can create beautiful living units within higher density projects such as these are the way to go,” she said.
“It’s such a new area that, unlike townhouse and villa projects, there aren’t builders or real estate agents offering pre-packaged help to investors.
“There’s major upside though, so if you have expertise, including the right project manager, town planner and architect, on your side, these walk-up developments are one of the best development opportunities in Perth right now, having replaced traditional retain and build investments.”
Property Wizards works with local, interstate and overseas buyers seeking to buy or develop property in the greater Perth metropolitan area.
The agency’s exceptional customer service in helping investors snare superior properties has seen it recently presented with a Gold Australian Customer Service Award for 2012.