The Victorian Government achieved a stunning success at the recent state elections. The Andrew’s Labour Government proclaim themselves to be Australia’s most progressive government and are being rewarded for delivering on that agenda. One area where they are delivering is in providing a mixed tapestry of housing options – and not just leaving it to market forces.
Melbourne may soon overtake Sydney as Australia’s most populous city – 4 million. It is not without growing pains but at least is experimenting with new housing formats. Inner city Brunswick is enjoying a spate of new developments under the Nightingale model. This is where groups of people pool their resources and housing preferences. Various state and local bodies can help to achieve good results without having to hand over large amounts of cash to developers or banks.
What is Build-to-Rent
Public and industry have welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement that it will support the new Build-to-Rent asset class. This will see apartments with longer lease terms and access to more amenities on the market in two years. Property Council of Australia Victorian Executive Director, Cressida Wall, “Tenants want the certainty and services that Build-to-Rent can offer. Build-to-Rent models recognise and respond to the changing housing needs within our communities where more people are either needing or choosing to rent and are doing so for longer.” With longer leases, people move less, saving the money and the hassle of multiple moves. For people saving for a home deposit, these savings can make a real difference.
Major industry players like Grocon, Mirvac and Stockland have expressed interest in working with government to get it off the ground. Specialist Build-to-Rent firm Greystar, which has delivered homes in the US, UK, Mexico, Chile, Holland, Germany, France, Spain and China, is keen to get started in Australia. “In all these countries, we commonly see a repetition of fundamental factors that drive demand for build- to-rent or multifamily housing”, said Greystar Managing Director for Australia Chris Key. “As a missing part of Australia’s housing continuum, there is arguably a stronger need for Build-to-Rent here than almost any other market we operate in globally”, Key said. “We hope this support is replicated right around the country.”
A new model for future generations locked out of home ownership.
At long last this may represent movement away from standard brick and tile, single dwelling subdivisions. The ones that have blighted the Australian landscape since the 1950s. There is good reason why developments like West Byron are on the nose. They are ugly and leave a heavy ecological footprint. But due to the economies of scale, they remain a lot cheaper than a designer, post and beam style home.
The build-to-rent model provides suitable accomodation that suits many new entrants into the housing market. Many young couples and families no longer have the burning desire to build and own in the outer suburbs with long commute times. Build-to-rent medium density apartment blocks provide suitable infrastructure like wi-fi, bicycle storage, shared laundry and open space. Couple this with more lenient and user friendly leasing terms and this may be the new housing standard for Australia – as it is in may advanced countries overseas. Unfortunately this may be sometime away for rural areas like ours and will need to get traction n the cities first. But with our housing demands like it is, it will not be far behind.
Some text supplied from a media release from the Victorian Government on Oct 2nd.