Green shoots emerging in development site sector

Five are sites earmarked for boutique residential developments: in Cronulla, Drummoyne, Newtown, Randwick and Surry Hills. A further three apartment blocks in Coogee, Drummoyne and Randwick represent a total of 74 apartments.

It comes after a hiatus when bank lending came to a near standstill amid fears of over-pricing for the sites in purchase and a lack of buyers for the proposed apartments.

Residential developers were also hit with a shift in sentiment after strong issues with some apartment blocks due to cracking and bad construction.


This led investors to hold back and only focus on the more reputable names in the industry, forcing the lesser-known players to leave.

“After an eight-year residential boom, a lot of our clients disappeared to Europe for two years to wait for the development market to return,” Mr Heaton said.

“Banks stopped lending, rents dropped and overseas investors fell away when it became more expensive to buy in Australia, on top of the increase in construction costs.”

Mr Heaton said there is now more interest with private developers again searching for boutique projects where they can meet the demand from “downsizers and investors in strong socio-economic areas”.


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