With land listings in short supply but interest in building at an all-time high, knockdown rebuilds are fast becoming the solution for Victorians wanting to create their dream home.
In Victoria, the total number of land listings have dropped by more than half between April ’19 and August ’21, according to realestate.com.au data.
At the same time, demand for new homes is at an all-time high, with email enquiries for new developments rising more than 300% from February ’20 to August ’21 with Victoria far outpacing the national average.
“The supply of land available has been going down from 2020 onwards, creating a bit of a shortage,” says Anne Flaherty, realestate.com.au economist.
“We know COVID had a lot of people wanting a bigger home, but what really drove the demand was people looking to take advantage of the federal government’s HomeBuilder grant.
“A lot of the old land stock, which typically takes longer to sell, was bought up quickly because people were so desperate to take advantage of the grant before the deadline.”
New home dreaming
With new land listings becoming scarcer, buying property with an old home and clearing the land to start over is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition, Flaherty says.
“When there’s an imbalance between supply and demand, people who cannot find the product they’re looking for in the existing dwelling or land will start thinking about the house of their dreams and knocking down a home to achieve that,” she explains.
“One of the main benefits is that you can build exactly what you want. So, you don’t have to compromise by purchasing a home that might not have everything you need.”
But it’s not just the attraction of a new home that is drawing people to knockdown rebuilds. The advantage of staying in a familiar location with established amenities is a big factor, Flaherty says.
“Unlike in new suburbs, building in an established area means you have all the amenities, schools, transport and cafes already in place,” she says.
Knockdown rebuild surge
Keith Fuller, senior designer at Porter Davis, says the number of people looking to knockdown rebuild has skyrocketed in recent months.
“It was the growing trend before COVID, but I think that the pandemic exacerbated it,” he says.
“When you think about the psychology of it, people love what they know and where they’re comfortable.
“Often, they’ve bought in a particular area because of the proximity to family, friends, schools and want to stay there. But they also love the idea of something new and nice.”
For homeowners looking for a bit of extra space in their current property, renovating is another alternative. However, Fuller warns that renovations come with limitations and potential cost blowouts.
“There are real problems with adapting old homes to the new ways of living,” he explains.
“The cost is considerable, but you’re working with a building that limits what you can achieve.”
How it works
Embarking on a knockdown rebuild is a more complex journey than building on a vacant block, but the result is well worth the effort, says Benjamin Smarrelli, national sales manager at Porter Davis.
“From a knockdown rebuild perspective, the process is different to buying in a house and land estate — there are a lot more things to take into account,” Smarrelli says.
A block assessment from a team of experts will look at issues such as overshadowing and orientation, as well as obtaining planning permits, soil testing and site analysis.
“This initial step helps to remove a lot of the anxiety for people,” Smarrelli says.
Going with an experienced builder not only simplifies the process, but also frees up time to focus on the more exciting aspects of a new home, such as picking the perfect facade, floorplan and interior design theme.
“When you go to a custom builder, you not only pay significantly more but there’s a lot you have to do on your own,” Smarrelli adds.
“The beauty of going with a company like Porter Davis is we’re the industry leaders with design and innovation. We have a whole team that supports the customer, from sales stage to well after they’ve moved into their home, so it’s a much easier process.”
All pictures are courtesy of Porter Davis.
This article was originally published on realestate.com.au