Splitter blocks in Brisbane southside: Subdivision trend proves bonanza

NOBODY can accuse the inner-southeast suburbs of failing to help Mayor Graham Quirk in his push to boost by 50 per cent the number of homes being built in Brisbane.

In fact, a solid trend is in place – and growing – of homes on 800sq m-plus blocks in suburbs such as Tarragindi, Salisbury, Moorooka, Annerley, Rocklea, and Holland Park being snapped up, split in half, and two houses built where once there was one.

“It’s a bit of a bonanza, actually, if you’re lucky enough to own a big block over that 800sq m mark because developers are paying top dollar to get their hands on them,” Tarragindi-based real estate agent Michael Boor said.

“And if the block has City views then the developers will pay even more,” Michael said.

“Even homeowners who bought in the past two or three years could be sitting on considerable gains, if they wanted to cash in.”

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HOT DEMAND: Properties in Brisbane's inner southwest on big blocks - such as this at Tarragindi house - are being snapped up for subdivision.
IN PROGRESS: The Tarragindi site now - cleared and ready for two new houses to be built.

New trend emerges

Michael said a lot of the demand was coming from builders, who were now also acting as developers.

“This has been a very interesting shift and I’m dealing directly with these builders a lot now.

“They’re deciding to smooth out their project pipelines and broaden beyond client jobs alone. Instead, they are creating their own work by splitting blocks and building new.

“And of course the builders have an inbuilt advantage here because a developer has to absorb his or her builder’s profit margin in their costs, which restricts what the developer can bid for the block.

“The builder has an inbuilt buffer over the developer, which makes them very competitive bidders.”

Big yard drops off wish-list

Michael said the replacements were large, modern and stylish two-level houses that took up most of the available land.

“They are really for couples and families that want to live close to the City in a nice suburb and don’t really prioritise having a generous yard.

“As a rough guide, in one recent example, the builder-developer paid a bit over $1million for the site and is close to finishing the new houses, which will be priced at $1.5 each.

‘So you can see that even after tradie wages, building materials and marketing costs, it’s quite a lucrative move – for everybody really.”

MICHAEL SAYS: “Blocks over 600sq m are also in demand so long as they are within 200m walking distance from a shopping precinct that’s more than 2000sq m in size. Subject to other conditions, blocks such as these may be eligible for subdivision under the 2014 City Plan.”

Mayor flags ramp-up

The Lord Mayor wrote to Brisbanites on November 11, 2016, flagging council’s intention to jump on the accelerator with new housing in response, Mr Qurk said, to the State Government’s draft Southeast Queensland Regional Plan.

The draft plan, Mr Quirk wrote, had set BCC a target of approving more than 223,000 new homes over a 30-year period.

“To meet this target, the rate at which new homes are being built in Brisbane will have to increase by almost 50 per cent.

“But to the lack of available land in Brisbane, the draft plan highlights that nearly all of these new homes can only be delivered through redevelopment of existing properties.”

The Lord Mayor said council would “continue to focus growth along major transport corridors, around large business centres and key inner-city areas.”

Copyright: Nick Moore