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Bob Winnell gets his land half price from the ACT Government

By johnboy - 18 January 2011 13

The Canberra Times has the thrilling news that after deciding to discard the transparency of land auctions the ACT Government decided that a good price for land direct to favoured developers in 2009 should be nearly half the price charged in 2007.

At auction in 2007 the Government sold housing blocks in Canberra’s north for almost $80,000.

But two years later, it sold up to 460 comparable blocks directly to the developer for an average of $44,565.

The Government blames the difference on the global financial crisis, which it said caused prices for undeveloped land to plunge to their lowest point in years.

Yet a packed auction a month after the direct sales in June 2009 drove up block prices in Canberra’s south to $117,000 significantly above the reserve price.

Because we all know real estate values have been plummeting right? And the Village Building Company has been passing these savings on right?

Errr…

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Bob Winnell gets his land half price from the ACT Government
housebound 7:53 am 20 Jan 11

LSWCHP said :

EvanJames said :

WTF? Undeveloped land is, if anything, more valuable than land with a small un-mc-mansioned house on it.

This is borderline corruption.

Nothing borderline about it as far as I can tell.

Not that it matters if we all vote Labor at the next election (or if the Greens keep supporting Labor on almost everything no matter what).

LSWCHP 10:47 pm 19 Jan 11

Francois Dillinger said :

The funniest thing is that there probably isnt that much graft involved. More likely than not just sheer bloodymindedness and incompetence.

That’s very charitable of you Francois. 🙂

I agree that generally, in a choice between a cockup and a conspiracy, the cockup is the most likely explanation. However this is not necessarily the case in complicated situations where other explanatory factors (like lots and lots of money that has to go…ahhh…somewhere) must be considered.

Occam’s razor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor)is a useful tool for assisting reasoning about these cases.

LSWCHP 9:04 pm 18 Jan 11

EvanJames said :

WTF? Undeveloped land is, if anything, more valuable than land with a small un-mc-mansioned house on it.

This is borderline corruption.

Nothing borderline about it as far as I can tell.

arescarti42 6:52 pm 18 Jan 11

Because we all know real estate values have been plummeting right?

Admittedly they’ve started dropping in QLD/TAS/WA but not in Canberra just yet.

I thought the ACT Government’s whole revenue model was basically based around drip feeding land into the market in order to get the highest price when they sold it.

This looks more like drip feeding land into the market and selling it dirt cheap to developers so they can get maximum profit when they sell it.

Francois Dillinger 4:03 pm 18 Jan 11

The illustrious connection between state and territory Labor governments and land developers continues…

Bob Winnell isnt Stanhope’s cousin is he? Or are they eschewing the old-school nepotism of the European bourgeouis in favour of the Hong Kong-type non-descipt, brown envelopes in darkened alleyways?

The funniest thing is that there probably isnt that much graft involved. More likely than not just sheer bloodymindedness and incompetence.

Braddon Boy 1:35 pm 18 Jan 11

Georgesgenitals, yes, in this case “undeveloped” land means no roads, water, sewer, electricity, stormwater, gas, telecommunications or anything like that is provided. It is literally a paddock. It is up to the developer to build these things, at their own cost, before they flog off the individual blocks.

I wonder if the price difference takes into account the fact VBC try to squeeze as many block in as possible (Macgregor anyone) with an absolute minimum amount of open space, whereas other developers aren’t quite so bad. So, they get more blocks to sell from the same amount of gross land area, forcing down the price of the individual sellable blocks.

Swaggie 12:40 pm 18 Jan 11

Someone remind me again how much Winnell “donated” to the Stanhope Memorial Arboretum….ah yes 1.5 million wasn’t it? And then Winnell complains when he is derided and reviled by the majority of the Canberra public .

georgesgenitals 12:34 pm 18 Jan 11

Actually, was the developer required to provide roads/services at all as part of the deal?

EvanJames 11:58 am 18 Jan 11

WTF? Undeveloped land is, if anything, more valuable than land with a small un-mc-mansioned house on it.

This is borderline corruption. Land is in short supply which is why housing costs so much. Handing it to developers is bad enough, but giving it to them cheap really stinks. You reckon they’ll pass on the savings to buyers? Yeah, right.

georgesgenitals 11:22 am 18 Jan 11

Hilarious (at least it would be if it wasn’t such a blatant rip off of ACT residents). The GFC has nothing to do with sales of land to individual purchasers (who were able to get finance during the GFC if their fundamentals were sound). Demand was (and still is) high for housing in the ACT.

watto23 11:10 am 18 Jan 11

Heard an interview on the radio this morning on 666. Really the GFC hit so hard that land prices were cheaper? Apparently the fact that because no new land on the southside was why $350k+ was a block price at Molonglo.

I’m thinking developers are pocketing the money, much like retailers are trying to do with cheap imports.

PM 11:07 am 18 Jan 11

This is bloody disgusting.

tommy 9:50 am 18 Jan 11

Hey John – from memory they were pretty damn cheap out at West Macgregor. At the time prices were bubbling nicely, rental vacancies were miniscule, indy builders were setting their prices sky high as tradies just weren’t available.

There was a few Canberra Times articles about West Macgregor and how it was allowing first home owners into the market, “cheapest new housing in Canberra etc”. CT obviously forgets about it’s own history…

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