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Home loans made clear

International building firm invests in Canberra

By Amy McPhillips 20 March 2015 39

sekisui house display home wright

Canberra home buyers will have greater choice when it comes to selecting a builder from this weekend, with Japan’s largest homebuilder, Sekisui House, opening its first ACT display home in Wright today.

The display home was officially opened by Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Sekisui House managing director Kazunari Takayanagi.

Minister Barr said he was pleased that a large international company had recognised “the enormous potential” of Canberra’s property market.

“This is great news for home buyers in the Territory, providing more competition and better choice when building a new home,” he said.

Sekisui House was founded in Japan in 1960 and has operated in Australia since 2009. The company, which employs over 22,000 people worldwide, has built over two million homes.

sekisui house canberra

Takayanagi said that the company chose to invest and build a display home in Canberra because of its affluent population and strong demand for housing – particularly in Molonglo and Gungahlin.

“The housing market here in Canberra is really attractive for us due to the demand for high quality housing and the relatively high average income,” he said.

Sekisui House’s ACT designs start from $185,000, with the average contract price around $250,000. Its target markets are first home buyers, young families and empty nesters looking to downsize.

Senior manager product and marketing Takao Sawai said that Sekisui House’s key point of difference is building homes that are efficiently designed and foster family interaction. The Canberra display home, for example, has an open plan living, kitchen and dining area with a children’s play area separated by a low wall for easy supervision. Natural light is also abundant.

sekisui house

“Australia is facing a social problem of affordable housing. Houses need to be spacious and functional, even if they’re on smaller blocks. This means no wasted space, better integration with indoor and outdoors, a smooth flow between living areas and creating spaces where families can interact but still have privacy,” he said.

Takayanagi explained that delivering traditional Japanese customer service is also a priority.

“In Japan, 50 per cent of our new customers are generated via word of mouth and positive recommendations. We are hoping to do the same in Australia,” he said.

The Sekisui House Wright Display Centre is located at 11 Dot Butler Street in Wright and is open 7 days (10am-5pm) from Saturday 21st March.

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International building firm invests in Canberra
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arescarti42 10:19 pm 31 Mar 15

dungfungus said :

I would like you to explain what you mean by “real rates were negative”.
That sounds a bit like employees in the public service, you know, “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us”.

Real rates are the nominal interest rate minus inflation.

For example, if inflation is 4% and interest rates are also 4%, the bank isn’t getting any return on its investment, and you’re essentially getting the money for free. If real interest rates are negative, then you’re getting the money for less than free.

In practice what this meant for home buyers in the 1970s was not only were they buying homes dirt cheap relative today, negative real interest rates were shrinking their loan principal.

It doesn’t get any easier than that.

wildturkeycanoe 4:33 pm 30 Mar 15

To put it all into perspective, the “www.economics.hia.com.au/media/House price to income ratio – FINAL.pdf” shows that from 1995 to 1999 houses were around 2.3 times the average dual income, but now it is more like 4.4 times. That is a doubling since Gen Y were buying up houses. It definitely isn’t any easier these days.

la mente torbida 1:14 pm 30 Mar 15

ABS figures seem to indicate around $13,000 was average annual salary in 1980 and $20,000 in 1984. But then, 70% of statistics are supposedly made up on the spot.

dungfungus 12:09 pm 30 Mar 15

la mente torbida said :

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

With land starting at $300,000+ and a cheap house at $185,000, the home loan minus deposit of say 10% will end up costing around $620 per week. That doesn’t sound much like a first home buyer dream, more like a life sentence.
Also, if you believe what many have said who have built homes with this and other companies, add another $100,000 to that basic package to get a house you can actually move into. Then your weekly payments are around $750. Gotta be in a darn good job or do a lot of hours to afford that. Heaven have mercy should interest rates go up.

A lot of mercy will have to be dispensed in the near future but remember we babyboomers (you know, the demographic that is making home affordability impossible) had to pay17.5% on our mortgages in the 1990’s. We survived nevertheless.

Yes, with wages that were far higher in relation to house prices. In 1980 for example, $44675 average house in Canberra with average annual wage of $13,000. So a house was worth four times your annual wage, whereas now a house is worth more than 8 times the average wage. That’s a fair comparison isn’t it?

I moved to Canberra in 1983 and paid over $90,000 for one of those “average” houses. Are you suggesting that average house prices more than doubled in 3 years?

I think he is. I bought my first home in Monash in 1980 for $36,000 and sold it in 1984 for $75,000. There was a bit of a boom during those years.

The real estate boom wasn’t matched with a wages boom though so that comparison should have been at least 6 times wages. .

la mente torbida 11:30 am 30 Mar 15

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

With land starting at $300,000+ and a cheap house at $185,000, the home loan minus deposit of say 10% will end up costing around $620 per week. That doesn’t sound much like a first home buyer dream, more like a life sentence.
Also, if you believe what many have said who have built homes with this and other companies, add another $100,000 to that basic package to get a house you can actually move into. Then your weekly payments are around $750. Gotta be in a darn good job or do a lot of hours to afford that. Heaven have mercy should interest rates go up.

A lot of mercy will have to be dispensed in the near future but remember we babyboomers (you know, the demographic that is making home affordability impossible) had to pay17.5% on our mortgages in the 1990’s. We survived nevertheless.

Yes, with wages that were far higher in relation to house prices. In 1980 for example, $44675 average house in Canberra with average annual wage of $13,000. So a house was worth four times your annual wage, whereas now a house is worth more than 8 times the average wage. That’s a fair comparison isn’t it?

I moved to Canberra in 1983 and paid over $90,000 for one of those “average” houses. Are you suggesting that average house prices more than doubled in 3 years?

I think he is. I bought my first home in Monash in 1980 for $36,000 and sold it in 1984 for $75,000. There was a bit of a boom during those years.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 11:19 am 30 Mar 15

arescarti42 said :

Not to mention that rates were only ever that high for a couple of years in the early 90s, and real rates were actually negative in the 1970s when the majority of baby boomers were first entering the property market.

True, but they still had to be paid in nominal dollars.

dungfungus 8:56 am 30 Mar 15

arescarti42 said :

A lot of mercy will have to be dispensed in the near future but remember we babyboomers (you know, the demographic that is making home affordability impossible) had to pay17.5% on our mortgages in the 1990’s. We survived nevertheless.

Yes, with wages that were far higher in relation to house prices. In 1980 for example, $44675 average house in Canberra with average annual wage of $13,000. So a house was worth four times your annual wage, whereas now a house is worth more than 8 times the average wage. That’s a fair comparison isn’t it?

Not to mention that rates were only ever that high for a couple of years in the early 90s, and real rates were actually negative in the 1970s when the majority of baby boomers were first entering the property market.

When babyboomers bought their first house it didn’t happen overnight like the de-regulated no deposit deals available now.
People who had to borrow from a savings bank (they had the cheapest interest) first had to save one third deposit within at least three years and proof of regular savings had to be furnished.
I would like you to explain what you mean by “real rates were negative”.
That sounds a bit like employees in the public service, you know, “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us”.

arescarti42 7:40 pm 29 Mar 15

A lot of mercy will have to be dispensed in the near future but remember we babyboomers (you know, the demographic that is making home affordability impossible) had to pay17.5% on our mortgages in the 1990’s. We survived nevertheless.

Yes, with wages that were far higher in relation to house prices. In 1980 for example, $44675 average house in Canberra with average annual wage of $13,000. So a house was worth four times your annual wage, whereas now a house is worth more than 8 times the average wage. That’s a fair comparison isn’t it?

Not to mention that rates were only ever that high for a couple of years in the early 90s, and real rates were actually negative in the 1970s when the majority of baby boomers were first entering the property market.

dungfungus 5:23 pm 29 Mar 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

With land starting at $300,000+ and a cheap house at $185,000, the home loan minus deposit of say 10% will end up costing around $620 per week. That doesn’t sound much like a first home buyer dream, more like a life sentence.
Also, if you believe what many have said who have built homes with this and other companies, add another $100,000 to that basic package to get a house you can actually move into. Then your weekly payments are around $750. Gotta be in a darn good job or do a lot of hours to afford that. Heaven have mercy should interest rates go up.

A lot of mercy will have to be dispensed in the near future but remember we babyboomers (you know, the demographic that is making home affordability impossible) had to pay17.5% on our mortgages in the 1990’s. We survived nevertheless.

Yes, with wages that were far higher in relation to house prices. In 1980 for example, $44675 average house in Canberra with average annual wage of $13,000. So a house was worth four times your annual wage, whereas now a house is worth more than 8 times the average wage. That’s a fair comparison isn’t it?

I moved to Canberra in 1983 and paid over $90,000 for one of those “average” houses. Are you suggesting that average house prices more than doubled in 3 years?

Xtra 10:01 pm 28 Mar 15

Great to see the Chief Minister endorsing a private building company. Will he personally endorse other international businesses who are vying for work against other local businesses?

wildturkeycanoe 4:51 pm 28 Mar 15

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

With land starting at $300,000+ and a cheap house at $185,000, the home loan minus deposit of say 10% will end up costing around $620 per week. That doesn’t sound much like a first home buyer dream, more like a life sentence.
Also, if you believe what many have said who have built homes with this and other companies, add another $100,000 to that basic package to get a house you can actually move into. Then your weekly payments are around $750. Gotta be in a darn good job or do a lot of hours to afford that. Heaven have mercy should interest rates go up.

A lot of mercy will have to be dispensed in the near future but remember we babyboomers (you know, the demographic that is making home affordability impossible) had to pay17.5% on our mortgages in the 1990’s. We survived nevertheless.

Yes, with wages that were far higher in relation to house prices. In 1980 for example, $44675 average house in Canberra with average annual wage of $13,000. So a house was worth four times your annual wage, whereas now a house is worth more than 8 times the average wage. That’s a fair comparison isn’t it?

dungfungus 8:42 pm 27 Mar 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

With land starting at $300,000+ and a cheap house at $185,000, the home loan minus deposit of say 10% will end up costing around $620 per week. That doesn’t sound much like a first home buyer dream, more like a life sentence.
Also, if you believe what many have said who have built homes with this and other companies, add another $100,000 to that basic package to get a house you can actually move into. Then your weekly payments are around $750. Gotta be in a darn good job or do a lot of hours to afford that. Heaven have mercy should interest rates go up.

A lot of mercy will have to be dispensed in the near future but remember we babyboomers (you know, the demographic that is making home affordability impossible) had to pay17.5% on our mortgages in the 1990’s. We survived nevertheless.

wildturkeycanoe 6:49 pm 27 Mar 15

With land starting at $300,000+ and a cheap house at $185,000, the home loan minus deposit of say 10% will end up costing around $620 per week. That doesn’t sound much like a first home buyer dream, more like a life sentence.
Also, if you believe what many have said who have built homes with this and other companies, add another $100,000 to that basic package to get a house you can actually move into. Then your weekly payments are around $750. Gotta be in a darn good job or do a lot of hours to afford that. Heaven have mercy should interest rates go up.

vintage123 5:25 pm 27 Mar 15

No the strata by law states a minimum 200,000L. By the looks of it most people out there have put 200,000L above ground Rhino tanks, and looking at the net these are about 15k. Still can’t see how that place cost 581k to build. Just doesn’t add up.

dungfungus 4:31 pm 27 Mar 15

Maya123 said :

vintage123 said :

dungfungus said :

vintage123 said :

Southmouth said :

vintage123 said :

Southmouth said :

Alexandra Craig said :

Maya123 said :

Alexandra Craig said :

vintage123 said :

“ACT designs start at 185k with the average at 250k” call me cynical but I doubt that very much. There is no way you can build for those prices in canberra. Ten years ago maybe. Average is about twice those costs. Happy to be proven wrong, however I suspect a lot of people will go to the display anticipating a 250k build only to be very very disappointed.

250k base cost maybe? I’m considering building (if I can find land), and haven’t done any in-depth research but was told that some homes have the base cost without things like floor coverings included, so if you want carpet/floorboards etc that’s an additional cost. Anyone care to share with us their experiences building in Canberra?

Years ago houses didn’t come with carpets, blinds/curtains and such fittings. They were put in later as the owner could afford it. That’s why once a drive around new suburbs would reveal sheets, whatever could be utilised, covering windows. I wonder why the extra expense is now thought normal. I had a house built a couple of years ago and I didn’t have any window covers when I moved in, and didn’t for some weeks. I had large windows too. One just has to be careful where you get dressed.

I just had a look at their website, they’ve got a ‘handy hints’ section with one part on knowing the costs associated with building a house.

Besides the cost of the land and the house itself, the costs of the build (site costs etc), floor coverings (only tiles in wet areas are included), window coverings, electrical appliances (presume this is oven, dishwasher etc), driveway, garden landscaping, and letterbox.

Based on that, I am pretty sure the $250k quoted above is just the cost for the actual house, not including the build cost, floors, driveway etc. I wonder how much the average cost overall is!

I went through this recently myself. Now is a good time to build as it is reasonably quiet. My house ended up at bang on $1100 per square metre. You should focus on the per Sq m cost as this is the only real way to compare. Also choose a builder who has standard fixings that are good enough for you to accept without having to up spec if you want to avoid cost blow outs.

$1100 a square meter, wow, really. Who is the builder as I will get him to build me a couple of homes. The cheapest per m2 quotes we have are $1600 to $2000.

It was Regal Homes. The guy who sits in the display home (which at the time was in Bungendore, but isn’t now) is named Kim. Our site manager was Troy (he is a beast). The office is in Fyshwick.

Our house is just over 300sq m inc garage. Smaller places will have a higher per sq m cost. This is my third new build and my father was a builder so i’ve learned where to trim the fat. In short, Archiectural feature and bedazzling is where money is wasted. I went with the standard inclussions apart from things i absolutely could not live with, so up spec’d only the sink, cook top, tiles, and toilets. All outside concreting etc was removed from the list and done by us after handover as was window coverings. Also, it was our floor plan as they had nothing that suited us off the shelf. Been in just over a year.

I’m sure they’ll build you as many as you can fund.

That’s interesting, you have done really well squeezing regal to that price. I was quoted by regal and it was $1700 per m2 without any inclusions. Interestingly I watched their display venture at jiparu murrumbateman. It is the home on the front of their webpage, although it’s advertised as a knock down rebuild it wasn’t, it was just a new build on a vacant block. Anyway they paid 290k for the block and built the display home, when the display period finished they attempted to rent it out for $900 a week whilst advertising it at 1.1m for 6 months before readvertising it “at below cost” at $950k. When I approached Kim ware and asked him how it could be below cost at $950k he said to cost over $600k to build. It was around 300m2 simple low pitch four bedda with ensuite and double garage. There current display home venture in bungendore is a dual occ with 380m2 for $750k. Anyway we tried to skin any design with regal could not get a square meter age price any where near $1100. I am thinking it depends where you want to build suburb wise versus which dictates the price.

Re the Jiparu home, were you aware of the “residency” conditions conveyed by the strata tile?
The last thing one wants to do by moving to the bush is to go to body corporate meetings.
The high cost of that home reflects the building caveats in the strata plan like gas boosted solar HWS, some type of bio-degader septic system and I think a headworks contribution to the community non-potable water reticulation system.
Apart from that the home design was good (but no double glazing) and Kim is a nice bloke.
It would be interesting to find out what is was sold for in the end. I had offered $850K before I found out about the strata title arrangements.

It sold for 876k. Land was 295k. It was marketed at well below cost price, which I assume concludes the build cost was 581k. I have a copy of the strata regulations in front of me and there is no mention of A gas boosted solar HWS? It does require a minimum 200000l water tank as well as seperate 12000l non potable reticulation tank. But at 581k cost, still cannot see where that cost has come from.

“It does require a minimum 200000l water tank as well as seperate 12000l non potable reticulation tank.”

How many litres is that? I can’t imagine you mean 200,000litre water tank.

Regal Homes told me the gas boosted solar HWS was mandatory on every house on the estate. Maybe this was to “justify” the price.
The cost price to the builder would have been much less than the “market” price. They were initially asking $1.2 million for the place.
My offer was close to the money it seems.

vintage123 3:16 pm 27 Mar 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

beardedclam said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Sounds awfully cheap to me. I wonder which corners will be cut to deliver at that price point?

Better design = less materials required = less cost. Pretty simple.

It’s a wonderful dream, but unfortunately the reality is standard design + cheaper imported materials + cheaper trades + cutting corners = less cost.

The ACT uses private building certifiers. It’s a shonky builder’s wet dream.

I have some info to shed for those interested. Price point is for;
Traditional facade (looks awful) note the nice facade is an extra 20k
Standards panel less doors
Minimal tiling
No fly screens
No window locks
No deadlocks
No ceiling fans
No ixl’s
Minimal insulation
Single spray coat paint
No external tiling
No external lights
No aircon or heating
Single standard light fitting to each room
Single power point to each room
No instant hws
Non achievable carpet and tiling allowance
No curtains
No light dimmers
No painting of eaves
No connection of stormwater
No driveway
No landscaping
No site cost (extra 30k standard)
No fences
No retaining walls
No footpaths
No external water taps or drains
No paint on eaves
Single flat white ceiling spray on all surfaces walls and ceilings
No tap mixers
Single sink and laundry tub
No garage remotes
No door seals
No tv antenna or points
No broadband connection
No alarm
No roof vents
No skylights
No patio or pergola (20k option)
The list keeps going for those who care………
Was basically told for all inclusive finished product that compares to standard existing home to budget on double the base cost, so base cost 200k equals 400k finished etc

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 11:44 am 27 Mar 15

beardedclam said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Sounds awfully cheap to me. I wonder which corners will be cut to deliver at that price point?

Better design = less materials required = less cost. Pretty simple.

It’s a wonderful dream, but unfortunately the reality is standard design + cheaper imported materials + cheaper trades + cutting corners = less cost.

The ACT uses private building certifiers. It’s a shonky builder’s wet dream.

beardedclam 10:02 am 27 Mar 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Sounds awfully cheap to me. I wonder which corners will be cut to deliver at that price point?

Better design = less materials required = less cost. Pretty simple.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 6:17 am 26 Mar 15

Sounds awfully cheap to me. I wonder which corners will be cut to deliver at that price point?

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