A planned 30-block land release at South Jerrabomberra has been postponed after the developer was overwhelmed with enquiry from potential buyers.
Village Building Company CEO Travis Doherty took the unusual step of putting the land release on hold after being inundated during the first three days of the marketing campaign.
The land was set to be released earlier than expected – on Saturday, 1 May – and Mr Doherty said a new date has not been set for the sale.
He said with vacant lots getting harder to find in Canberra, demand for the new land was expected to be high, but the enquiries have far exceeded his expectations.
“We were absolutely overwhelmed by the number of formal registrations for the release,” said Mr Doherty.
“It became apparent after the first three days that we would not be able to accommodate that many people on the construction site.”
He said safety is paramount and COVID-19 regulations also need to be met.
Mr Doherty said all registered parties have been notified of the postponement and will be contacted once a new date is set.
He anticipates the new date will be within three months, and additional blocks are expected to become available.
“The extra time will enable us to have more blocks ready so we’re hoping to have 50 or 60 available,” he said.
The response reflects the high demand for property in and around Canberra, and Mr Doherty said it’s a market that could not have been predicted 12 months ago.
“I think with COVID-19, people are thinking more about building their own homes,” he said.
“Interest rates are low and we live in a strong jobs region, supported by the private sector and government.
“I think economically, emotionally and psychologically, people are ready to own their own homes.”
Mr Doherty said the majority of interest in the blocks has been from families and downsizers in the Jerrabomberra, Queanbeyan and Tuggeranong areas.
Village Building Company has already sold more than 500 blocks in the South Jerrabomberra subdivision, which will accommodate 1500 households once complete.
People can still register their interest in the blocks, and will be kept up to date with progress of each stage.
Blocks in the first stage are due to settle at the end of May so owners can start building.
While demand is high and supply is low – causing some buyers to feel anxious – Mr Doherty said people should be patient.
“There will be more blocks released here and by other developers so people should try not to stress,” he said.
Property Council of Australia ACT executive director Adina Cirson said housing is at a record high in the Canberra region and there is a lot of positivity in the market.
“This means a lot of demand,” she said. “Right around the country, the cry for land is very real.
“I think everyone is moving as hard as they can to release new land, both in greenfield sites and redeveloping sites in the city.”
Ms Cirson said she would like to see changes to zoning rules come into play later this year as a result of the ACT Government’s Planning Review, which could assist with housing supply in Canberra.
With Canberra’s population growing by about 8000 people per year, the ACT Government predicts 100,000 new homes will need to be built within the next 25 years.
Mr Doherty said the South Jerrabomberra estate offers infrastructure, job security, family focus and ease of travel combined with the lifestyle benefits of living in NSW.
“It is not hard to see why people would want to live here, and why so many people have already taken up the opportunity to do so,” he said.
The contemporary suburb is located 20km from Civic and is surrounded by open spaces and landscaped parklands.
Plans are in the pipeline for a major sports and aquatic centre, and there’s easy access to established shops, a school and medical centre at Jerrabomberra.
Registrations are still being taken here.