New development outfit SIG Group has purchased 162ha of farmland in Melbourne’s west earmarked for a 2300-lot housing estate.
The site in Tarneit, which is in the Oakbank Precinct Structure Plan—a proposed new suburb currently making its way through Victoria’s planning system—was picked up from a local grain farming family three years after its initial listing.
The greenfield site comprises two adjoining parcels of land—a 70ha site at 1299 Leakes Road, Tarneit, and a 92ha parcel at 35 Shanahans Road.
The Oakbank site sold in an off-market deal, brokered by RPM Real Estate Group head of transactions Christian Ranieri, more than three years after being amalgamated.
While the sale price remains undisclosed, the site was initially listed for $200 million in 2018 as a larger 206ha parcel of land.
SIG Group, headed by former Dahua Melbourne development manager Hugh Lu, plans to deliver land and townhomes with premium lots fronting parks and the riverfront. Construction is earmarked for 2024.
“This new project will provide an unrivalled offering in regards to amenities and green open spaces, with the Werribee River running along the site’s western edge,” Lu said.
The site is next to the new $150-million Wyndham City Stadium, set to be a major activity centre for Melbourne’s west. Once completed, the stadium will become the home ground for A-League team Western United FC.
The developer’s future estate, which could house up to 4600 people, will also benefit from the proposed Sayers Road train station, with the Victorian government planning to fast-track construction to service the future stadium and growing suburb.
The acquisition is SIG Group’s second in Tarneit after it bought a 56ha site on Derrimut Road in May, 2021.
Known as Harlow, the master-planned community will comprise around 600 lots across 30 hectares.
More than 12ha will be retained by Al-Taqwa College to develop a new campus, while a government primary school is also earmarked for the site as well as a future community facility.
Lu said the planned train station would mean residents would be connected to Melbourne’s CBD yet able to enjoy nature through purpose-built wetlands and river frontages.
“Tarneit is a rapidly expanding suburb, with the population forecast to grow exponentially over the next 20 years,” Lu said.
“These two sites collectively will cater to this population boom.”
In April 2020, SIG Group picked up the vast Merri Park estate in Melbourne’s north for around $100 million.
The 434ha former livestock station at 1545 Merriang Road and 300 Donovan’s Lane in Beveridge in Melbourne’s northern growth corridor will offer up to 1000 housing lots within a new 110ha suburb as part of the already approved Donnybrook Woodstock Precinct Structure Plan.
Fuelled by HomeBuilder, Melbourne’s northern and western growth corridors recorded record sales across 2021, leaving the zone with less than a month’s supply of retail lots and only a handful of titled allotments.
According to RPM Real Estate Group, since peaking at just over 70000 lots at the end of 2020, the number of lots remaining unsold continually declined through 2021, more than halving to just under 2900 lots.
The median lot price in Melbourne’s west, the country’s biggest and busiest subdivision market, is currently $336,000—up 12 per cent on a year ago.
This compares to the broader Melbourne greenfield market, which has lifted a solid 5.3 per cent to $355,000. Both figures are new highs.
George Bougias, national head of Melbourne real estate firm Oliver Hume, said the relative affordability of Victoria’s residential greenfield markets, combined with improving fundamentals across both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, meant buyer interest would remain robust in 2022.
“With Melbourne’s median house price now above $1 million and affordability increasingly important, we continue to see growing interest in both metropolitan and regional greenfield land markets,” Bougias said.
“Melbourne’s northern (Hume and Whittlesea) and western (Wyndham and Melton) growth corridors saw robust price growth over the year to the three months ending November 2021.
“However, median prices remain well below $350,000.”
Bougias said the momentum built up over 2021 led to higher prices and sales volumes but that we were now likely to enter a new phase of the cycle.
“In 2022 we expect the market’s positive momentum to continue to be buoyant, in part by the resumption of international travel and interstate migration,” he said.