Stockland Stakes New Claim in Residential ‘Gold Rush’


Property development giant Stockland has put its sizeable foot on another large slice of Melbourne’s western growth corridor with plans for an 800-home residential estate.

In an $82-million deal, the ASX-listed developer has bolstered its residential pipeline in Victoria with the purchase of Wattle Park—an 84ha development site at Tarneit.

The acquisition comes as the land banking “gold rush” continues in Melbourne’s west and beyond, driven by strong population growth, affordability and the recent shift in living trends from inner-city apartment-style residences to detached housing.

Among the other major property players recently staking multi-million-dollar claims in the region are Brown Property Group, headed by Carlton AFL legend Fraser Brown.

Wattle Park Tarneit is located 30km west of Melbourne’s CBD in the City of Wyndham, one of the fastest growing areas in the country.

The greenfield parcel at 85-87 Sewells Rd is close to Stockland’s 38ha Grand Central holding—recently acquired for circa $50 million—and is approved for development under the Victorian Planning Authority’s Riverdale Precinct Structure Plan.

“This acquisition aligns with our strategy to re-stock our residential pipeline at this stage of the cycle, in corridors with strong demand fundamentals and expected total returns above our hurdle rates,” Stockland Communities chief executive Andrew Whitson said.

“Wattle Park is in a great location with good access to transport, schools, open space and recreation facilities.

“With record-low interest rates continuing to underpin the residential market over the medium-term and customer preference for detached dwellings remaining strong across Melbourne’s greenfield areas, the acquisition of this site means we can get more new land to market to meet this demand.

“We expect the Melbourne greenfield market to outperform over the next 12 months given the extended lockdown has subdued growth over the past year,” Whitson said.

Stockland’s residential general manager for Victoria, Mike Davis, said the group has more than $2.7 billion invested in the state, including a significant portfolio of communities in Melbourne’s west now home to 1300 residents.

“We expect strong customer demand to continue in the western growth area which accounts for more than one third of all Melbourne’s land sales,” Davis said.

He said future amenity planned for Wattle Park and its surrounds included a railway station, major town centre and sporting facilities.

Stockland is planning to start development, marketing and sales of the Tarneit estate following settlement and once the planning permits are granted. Initial site works are expected to commence in 2022.

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