Cedar Woods Acquires 43ha Site in Melbourne


Residential developer Cedar Woods has purchased a 43-hectare land development site in Melbourne's northern growth corridor for $56 million.

The site in Melbourne's new Wollert Precinct Structure Plan (PSP), bounded by Craigieburn Road to the east, Summerhill Road to the north, Curly Sedge Creek to the west and the future E6 road reservation, was purchased from P. & A.M. Micelotta.

The new estate is about six kilometres from Cedar Woods’ Carlingford housing project, with the developer similarly pursuing development plans to accommodate a future 500-lot masterplanned community.

The developer's Victoria portfolio comprises nine completed real estate developments and 12 that are currently in progress with a national portfolio consisting of over 10,000 lots.

The new suburb will be serviced by a network of new bus routes and be located 10-minutes drive from Epping or Craigieburn train stations.

▲ Planning Minister Richard Wynne approved the 1434-hectare suburb as part of the government’s plan to release 100,000 residential lots last year. Image: Artists render of the suburb for Wollert
▲ Planning Minister Richard Wynne approved the 1434-hectare suburb as part of the government’s plan to release 100,000 residential lots last year. Image: Artists render of the suburb for Wollert

“Consistent with our strategy of counter-cyclical purchasing, we’ve acquired this quality land development opportunity under favourable settlement terms, in a location characterised by high population growth and relative proximity to the city compared to other growth areas,” Cedar Woods managing director Nathan Blackburne said.

“This acquisition takes our national portfolio to more than 10,000 dwellings and lots, and boosts our Victorian holdings which we expect to benefit from strong forecast population growth and housing demand.”

As well as a proposed town centre, the Wollert PSP will provide for a future train station, schools, community facilities, walking and cycling paths, and a public open space.

Developer Evolve also has a neighbouring 2,500-lot land estate called Arramont while home builder AV Jennings’ biggest project Lyndarum North—featuring 2,150 lots—is also in Wollert.

Cedar Woods results point to reenergised greenfield market

The ASX-listed company, one of the few major developers with no projects in NSW, has recorded $409 million worth of pre-sales in the first quarter of 2020, up 9 per cent on the same time last year and up 24 per cent at the time of reporting the 2019 full year financial results.

The developer's model of selling land, townhouses, apartments and commercial assets such as offices in Victoria, Queensland, WA and South Australia has remained a powerful differentiator.

The company is expecting to see two-thirds of pre-sales settle in 2020 and the rest in 2021.

“After the first quarter, presales remain at healthy levels and the business is well-placed despite difficult market conditions continuing,” Blackburne said.

“Our well-located projects across four states are proving resilient and, with our strong balance sheet and substantial funding capacity, we are making strategic, counter-cyclical acquisitions, while continuing to assess opportunities in a number of markets.”

The developer's latest projects, Huntington Apartments in Victoria and the Ariella community in Western Australia, are expected to contribute to 2021 earnings, as will its latest acquisition and development project in Wollert.

Blackburn said the company has no plans to enter the NSW market at present but will consider all states as long “buying opportunities” offer good margins.

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