Development site sales still booming

This morning The Australian reported that a large chunk of the former CUB site bordering the CBD had been sold by Grocon to a mainland Chinese developer for $60 million, thus continuing the string of high profile sites purchased for a healthy sum. With the buoyant market seemingly churning out major development sites within days of one another, it's an opportune time to cast an eye over some of the biggest and best development sites currently available in order to assess whether the market still has steam.

Industry leader CBRE currently has a plethora of large development sites capable of handling thousands of apartments on its books, signifying the underlying strength of demand for development sites particularly from Asian-based developers. Below is an overview of current projects according to CBRE's Property Connector widget.

Address Sire area Status Remarks
551 Swanston Street, Melbourne 6,561sqm Sold Multi towers expected
15-27 Wreckyn Street, Nth Melb 2,271sqm Sold 13 offers. Buyer - Mammoth Empire
2 Wests Road, Maribyrnong 3,871sqm For Sale Endorsed plans for 192 apartments
285 Thomas Street, Dandenong 2642sqm For Sale Endorsed plans for 198 apartments
2 Small Street, Hampton 438sqm Sold Apartment development site
168 Exhibition Street, Melbourne 748sqm For Sale 54 level apartment tower scheme included
535 - 541 Royal Parade, Parkville 3,221sqm For Sale Development site
30 & 71 Inkerman Street, St Kilda 379sqm For Sale/Sold Dual apartment development sites
115-117 Church Street, Richmond 1,505sqm For Sale Endorsed plans for 76 apartments
17 - 23 Wills Street, Melbourne 705sqm For Sale Endorsed plans for 232 apartments
117 Kooyong Road & 21-23 Munro Street, Armadale 6,070sqm For Sale Develpment site
58 & 66 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne 3,492sqm For Sale 480 apartments at planning
47 City Road, Southbank 863sqm For Sale Development site
28-30 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood 9,429sqm For sale Multiple residential towers expected

The headline acts

Wills, Exhibition & Dorcas. Images courtesy CBRE

Taller towers naturally tend to garner more attention and seen above are the three standout developments designed for Melbourne's CBD and Southbank. 58-66 Dorcas Street and 17-23 Wills Street combined would yield 712 new dwellings if realised while the Peddle Thorp concept for 168 Exhibition Street may yield in excess of 300 apartments if followed through.

Absent from the list above is 464 Collins Street which was offered for sale by CBRE on behalf of Equiset, only for Equiset to seek additional levels for the slender tower in a recent revised planning application and deny the site had been sold to offshore interests.

What it all means?

Strong listings and sales for development sites in and around Melbourne tends to point to an underlying strength in the market. As yet no steam has been lost as developers are still showing an insatiable appetite for well positioned sites capable of handling sizeable apartment projects.

Once listings and sales do taper off it may well point to a change in market conditions. These factors will be explored in a number of upcoming articles outlining the concerns of the current apartment market dynamic but for the time being Melbourne looks set to go from strength to strength, all the time adding new towers to the already impressive skyline.

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