The sale and development of the City of Fremantle Knutsford Street depot site is a bit of a conundrum for the City as ratepayers will rightly expect the best financial return for it, especially in light of the City’s very tight financial situation.
Council wants specific sustainability outcomes under the One Planet Living Framework, but experts indicate that might have a negative impact on the value of the property.
There are additional costs involved for developers and Landcorp, and they cite the WGV sustainable development and others as examples for that.
There are questions if the property market can bear the additional costs of OPLF development and still be competitive in a very tight residential market.
It is essential that Fremantle Council is totally transparent about this with the community as we can’t really afford to lose a few million dollars for ideological reasons.
While the LIV residential apartment project at Fremantle’s Queen Victoria Street is well under way, it is reported that Perth has one of the world’s least-affordable housing markets, according to property experts.
In a report published in the media today they state that house prices are more than six times the average income in Perth, which is $87,300.
According to Demographia, which compares housing affordability in cities of over one million population, Australia’s major problem is urban containment planning policies.
Urban containment, infill and higher density policies in WA try to reduce urban sprawl by encouraging more density rather than releasing new so-called greenfields sites. This often negatively affects older character suburbs where inappropriately high and often ugly buildings are destroying the urban amenity.
Housing experts say that high house prices are not a sign of a city’s success but a sign of failure to deliver the housing that its citizens need. Affordable housing is no doubt impacted by high property prices and that is an additional worry.
One of the highest property sales in Fremantle for a long time has been completed with the $ 38 million sale of the Collie Street carpark in the city centre.
The uninspiring building was built in 2003.