Lot sales update – July 2023

Sizzlin’ Stage 5 sells super fast

While we knew we had a backlog of interested buyers for Stage 5, we’re still amazed at how quickly lots have been snapped up, with 20 reserved across the two clusters within weeks. It goes hand in hand with an explosion in media coverage of late, most notably a fantastic article in RAC’s Horizons Magazine, which is distributed to 573,989 and has an engaged readership of 900,000, making Horizons the largest circulation publication in WA. Unsurprisingly, we’ve received countless glowing comments from readers, many of whom are new followers of the Ecovillage.

It’s gratifying to hear the continued appreciation for the uncompromising sustainability ethos of the Ecovillage and the broad acknowledgement from residents, prospective buyers, locals, industry and government that this development is special and presents the opportunity of a lifetime to those who want to call it home. The Witchcliffe Ecovillage will, most likely, never be repeated. Knowing this, it is little wonder people are feeling a bit of FOMO and acting fast to secure their little piece of green paradise “down south”.

Blink-and-you-missed-out Groupies

We are not surprised that the affordable Groupie lots are our most popular lot type, given the extraordinary cost of living pressures generally and the dire shortage of long-term rental homes in the region. All eight of the Groupie lots, for which buyers need to financially qualify, were spoken for within days, and we now have a waiting list.

This only serves to validate our decision to continue design work on our micro-clusters in 3E and 4E, which Jeff and Mike are both passionate about developing into affordable housing with central community gardens. Our community is desperate for more affordable housing options particularly for the over 55s.

Australian homes are the largest in the world (and some of the coldest, I’d wager). As a nation, we’ve been frustratingly slow to adopt the “smaller is better” approach to housing. As you might expect, however, Ecovillage homeowners are largely bucking the trend. Our eco-conscious owners are motivated to reduce their carbon footprint and often prefer small homes for a raft of reasons, not necessarily just economy of scale and budget. When our homeownership model also offers the benefits of high quality, energy efficient, sustainable homes PLUS communal gardens and community living – size is an easy trade-off to make.

Providing at least 15% of all lots for affordable housing was always a foundational objective of this project and one that we are proud to have been able to do, despite the mounting cost of development. It’s one of the key achievements that sets the Witchcliffe Ecovillage apart.

Housing construction

It seems like every couple of weeks we hear of a new resident moving into their Ecovillage home. Currently, we have 104 residents (including 18 children) in the Ecovillage.

A few rental houses and rooms within homes have recently popped up and been snapped up just as quickly through the Ecovillage community grapevine. While housing construction nationally has fallen, it continues to tick along steadily in the Ecovillage with 52 homes now completed and 44 under construction. It’s exciting to see the first house frame constructed in Stage 4, with several more not far behind.

The Ecovillage design team has issued 12 design approvals over the last two months in clusters 2A, 3A, 3B, 4A and 4D short stay. Those owners will now be submitting their Ecovillage certificates of compliance along with their building permit applications to the Shire for approval.

We keep our ears close to the ground when it comes to change within the residential building industry in WA. The crunch of price escalations, supply chain issues, and labour shortages of the last 12-18 months, which caught many buyers off guard, have receded considerably. Difficult yet valuable lessons have been learned by homeowners, builders, and tradespeople alike during this challenging period. There is now a feeling of growing momentum in stages 4-5 as buyers do their homework and adjust their expectations and budgets to current market conditions.

The media is catching fire, enquiries are coming in thick and fast from all over the country, and residential lots are selling fast in the final stage of this one-of-a-kind development. If you haven’t already reserved a lot, the question is: what are you waiting for? Contact our the WEV office on 08 9757 6688 or email [email protected]

Lower Keystart interest rates to support WA households

The State Government has announced major changes to reform Keystart’s interest rate setting policy, which will provide interest cost savings supporting thousands of WA homeowners from 1 July this year. 

We’ve summarised some of the key points below:

  • New interest rate effective from 1 July 2023
  • New interest rate RBA official cash rate + 350 basis points
  • Previously, Keystart has calculated its rates using the average of the standard variable interest rate of the four major lenders, ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • Under Keystart’s previous policy, its interest rate would have increased to 8.51 per cent following the RBA’s rate rise in June. Instead, the interest rate payable will be 7.60 per cent.
  • Existing customers will also benefit from a reduction in interest rates

Please see below a link to the media release on the change to Keystart rates.