Sales Update – November 2023

“Kambarang was abundant this year with a good harvest of native fruits and vegetables, this is largely due to the early heavy rains in June beginning of Makuru season. As we transition into Birak season of reptiles. Also, the longest days of the year, flowering Moodjar tree celebrating the spirit of our ancestors and a time of cultural family gatherings. Balga blossom indicating reef fish movements, Wannang peppy flowers begin to fall like snow tell us rains will stop soon and to be karla / fire aware. Cicadas begin their songs, families will be enjoying and respecting the beautiful coastline and the generous delicacies it has to offer. Stay safe this Birak season summer and if you love and look after land and ocean country, it will look after you.” – words by Koomal Dreaming.

We’ve noticed an uptick in sales enquiries and drop-ins to the WEV office of late, which we put down to the reliable sunshine and warmth slowly bringing property hunters out of hibernation.

That said, it’s still evident that people are worried about the process of building and affordability, given the recent November interest rate rise and the spectre of another in February. There’s no sugar coating it as lot sales slow to a trickle. In a market that’s crying out for housing stock, it says a lot about the real challenges and roadblocks of building.

Conversely, the demand for established homes has never been stronger. Headlines cry: “Houses selling twice as fast as a year ago” and reports about house values lifting to record levels across the country once again litter the media. Recent Ecovillage sales support this trend, even if from a sample size of just two. As mentioned in my earlier commentary, Village Homes Realty just sold a large family home for $1.25 million and a two-bedroom cottage for $900,000, the latter before the first home open. These fantastic sales data demonstrate that despite the pain of building price escalations, owners can rest assured that they’re not over-capitalising with the increased cost of building their dream Ecovillage home, and property values are increasing.

We keep our ears to the grounds and are in regular conversation with builders, sales agents, developers. Our sense is that building prices have peaked, materials are readily available, and builders are letting us know they have growing capacity. Builders are signing up fixed price contracts and locking in build timeframes, and we’re starting to hear from more builders who are interested in working in the Ecovillage, all of which is a change from last year and positive news for prospective buyers. It’s all trending in the right direction; just very slowly.

If 13+ years in development is any indicator, we’re in it for the long haul. The Witchcliffe Ecovillage story will continue to enchant, inspire and attract people for whom this is an invitation to change their life, environment, and community for the better.

What’s available for sale?

As at 29 November, we have 35 residential lots available for sale across Stages 4-5. These represent the last of the residential cluster lots. There won’t be another Witchcliffe Ecovillage. When we sell the last lot in Stage 5, we’re hanging up our boots. So, if the Ecovillage dream has been percolating in your mind and heart for a while, now is the time to contact us for a chat or register for a sales tour to come and walk this beautiful land.

There are options available in every lot type (Groupie, Cottage and Family) to suit most budgets and preferences. The remaining Family lots in Clusters 4A and 4B are already titled, and we are expecting lot titles in Stage 5 in mid-December.

Stages 4-5 looking south (Photos courtesy of Phil Jenkins)

Grey nomads apply here: The Short Stay pitch

You don’t have to be an investor to buy one of our Residential / Short Stay lots. Those who chase the sunshine up north (#vanlife) during our cold, rainy winter can leave their comfortable, efficient home to earn an excellent income while they’re away. Simply put, these lots are a great option for anyone looking for an easy-care home with fewer maintenance, gardening and strata obligations.

But you’d better be quick to secure one of the compact, affordable short stay lots in 3C that look out over the Agricultural lots at the northern end of the site as they are nearly sold out (one left!) Over the dam in 4D, there are still five Residential / Short Stay lots for sale, and plenty of building action on the site of three neighbouring lots that overlook the central dam. These houses will be the first short stay accommodation to become available in the Ecovillage next year and we expect that they will be very well patronised.

There are five unique Residential / Short Stay lots that, unlike all the others, sit WITHIN a residential cluster (5B), which allows them the benefit of sharing its community garden and shed. If you like the idea of being part of a cluster community, but perhaps you’re not ready to live here full time yet, these “fab five” lots could be the ideal middle ground.

Commercial lots

The commercial lots along Bussell Highway are a slow burn, as we knew they would be. Two lots have sold and settled, with DA approval pending on one. In addition, we have an ambitious retail food business owner doing financial due diligence on a lot fronting the highway and hope it will come to fruition as it would be a fantastic business to have in the Ecovillage.

Commercial lots in stratas Comm 1 and Comm 2 with Willerin Lane between them and flanked by Bussell Highway on the west and Wolghine Avenue on the east.

We are keen to curate a village centre with businesses that support our community (and vice versa) by providing essential services and meeting our daily needs, such as a bakery and a Wellness Centre. If you or someone you know is an entrepreneur looking for opportunities in our magnificent region, please reach out to us for a chat on (08) 9757 6688 or email [email protected]. You can find information about our commercial lots and see what’s available here.

3E and 4E micro clusters

If you’ve been following the Ecovillage journey for a while, you may remember our decision to change many of our larger lots in 3E and 4E along Bussell Highway into what we’re calling our “micro clusters”. These are specifically designed to address the lack of affordable and smaller homes in our region.

Creating the titles that we will ultimately need for these lots requires multiple time-consuming planning processes, which are already well underway. While these approvals are moving through the system, Jeff is busy designing concepts for strata lot micro clusters comprising a row of 5-6 compact (~68sqm) 2×1 homes, each with their own carport, rainwater tank, solar system and productive front garden adjacent to a common footpath.

While they’re still very much in their concept form, the design iterations for these neat little standalone homes (some include a loft) are coming together nicely and we think they will be well received when we start to market them next year.

It’s early days yet but we are hoping to offer these as a fixed price affordable House & Land Package in the first half of next year.  Stay tuned for more about this exciting new development within the Ecovillage.

Agricultural lots

We have a number of excited wannabe Ecovillage farmers in varying stages of settling on their agricultural lot purchases, dreaming of food forests, syntropic farming, polycultures, art studios and regenerative agriculture businesses.

Our verdant Agricultural lots in May of this year.