STAYING the course

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 November, 2011, 12:00am


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Data from Jeff Blunden Advisory Services shows 34 projects at various stages of development or under planning in Australia, though director Jeff Blunden expects many will not materialise.

'Markets simply aren't big enough to absorb the new supply over a reasonable period,' he says. 'Either the economics won't stack up in the current environment and/or the depth of pocket doesn't exist for the developer.'

After a busy period in the first half of the decade, a slowdown has been evident since 2007. Apart from the wider economic challenges, Blunden believes that 'there are far fewer sites that are now appropriately located and would work as a residential golf development'.

Bingara Gorge, an hour's drive southwest from Sydney's central business district (CBD), is one that works. Residents who will live around the estate's future 18-hole course can look forward to a setting that's in harmony with nature, while also offering a country club, village centre, including retail, and leisure centre housing a gym, pool and tennis courts. Developed by Lend Lease, the project is due for completion in approximately 2020.

Golf course frontage lots have only just been released and start from A$372,000 (HK$2.97 million), subject to availability. The first nine holes are expected to be completed late next year.

At Mandalay, less than an hour north of Melbourne's CBD, the most prestigious homes enjoy views of an 18-hole golf course designed by Peter Thompson.

Plans for a school, childcare facilities and playgrounds emphasise a family atmosphere, and the clubhouse - Club Mandalay, with its cafe, pool, tennis courts and gym - is designed to be the hub of the community. House and land packages abutting the golf course start at A$407,416.

According to agents, a number of foreign investors are interested in buying properties in both locations, mainly because the Australian property market is considered a safe investment.