Cedar Woods notches up 200 sales at Williams Landing and 22% rise in full-year profits

Cedar Woods notches up 200 sales at Williams Landing and 22% rise in full-year profits
Cedar Woods notches up 200 sales at Williams Landing and 22% rise in full-year profits

Residential developer Cedar Woods notched up around 200 lot settlements at its flagship $1.5 billion Williams Landing master-planned development in Melbourne’s outer west as it reported a 22% rise in net profits to $34.3 million to June 30.

Profits at the Perth-based developer were in line with earlier forecasts.

The developer, which has most of its residential projects scattered around the fringes of Melbourne and Perth, achieved $140 million in pre-sales over the past financial year compared with $130 million last year.

Last month, Cedar Woods reported that Williams Landing had its strongest month of sales in 18 months, with 21 sales to begin the new financial year.

To date, 56% of the 2013 financial year pre-sales target for Williams Landing has been secured, with about 530 homes completed.

Williams Landing is the largest infill site in Melbourne covering 275 hectares and encompassing the former RAAF Laverton airfield and the land to the north of Altona Meadows and Seabrook known as Wyndham Waters.

It takes its name from the historic aviation base on which it is located, RAAF Williams airfield (pictured below), named after Air Marshal Sir Richard Williams, the man many regard as the "father" of the Royal Australian Air Force.

It was approved as a new suburb in May 2007, and according to Cedar Woods is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in Australia.

The annual results show that 1,700 of the 2,500 lots remain available for sale, with land priced between $190,000 and $340,000.

Builders offering house-and-land packages at Williams Landing include Simonds Homes, which is offering three-bedroom on a 480-square-metre lot priced at $493,000.

Builder 8 Plus is offering a four-bedroom house on a 392-square-metre block priced at around $456,000.

Other builders selling house-and-land packages at Williams Landing are Boutique, Metricon, Burbank, Carlisle Home and Urban Edge Homes.

Construction of the Williams Landing train station and freeway interchange by the Victorian government is due to be completed in early 2013.

The project’s  50-hectare town centre  has  also  progressed, with a  builder for the Masters Home Improvement  hardware store  soon to be  selected and  an application for final approval lodged with the local council.

In April Cedar Woods secured Woolworths and Big W as tenants alongside Masters with further commercial stages to include office, medical facilities and additional retail.

Cedar Woods raised $30.5 million from shareholders in May.

Managing director Paul Sadleir said the strong result reflected the strategic location and diversity of Cedar Woods? projects in Western Australia and Victoria, which continue to experience healthy demand.

“This result confirms the success of Cedar Woods' strategic focus on providing residential housing in urban and regional growth areas across a range of dwelling types and price points," Sadleir says.

"It is also a reflection of the company’s resilience against a mixed macroeconomic backdrop."

Sadleir says prevailing market conditions in the 2012 financial year were “challenging and variable from month to month, reflecting consumer concerns on a range of issues”.

“The key drivers for the residential market – population growth, employment and wages growth and interest rates together with the current undersupply of housing – are all supportive of improved levels of activity."

The outlook for the Melbourne property market is cloudier than for Perth, with the developer reporting that the Victorian capital has been influenced by first-home buyer incentives (which have now disappeared) and has given up some of the gains, while in Perth prices are firming after two years of modest decline.

Cedar Woods expanded its Victorian property portfolio during the financial year through the acquisition of a 6.8-hectare development site in St Albans, 16 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, for $12 million. There are plans for 200 apartments, townhouses and houses and at the former industrial site, where the Victorian government has announced a $150 million investment in upgrading St Albans train station and other local transport infrastructure.

Other residential projects include its Banbury Village project in Footscray, featuring 390 dwellings on 11 hectares.

At the company’s boutique development, Realm Camberwell, almost half of the 78 homes that will be developed have been pre-sold, with civil works underway.

Twenty of the 27 homes in the initial release of the Realm development sold for between $750,000 and $1.2 million.

New projects launched over the reporting period were Piara Waters near Canning Vale, south of Perth and South Hedland (both 150 lot projects) with settlements expected in the 2013 and 2014 financial years.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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