Great foundations at The Mills, Holroyd: Peter Chittenden

Peter ChittendenNovember 8, 20150 min read

For me and for my team the marketing of new projects is always an exciting time and The Mills Holroyd is one of our current developments that I would like to share.

It’s a good example of what style of apartment project is proving popular in an area set to see almost spectacular growth over the next decade centred on Parramatta.

A few months ago I started to look at projects based around the idea Great Foundations, to examine new projects mainly from the buyer’s viewpoint, concentrating on what creates buyer interest and currently meets their requirements.

Reflecting shifting lifestyle choices buyers today have access to lots of new projects offering many different options. This trend now attracts a much more versatile and varied demographic of buyers which has been our experience with The Mills.

I think it’s a good sign of the maturing of the market when a project attracts a wide cross section of buyers. The Mills has a mix of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments, all with parking and storage and this mix is always popular. The Mills has gained solid support among buyers ranging across younger first time to more established buyers looking for a lifestyle change but wanting to stay close to the area, and close to all of the big-ticket projects that will be focused around Parramatta.

Location Gets a Big Tick

For The Mills, this location is a real bonus as it offers some of the best connections you could want to a big choice of locations mainly via the M4. The Parramatta CBD is about 10 minutes away, Homebush/Olympic Park is 20 minutes, Penrith 30 minutes, or a little further afield the Sydney CBD is also about 30 minutes, or escape to the Blue Mountains with Katoomba just over an hours drive.

Holroyd and anyone who will be living at The Mills also has easy access to the City Rail network with a choice of stations but mainly with the convenience of Merrylands Station. So this is a great location, and the retail facilities are also terrific centred on Merrylands Mall and Westfield Parramatta, Merrylands Mall is within walking distance.

The location would be playing an important part in attracting the type of demographic mix I have detailed and as might have been expected location remains key in its appeal to both owner-occupiers and investors with a 50/50 profile. And the existing infrastructure is also key, as it is across the Sydney region and this always helps to drive the continued demand to well-located in-fill projects.

Attractive Price Options

With the location and the range of apartments as among the key foundations, in any market price is a big factor. In Sydney there’s been a suggestion that prices are possibly running ahead of market expectations. The Mills offers, and I think this is an important distinction, a range of price points with 1-bedrooms starting just below $500,000. The 2-bedroom apartments, which are still the most in demand range from $600,000 and the 3-bedrooms near $700,000, these are competitive prices when combined with the quality of finishes here. The Mills is being sold off-the-plan, which is still a very popular way of entering the market and the building is expected to be complete late in 2017.

With all new projects there will understandably be a focus on the project team, and I think it’s important to highlight the team with the key focus on the developer and the architects.

The Landmark Group who is a wholly Australian-owned property development company whose track record is built on more than a decade of solid experience, is developing The Mills and their key focus remains on projects in Sydney’s most desirable areas.

Marchese Partners is one of Australia’s leading architecture practices specialising in medium and high-density residential projects for over 20 years. Their portfolio includes Top of The Town, Republic, Paramount, 185 Macquarie Street and the Bondi Icebergs and they also work internationally in the United States.

The Mills will deliver to buyers a number of what are now seen as essentials when looking for apartments that are not anchored to a central CBD location. This will always include the convenience of transport and shopping and in some areas access to a range of schools. Location and quality have been the clear drivers of demand here.

The Mills location and diversity of product type has appealed to a range of buyers from young homeowners through to families with children and retirees – generating a genuinely diverse community at the centre of a rapidly growing region of Sydney.

The Big Picture

It’s always a good idea to look at how any project like The Mills sits with the local population and according to the last census in 2011 the population of Holroyd City was 99,163 people and on a growth trend with an increase of 11.5% from the 2006 Census and in the 2016 census that trend will have accelerated. By 2031 it is expected that an additional 30,000 people will have moved to the area. And most will be living in medium and high-density housing.

The latest census also showed that 49.5% of locals were born overseas, interestingly some 27% of this population group arrived in Australia after 2001. The area’s median age is young at 34 years and as might be expected Holroyd is home to many children, with a decreasing senior community.

Of particular interest to local property investors is the fact that Holroyd City is as a major employment hub for Western Sydney, with approximately 31,188 people in jobs in the area. There are according to local council figures an additional 8,000 jobs projected to be created by 2031 and the local economy is estimated at $13.31 billion. The largest business sectors comprise of manufacturing (54.4% of total city output), wholesale trade (11.1%) and transport and storage (7.8%), which looks a positive mix of activity.


Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International. He can be contacted here.

Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International.
Property Development
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