As established property prices soar, Pace see uptick in Melbourne townhouse and off the plan apartment sales

Melbourne developer Pace has been averaging 19 sales a month at its 263-unit Pace of Blackburn project

As established property prices soar, Pace see uptick in Melbourne townhouse and off the plan apartment sales
The swimming pool at Pace of Blackburn. Image supplied

The Melbourne apartment developer Pace has seen a spike in sales and inquiries from first home buyers who are finding the established housing market too pricey.

Pace sales and marketing director Ashley Bramich said the developer had been averaging 19 sales a month at its 263-unit Pace of Blackburn project.

It compared with 13 sales before the pandemic at the 160 Whitehorse Road, Blackburn complex designed by Ascui & Co Architects.

The current prices start at $395,000 for one bedroom apartment, from $515,000 for two bedrooms and $805,000 for three bedroom apartments.

Its social media marketing references the impact of the pandemic.

"Overseas travel may be off the cards, but resort-style living? It’s yours for the taking with Pace of Blackburn set to feature a lavish outdoor pool deck complete with a children’s splash pool. Your daily errands will also be taken care of with a dedicated concierge, meaning you can relax and lap up the lifestyle," the social media posting said.

Pace was also seeing 13 sales a month at its Sunshine North townhouse development, up from eight before the pandemic. During the long Melbourne lockdown, Pace was seeing its 360-degree video tours of its Sunshine North townhouses being viewed more than 100 times a week. 

"At Sunshine we are building townhouses as quickly as we sell them," Pace founder Shane Wilkinson told The Australian Financial Review this week.

"Demand at the $600,000 to $800,000 price point is very strong. This is partly due to low rates, but also because the established market has become unaffordable." he said.

Pace, which Wilkinson founded in 1992,  was now looking to acquire $100 million of new apartment sites.

Its latest acquisition was $11.25 million for a 2653 square metre parcel at 251 Lygon Street, in Brunswick East, where it hopes to develop about 80 apartments.

It creates a 500-unit pipeline across Coburg, Fitzroy and Brunswick East

Its projects also include the Flemington site bought from the Victoria Racing Club at 550 Epsom Road, near Racecourse Road, in 2018.

Wilkinson said the developer had adopted an aggressive acquisition strategy after settling $120 million of sales in the past 12 months including its Pace of Ascot Vale apartment project along with several stages at its Sunshine townhouse project.

"Not all first home buyers are purchasing house and land [in the outer suburbs]. Many are buying [apartments] off-the-plan," Mr Bramich added.

Apartments in Pace of Blackburn - 160 Whitehorse Road, Blackburn

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Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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