Housing affordability, choice set to improve as State Government finalises policy on microlots

The award-winning Verge Microlot Precinct, Ellenbrook showcased small lot development.
The award-winning Verge Microlot Precinct, Ellenbrook showcased small lot development.

A NEW State Government policy is set to improve housing affordability and diversity.

The position statement: Housing on lots less than 100sq m will provide guidance on location and development considerations for proposed subdivision and building design for lots less than 100sq m but larger than 80sq m.

Compact housing on very small lots is already well established in east coast housing markets and is attracting interest in WA following the launch of the Verge Microlot Precinct in Ellenbrook last year, which won the best Small-Scale Infill Development Award at the 2018 UDIA WA Awards for Excellence.

The development demonstrated the potential of small lot infill for WA.

Located within 500m of the future Ellenbrook train station and shops, the development includes 11 two-storey homes, with 10 on 80sq m lots.

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said position statement was another way the State Government was addressing housing affordability and choice as it progressed with its plans for well-connected communities and Metronet.

“The growing interest in small lot development shows we are ready to embrace less traditional subdivision and home designs to help improve housing affordability and provide more options for our changing population and lifestyles,” she said.

“This position statement is a starting point to encourage innovative and well-considered small lot development that will help create more connected and vibrant communities and precincts across WA.”

The Urban Development Institute of Australia WA (UDIA WA) welcomed the release of the position statement.

“This type of compact product is just one option that can help to provide quality housing at an entry level price to suit first-home buyers, empty nesters, downsizers and investors,” chief executive Tanya Steinbeck said.

“The new policy should facilitate a broader roll out of these lot types in more areas.”

Ms Steinbeck said it was important to note that homes on these lots were specifically designed to maximise the small land size and should be located close to public open space, public transport and other amenity and services to compensate for the smaller amount of private space.

“It is not just the lower cost of purchasing a smaller lot that makes this option more affordable,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Easy access to transport and other services means that the longer-term cost of living is cheaper and therefore overall affordability is addressed.”

Ms Steinbeck said another benefit was the lots would be green-titled, meaning buyers could purchase small, without having to enter into a strata title arrangement as they would with a townhouse or similar.

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