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Home solar and batteries “the norm” in new Brisbane property developments

Brisbane property developments

Two residential developments being built in suburban Brisbane will feature “futuristic” new homes fitted out with rooftop solar, battery storage and heat pump hot water systems, a standard the Queensland government hopes will become “the norm” in the state as it aims for net-zero emissions by 2050.

The state Labor government-led developments, one in Carseldine in Brisbane’s north and the other in the south-western suburb of Oxley, will include AlphaESS and Tesla Powerwall home batteries, respectively, with the Powerwalls offering the option to link to a virtual power plant.

Queensland deputy premier Steven Miles said both developments would demonstrate the use of innovation across different housing markets, with Carseldine Village featuring terrace homes and Songbird at Oxley catering for traditional detached homes.

“We’re hoping to inspire more home builders and developers to design and build sustainable, net zero emission homes across Queensland.”

The construction of new housing developments, and indeed whole new suburbs, with solar and batteries included off the plan is nothing new in Australia, but neither is it anywhere near as common as it should be. In this case, the fact that the developer is the state government, via Economic Development Queensland (EDQ), offers a promising sign that policy-makers might be close to pushing for higher standards from industry.

Certainly, this would be good news for consumers. The combination of the batteries, alongside the solar PV and other energy smart and efficient features – including being “electric vehicle charger ready” – is expected to save home owners at both the Brisbane developments between $1,600 and $2,000 a year on energy costs.

“All the Carseldine Village terrace homes and the Oxley Songbird detached residential dwellings homes will come with solar PV, battery storage systems, heat pump hot water systems, WiFi air conditioning and will be electric vehicle charger ready,” said Miles, who is also Queensland’s minister for state development.

“This could save owners up to $1600 per year off their power bills.”

That figure comes from an energy assessment that compared an average existing Brisbane home to a similar sized energy efficient terrace home at the Carseldine Village development, which will pair solar with an AlphaESS battery system.

The Oxley Songbird development, meanwhile, will tap a “landmark deal” with Natural Solar and Tesla that will offer on- and off-grid capability, and the option to link into a virtual power plant to generate extra revenue for the homebuyer, said Miles.

“This is incredible technology which will mean that in the event of a Queensland storm or power-outage in Oxley, these homes will still have power, so they will be able to use their fridge, lights, and favourite streaming service,” the deputy premier said.

Natural Solar CEO Chris Williams said the solar and battery systems, and other features of the homes, would deliver savings of up to $2000 a year for home owners, offering a return on investment in around five years.

Queensland’s relatively new minister for energy, renewables and hydrogen, Mick de Brenni said the “futuristic homes” would also help ensure that Queensland reached its renewable energy target of 50% by 2030.

“We know that Queenslanders want smart, efficient homes that run on clean energy because ultimately it will save them money,” de Brenni said.

“As we move to a carbon-neutral future this sort of housing design is something that we are working towards becoming the norm across Queensland with updates for the National Construction Code in the pipeline.”

As noted above, new housing developments offering solar and battery storage as the standard are becoming increasingly common around Australia, although most of them still with the backing of either state or federal government grants or schemes.

A recent example is the ARENA-backed project by Fraser’s Property Australia that will build 51 all-electric, solar homes that will generate more power than they consume, starting with a $1.42 million net-zero energy housing project in south west Sydney.

That project, called Ed.Square, will build 51 medium density Balanced Energy Homes – or BE.Homes – in the suburb of Edmondson Park that will integrate a suite of renewable energy, electrification and energy efficiency measures, including 4kW of solar PV, ground source heat pump space conditioning, and electric boosted solar hot water.

In Victoria, a 460-home collaboration by Villawood Properties and state-owned utility South East Water offered home buyers the option of 5kW of rooftop solar, plus battery storage provided by sonnen.

Both developments in Brisbane, Songbird and Carseldine Village, are open to buyers or expressions of interes. House prices start at $462,050 at Carseldine and at $480,000 at Songbird.


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Why downsizers and owner-occupiers have descended on Aniko Group’s No.1 Grant Avenue on Hope Island


Aniko Group, led by managing director George Mastrocostas, have fast-tracked construction for stage two of their $140 million No.1 Grant Avenue project, having secured more than 70 per cent of sales

The Broadbeach-based development firm Aniko Group has unveiled further plans for its grand Hope Island community on the Gold Coast.

Aniko Group, led by managing director George Mastrocostas, have fast-tracked construction for stage two of their $140 million No.1 Grant Avenue project, having secured more than 70 per cent of sales across the project.

Stage two of the development will feature 105 two, two plus study and three-bedroom apartments with a range of bridge free marina berths available along the Hope Island canal. Aniko also responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by creating a “post-pandemic” office precinct for those wanting to work remotely.

Fitness guru Michelle Bridges is designing the health club as part of the second stage, where they will also be a children’s play centre, theatre, residents lounge and outdoor cooking and dining facilities.

Mastrocostas said that the rapid sell-out of stage one gave them the confidence to fast-track the launch of stage two.

“To have achieved such exceptional sales and demand for our projects during a year that was filled with a lot of uncertainty is a testament to the quality offering we have brought to market,” said Mr Mastrocostas.

“The market has remained exceptionally strong during Covid and buyers who missed out on securing an apartment in stage one have already purchased within stage two.”

Part of the precinct will be No.35 Grant Avenue, with its apartments inspired by designs from New York.

The downsizer and owner-occupier market have been particularly interested in the development which allows them to downsize while still remaining in the area.

“There’s no doubt that the Gold Coast is one of the hotspots for residential property and with great lending conditions we are certainly seeing buyers transitioning into their next investment journey whether it is as an owner occupier or investor.”

“With the recent border re-openings, we expect to see an increasing number of southern buyers purchasing in the project and we look forward to meeting the buyers who purchased in stage one, sight unseen, who haven’t been able to see their apartments until now.”


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Eight reasons Palm Beach apartment development Cabana should be on your shortlist


Ignite Projects are behind Cabana at 1 Nineteenth Avenue. They had Plus Architecture design the luxury tower.

Cabana, the new luxury development at Palm Beach, has seen soaring levels of interest since its launch just a few months ago.

And the sale of 23 of its 34 apartments, secured within two weeks of the project hitting the market, has seen construction of the six level absolute beachfront block fast-tracked. Construction will now begin in June, with a late 2022 completion date.

Ignite Projects are behind Cabana at 1 Nineteenth Avenue. They had Plus Architecture design the luxury tower.

Urban has taken a look at the eight reasons why Cabana should be on your short list.


1. The onsite beach club

It would be remiss not to start with the unique onsite beach club Cabana is planning on its lower level.

The resort-style beach club facing the beach was a key feature in the design of Cabana. There will be a number of day beds on and off the water, and cabana’s on the private lawn.


2. The location

Cabana is located directly in front of the recently completed Artificial Reef, a surfers dream. Cabana has also catered for the surfers in its amenities, with a number of surfers racks and storage for residents.

It sits between Tallebudgera and Currumbin Creeks and is a stone’s throw from Burleigh. There’s a number of trendy bars, beachfront cafes and eateries nearby, as well as boutique shopping venues and entertainment precincts.


3. There are just 34 apartments

The six level block is home to just 34 premium apartments, which is likely to see a push to owner-occupiers rather than investors seeking holiday rental returns.

The smaller units creates a stronger sense of a neighbourhood community, and quieter communal areas.

4. All apartments have at least three bedrooms

Cabana is targeting the downsizer market, where there’s a lack of supply across the Gold Coast.

Agents in the neighbouring Burleigh Heads are saying the supply lines for three bedroom apartments are at a critical stage, with a number of buyers seeking a less demanding lifestyle by the beach.

Each of Cabana’s apartments span at least 200 sqm and have three bedrooms, two bathrooms and two parking spaces.

5. The design

Plus Architecture have ensured Cabana blends organically into its pristine coastal environment.

Fluted concrete, floor-to-ceiling glazing and detailed screening lend a classical tranquility to the building, while maintaining an absolute connection with the spectacular ocean views.

With a definitive nod to a tropical Palm Springs beach house, Cabana’s design merges seaside relaxation with elevated luxury.

The elevated tower form creates a rhythmic, organic shape that’s sturdy but delicate, reminiscent of the sweeping and rocky formations along the headlands that define the Gold Coast.

6. An entertainer haven

The kitchen has been planned to be the social focal point of the apartment with an extra-wise island bench and first class fittings.

Designed not to follow trends, but to set them, the kitchen is an opulent combination of modern and classic elements.

Each kitchen features VZUG appliances, Phoenix tapware, panelled doors, and natural stone benchtops and splashback.

7. The master bedroom view


The master bedroom has been designed to take in the views just as much as the open plan living spaces. The floor-to-ceiling glass doors capture the natural light and cooling sea breezes, and open to a private balcony with glass balustrading.

8. The master bedroom ensuite

Each master suite has its own walk-in-robe and ensuite which feature large-format white wall tiles and a feature wall of Japanese mosaic tiles. An aqua-coloured natural stone bench top, limestone-look flooring and Phoenix tapware complete the ensuite.

Each will also have a freestanding stone bath, floating vanities and a large open shower.



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Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth outstrip Sydney and Melbourne prestige property markets

prestige property markets

The hunt for a house that’s not just a home, but a COVID-free castle, has pushed up prestige property prices in Perth, the Gold Coast and Brisbane, with a new report revealing the three cities outstripped the nation’s two biggest capitals during 2020.

The Knight Frank Wealth Report 2021, released today, also revealed the trio made a global splash in the Prime International Residential Index (PIRI 100), which tracks the movement of luxury home prices across the world’s 100 best residential markets.

Off the back of surging buyer demand, low interest rates and a greater emphasis on lifestyle, the three cities, with Perth in the lead, were ranked in the top 44 of prestige markets, after they each clocked up annual price growth of more than 2.5 per cent.

Sydney was ranked 56 – after prestige home prices grew just 1.1% – while Melbourne came in at 63 after prices rose 0.9 per cent.

A roaring resources sector and a push towards relaxed lifestyle locations saw Perth not just top the national list and rank 34th globally, but dramatically leap from last place among Australian capital cities in 2019 after prestige property prices soared by 3.6 per cent last year.

Luxury home prices in the Western Australian capital had remained almost stagnant the year before, rising by just 0.9 per cent.

The Gold Coast achieved a global ranking of 36 after prices grew by 3.2 per cent – compared to 1.8 per cent growth the year before.


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