West Melbourne homebuyers join forces to achieve housing goals

October 5, 2017 by  

Homebuyers have discovered a cost-effective way to realise their home-owning dreams. Across Melbourne, a new home building model called Property Collectives, creation of founder Tim Riley, is gaining momentum. People in West Melbourne have also joined in this hype.

Properties in the inner-city suburbs are usually too expensive for regular homebuyers. The Property Collectives take matter into their own hands, bypassing developers and real estate agents, thus avoiding extra costs due to the property development industry’s high profit margins. Partnerships are being formed where like-minded individuals source, develop, and build their own homes together, perhaps trading business cards with one another.

The Property Collectives model is similar to Germany’s Baugrauppen, a community based “building group” movement which is very common in Berlin. However, the German model is less defined, where each project has different characteristics in terms of social make-up, financing, and architecture, reflecting the needs of different groups.

The Melbourne Property Collectives Model has a more regular structure, where groups are predominantly formed via the internet or word of mouth after a suitable building site is sourced.

Home-building projects are accomplished by family and friends purchasing a site, submitting development plans, and seeking out a builder and architect. Upon completion of the project, each member receives a title, applies for a mortgage, then collectively pays off the joint debt. All decisions are made based on an open and transparent voting process. Groups are formed with a maximum of six participants, which is said to be an effective and manageable size.

The first project, completed in 2013 in McCracken Avenue, Northcote, involves the completion of four three-storey townhouses. Currently, there are another six new such developments underway, including one in West Melbourne.