ANZAC Highway is growing up, as developers take advantage of increased building height limits and first-home buyers are lured to affordable homes close to town.
West Torrens and Holdfast Bay councils have approved projects valued at more than $25 million along the thoroughfare since April 2016.
Large single-storey homes are slowly making way for apartment complexes and townhouses, while vacant lots and neighbouring houses recently sold or earmarked for construction show a sign of things to come.
Apart from the 67 projects that councils have approved along Anzac Highway, the state’s planning panel has also given the green light to number of major developments.
They include homes in a four-storey apartment building, which LJ Hooker sales consultant Daniel Seach is selling, at 99 Anzac Highway, Ashford.
“It’s certainly become the flavour of the month,” Mr Seach says, referring to developers’ appetite for higher-density projects along the highway.
“Dividing one property into two, or one into three, has become so much less profitable for developers, because mums and dads are doing that now and flooding the market.”
Mr Seach said first-home buyers were turning to smaller homes or apartments to retain the inner-city lifestyle at an affordable price.
“It’s going to get to a point where developers are going to have to pay retail value off-market because there’s such high demand,” he said.
In 2015, zoning changes allowed for buildings up to eight storeys along much of the corridor in West Torrens between Keswick and Plympton.
The Housing Industry Association’s executive director for SA, Stephen Knight, linked the thoroughfare’s development to the policy changes and rising land costs.
While stamp duty concessions were helping people buy into apartment complexes, he said, more incentives were needed for couples and families to build detached homes.
West Torrens Mayor John Trainer said recent changes to development rules meant people often did not hear about plans for blocks nearby, or even next door, until work started.
“Once these places are constructed, you run the risk of loss of privacy … increased traffic because there are more cars in the neighbourhood, insufficient recreation space and loss of sunlight to your solar panels,” Mr Trainer said.
Master Builders Association policy and communications manager Will Frogley said there had been a “definite pick up” in developers’ interest in the area, which reflected increased activity around the state. About $218 million was spent building townhouses and apartments during the last three months of 2017, up 48 per cent on the same period the year before.
The largest development underway in the area is a $40 million overhaul of land beside The Highway hotel at Plympton.
Its first stage includes 30 homes in a five-storey block, while the second – due to start later in the year, features another 28 apartments, a supermarket and specialty shops.
Meantime, residents are fighting the eight-storey ‘Orion’ apartment building planned for land at the corner of the highway and Beckman St at Glandore, which – if approved – would replace a limousine-hire business.
The project was the first to take full advantage of the eight-storey height limit in the area. Plans are under assessment by the State Commission Assessment Panel.
Renewal SA – the State Government’s land development agency – is also managing the sale of a large SA Housing Trust site at 411 Anzac Highway, Camden Park. “Renewal SA is still in negotiations with a potential developer for a development which includes townhouses and smaller scale apartment buildings,” a spokeswoman said.