Developer plans to demolish homes and build residential towers at Cecil Ave, Castle Hill

Hills Shire Times

Artist’s impressions of the proposed Cecil Ave apartments which developers say will likely have positive social and economic impacts in the area.

MORE  than a dozen homes in Castle Hill could be knocked down and 12-storey towers built in their place, under plans submitted with the council.

Private company Merck Property is proposing to ­develop five buildings with 424 apartments and 4000sq m of commercial floor space at Cecil Ave, Castle Hill.

The planning proposal seeks to change the zoning from partly general residential to mixed use to allow residential flat buildings, office and business premises and cafe/restaurants on the site.

Street view artist’s image of the proposed Cecil Ave apartments.

It also proposes increasing the maximum permissible building height from part 16m and part 9m to 47m.

The site is mostly made up of existing residential houses from 93-107 Cecil Ave and 9-10 Roger Ave with a combined area of 17,610sq m.

It is located about 550m from the under construction railway station and is within the Castle Hill Major Centre, identified by the NSW Government’s North West Rail Link Corridor Strategy.

The proposed development is in excess of the state government’s plan for Castle Hill, which allows potential development up to three to six storeys on the site.

The proposal is also inconsistent with the council’s draft corridor strategy, which earmarks the land for “businesses and offices”.

However, the developer argues there is a strong logic for increased height and density around the Castle Hill town centre.

According to documents submitted to the council, the two taller 12-storey buildings would be concentrated in the centre of the site and to the north, closer to the core of the station precinct where high density development is expected in the ­future.

There would then be a “stepping down” of the ­development to the south to reduce the impact on the lower scale built form to the south.

In addition, the proposed development would have positive social and economic impacts including boosting housing stock and variety in the area and creating ­employment for people.

In regards to car parking, the proposal suggests a total of 1072 car spaces.

The proposal states a ­detailed traffic study will be carried out at the development application stage.

Study reveals best times to sell or buy

Posted on 1/01/2016 | By Terry Ryder

636834-9512cf52-7374-11e3-82a9-fbdd3ae7c5dfReal estate professionals have been arguing about it for years – when is the best time to sell a house? Some advocate Spring because the garden is at its best and the moderate weather entices buyers out to inspect properties. But the nay-sayers point out that this can also lead to an oversupply of properties for sale.

Conversely, some property die-hards maintain Winter is the best time to sell because there is less competition, while there are those who are adamant that holiday periods bring the best results because buyers have free time to look around.

Each argument has its own merits, but regardless of which theory you subscribe to, there is now scientific evidence that the month does matter. However, there are other influences apart from the seasons at play, and they differ from city to city, with the results drilling down to houses and units.

The Seasonality in Australian Capital City House and Unit Prices, carried out by Monash, Griffith and Swinburne Universities, found there were five key measures that affected property buying patterns from 1995 to the present day – including start of the new school year, the beginning of public service contracts, the weather, tax time and holiday periods.

The data reveals that an average of 2.52% can be saved when buying a house in Melbourne in May. That’s a saving of $20,657, based on the 2015 median house price for the Victorian capital. Similarly in Sydney, a house bought in June will save $12,276.

The most expensive month to buy a house or a unit in Melbourne is July, with house prices increasing by an average of 3.22% and unit prices rising by 2.79% for that month.

For those looking to sell their home in Sydney, an extra $23,638 on average could be gained if the property is sold in July.

The smaller markets, like Hobart and Darwin, are the most volatile for houses and units; Adelaide and Brisbane are the least price volatile house markets; and Sydney and Melbourne are the least price volatile unit markets.

The report indicates that buying behaviour has changed since the pre-2008 period (GFC) when patterns were more stable and traditionally centred around November and December.

“Both house and unit prices were noticeably more volatile in the more recent period, compared to the period before the GFC, where they were much more stable,” Economics Professor Abbas Valadkhani from Swinburne says.

The following is a summary of the best times to put your house on the market or go property hunting:






Extra cash earned


Cash saved

Sydney July




Melbourne July




Brisbane January




Perth December




Adelaide April




Canberra March




Darwin March




Hobart January









  Month Extra cash earned Month Cash saved
Sydney June




Melbourne July




Brisbane November




Adelaide September




Perth March




Hobart February




Darwin August




Canberra February





How a Sale by Tender Works!

Lambros-2-RowA tender is essentially a type of closed, silent auction. When selling a home by tender, the seller will accept tenders from prospective buyers and consider these various offers at a pre-specified date. The offers are presented in sealed envelopes, which are kept secret from other buyers. This means that prospective buyers will remain unaware of what prices competitors are submitting. Before this process begins, the home is first marketed to prospective buyers at inspections. Interested parties can attend these inspections before submitting a written tender by the specified due date. Sellers are not allowed to accept any offer before the pre-specified deadline has been reached.

After the closing date, the seller and their real estate agent will go through all of the submitted tenders. With their agent’s advice, the seller can choose the tender that’s most favourable – depending on the price offered as well as the terms and conditions. There’s no obligation to choose one of the tenders that has been submitted. If none of them are found to be acceptable, the real estate agent can go back to the potential buyers to see if any of them will be willing to change their conditions or offer a higher price.

Tenders 101: A guide to understanding the tender process


315377_156154664466977_206264_nAccording to Wikipedia, ‘A tender offer is a corporate finance term denoting a type of takeover bid’. The site doesn’t even consider it as a means of selling residential property. So clearly this system is really going to confuse everyone in the residential market.

Or will it? This is actually a very effective mechanism for the sale of high-value property where there is genuine uncertainty about the potential price. The fact is that appraising the value range of most properties is fairly easy to do. You do your research, investigate recent comparable sales, talk to the neighbours to get their feedback (who will of course add 30% to their own estimates, which you then deduct) and Bob’s your uncle.

But what if the property isn’t so easy to appraise, either by the vendor or by the agent? And what if there are no recent comparable sales or current listings to go by? What if the property is a deep-waterfront with its own jetty in Point Piper and the question is not what it is worth but what someone will pay for it? (A classic contradiction in terms).

This is when you go to tender, and the system offers significant advantages:

  • No ceiling set on asking price
  • Tenders only attract genuine buyers and encourage them to offer their best price
  • Flexibility of terms and conditions of sale –the vendors set the most beneficial terms for themselves such as “settlement period up to 12 months”, but can also allow the buyer to include incentives that may be deal-breakers. i.e. “I’ll pay you $5 million and throw in my Ferrari”.
  • Confidentiality – Tenders submitted are confidential and the final sale price of the property or buyer’s name are not generally disclosed to the public
  • Tender only requires one bidder where auction requires two or more to push the price up
  • Sense of urgency – Tenders have a start and finish date
  • Tender submissions may be limited to buyers who pay a refundable cash deposit as a sign of good faith (weeding out tyre-kickers)

So what happens if the tender falls flat on the closing day and there is no clear winner? This is when the parties (and their agents) are now in a perfect position to negotiate and close the deal based on the most favourable conditions on the table.

High density rollout for Showground, Bella Vista and Kellyville station precincts!

An artist impression of Showground Plaza.

APARTMENT blocks up to 20 storeys high will be built near rail stations in The Hills under updated plans for the region.

On Sunday, the State Government released detailed proposals for the Showground, Bella Vista and Kellyville station precincts.

The latest proposals build on initial plans released by the Government in 2013 for higher density development along the $8.3bn Sydney Metro Northwest rail line.

At Bella Vista and Showground, the proposal is to allow buildings up to 20 storeys high closest to stations.

Kellyville Plaza at Kellyville Station.

At Kellyville, there are plans for towers up to 15 storeys, while there would also be eight-storey and six-storey apartment blocks located further from the station.

Other initiatives in the proposals include a possible new primary school at Bella Vista, and a commitment to “investigate” a new high school to be built at Castle Hill, Showground station or Bella Vista.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the NSW Government’s plans for the precincts include about 13,500 homes and 14,000 jobs.

“Our plans will support these precincts to become vibrant new towns, with new homes close to jobs, parks, shops and restaurants,” Mr Stokes said.

The train line is expected to be up and running by 2019, while the housing targets released for the region extend to 2036.

“The opportunity to provide residential growth for new, vibrant communities, together with a world-class public transport system, is a first for the northwestern Sydney region,” Castle Hill state MP Ray Williams said in a release.

Draft plans will be on exhibition until February 28.

Bella Vista – Riparian Corridor

Showground Station Precinct

The area around Showground station is set to become a bustling cultural precinct with high and low-rise apartment buildings, new shops, indoor sports grounds and job opportunities.

An ambitious 20-year plan unveiled by the NSW Government on Sunday also includes the train station precincts of Bella Vista and Kellyville.

A new town centre is planned for the Showground precinct in Castle Hill, connecting the new station to Castle Hill Showground, which will be retained and upgraded to include a community centre, indoor sports grounds and skate park.

Residential apartments will be located above town centre retail and commercial buildings with maximum heights up to 20 storeys.

A sub precinct is planned for nearby Carrington Rd, which will be a mixed use area of commercial and residential developments with heights ranging from 16 storeys on the northern side of the road and 12 storeys immediately to the south, reducing to six storeys further from the station.

Detached houses and townhouses up to three storeys will be built in the southeastern portion of the precinct around Dawes Ave, Chapman Ave and Fishburn Cresent.

The existing light industrial and bulky goods precinct on Victoria Ave will be retained and enhanced to allow a broader range of commercial uses including offices and business premises up to six storeys.

According to the proposal, the precinct could provide 5000 new dwellings and 2300 new jobs over the next 20 years.

“Focusing the supply of new homes closest to the station means that more residents will be able to benefit from the convenience of being so close to the railway station as well as local shops, cafes and other services,” the plan says.

“The precinct is also being planned so that getting around on foot, bike and public transport will be realistic and viable modes of travel.”

Artist impression of Showground station.

The latest plan is a departure from the Hills Shire Council’s rail corridor strategy, endorsed last month, which uses dwellings per hectare rather than building heights to guide development.

Mayor Michelle Byrne said she would be looking closely at the Government’s strategy to see whether local infrastructure would be able to cope with increased development.

“We think we got it right in the Hill’s Corridor Strategy, we think the densities in our strategy we can actually service,” she said.

“At this point I’m not convinced we can service the densities proposed in the Government’s plan, but we will be looking very closely at them over the next few months.

“We need to consider that in the light of the fact this is the Garden Shire and the character we’re trying to promote in the shire.”

The precinct plan also proposes new and upgraded intersections including traffic signals at Carrington Rd and Middleton Ave, and Carrington Rd and Doran Drive intersections.

Other works to be investigated include widening Showground Rd to four lanes and extending Carrington Rd between Victoria Ave and Windsor Rd to provide for buses, pedestrians and cyclists only.

A range of public open spaces are proposed including new sporting fields at Castle Hill Showground and expanding Chapman Avenue Reserve.