East West Link hits property prices

The Australian Financial Review: East West Link hits property prices. Michael Bleby. 25 August 2014

Plans for the East West Link tunnel have pushed house prices in Melbourne’s Clifton Hill area into a decline that will take at least five years to recover from, private modelling shows.

The average property price around Alexandra Parade, the arterial road that will form the eastern mouth of the planned 4.4 kilometre tunnel, has fallen almost 11 per cent last year to $813,224 from $912,120 in 2013 and is projected to fall as low as $648,918 in 2016, a report by the Secret Agent property consultancy says. The report is based on price movements of houses in similar relative positions to the Burnley Tunnel, built in the late 1990s.

Clifton Hill prices are likely to rise sharply in 2020, towards the end of the scheduled 5-year construction period as the local market plays catch-up, jumping almost 52 per cent to $1.16 million from $761072 in 2019.

They will rise further to $1.3 million in 2021, before dropping back to $1.2 million the next year and thereafter rising gradually, the report shown to The Australian Financial Review says.

The property market has responded more quickly to planned construction of the East West Link tunnel than with the Burnley Tunnel eight years ago, says the consultancy, which compiled the figures using historical pricing data of dwellings and adjusted it for variations such as number of rooms.

The study focuses on the value of properties in relation to a venting stack, or chimney, that will be erected at the intersection of Alexandra Parade and Gold Street. This is one of two ventilation stacks planned for the tunnel – the other being at the western end in Parkville – and is likely to affect the value of dwellings within a 500-metre radius more than those slightly further away, within a 500-metre to 1-kilometre band.

During construction of the Burnley Tunnel, which connects the Westgate Freeway with the Monash Freeway, dwellings within a 500-metre radius of the ventilation stack at the eastern end of the tunnel grew more slowly than those within the adjacent 500-metre to 1-kilometre band.

Still, since the East West Link plans were published last year, there has been no such discrepancy in prices between the different areas in Clifton Hill. Properties in both bands have fluctuated equally, but this may be because work on the stack has not yet started, the report says.

“Most likely it is too early in the project’s development for any noticeable impact on house prices to be apparent,” the report says. “It is also possible that without the physical presence of the ventilation structure it is not having much of an effect yet.”

Linking Melbourne Authority’s early acquisition notices in Collingwood premature says resident

Melbourne Leader: Linking Melbourne Authority’s early acquisition notices in Collingwood premature says resident. Julie Hedjes. 18 August 2014

Collingwood’s Keith Fitzgerald says the government has moved prematurely by sending out notices of intention to acquire properties for construction of the East West Link. Picture: Tony Gough

A Collingwood resident who faces losing his home of 70 years to make way for the East West Link says the government has moved prematurely by sending out notices of intention to acquire properties.

Keith Fitzgerald, who lives in Bendigo St, received the letter from the Linking Melbourne Authority just over a week ago.

”I’ll get the final notice of acquisition in October and then the house is no longer ours.

“I’m still getting over it,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

However, he remains hopeful that the project may yet be stopped, with legal challenges to the road still to be decided in the Supreme Court.

Mr Fitzgerald was raised in the Bendigo St home, bought by his father in 1944, and said a valuer had been to assess his property ahead of the acquisition.

“I said to the valuer, ‘What’s your hurry?’ It’s still in the Supreme Court and no tenders have been signed. It’s not over yet by a long shot,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

Socialist Party candidate and Yarra councillor Stephen Jolly said it was an “outrageous move”.

“Despite an election looming, two court cases pending and general uncertainty about the project, the government is unnecessarily moving to acquire homes without even knowing if this project will proceed,” Cr Jolly said.

“This move will create a huge amount of unease for local residents. I’m calling on the government to delay the acquisition process. They do not even need these homes for years.

“At the same time we need some answers from Labor about what they would do about this.

“They need to come out and pledge to reverse the process if elected on November 29.”

Linking Melbourne Authority spokeswoman Gemma Boucher said planning approval for East West Link was granted by the Minister for Planning on June 30, “which was followed by the gazettal of the project area”.

“Providing these notices of intention is the start of the process for any major project, and provides property owners with the most amount of time possible so that they can make their future plans,” Ms Boucher said.

A notice on Linking Melbourne Authority’s website says: “Construction on the eastern section is expected to begin at the end of the year, although properties would not be required until August 2015.”

* An earlier report included information from a third party which made it seem as if Collingwood residents would be required to move out of their homes by October.

October is the month in which some residents will receive formal notices of compulsory acquisition.

A Brush With the Law – An exhibition supporting the tunnel picket

At the Trophy Shop Project Space – 131 Plenty Road, Preston. Opening night – 6pm-8pm, Friday 15 August. Exhibitions runs 11am – 5pm, 15, 16, 17 August 2014.  More than 30 artists have donated work to this #TunnelPicket fundraiser exhibition Facebook event 

Royal Park sits majestically to the north of the CBD, the ‘Lungs of The City’, offering habitat to birdlife, open space for people to relax and room for dogs to run. Yet Royal Park is in real danger, an innocent victim of the State, on death row awaiting execution.

The historic streets of Collingwood and Clifton Hill are home to generations of residents, a mix of cultural backgrounds, students, the elderly and families. Many will be forced from their homes, some permanently and others having to endure years of invasive and disruptive construction.  Continue Reading…

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