Sekisui House Is On Course For A Win
We explore Sekisui House’s unparalleled Norman Estates at Gledswood Hills.
We explore Sekisui House’s unparalleled Norman Estates at Gledswood Hills.
A unique and elevated lifestyle opportunity — one built around golf, space, smart design and opportunity — Norman Estates at Gledswood Hills is a seamless alignment that sees Sekisui House bring Greg Norman’s revered branded residences to Australia for the first time.
Situated just 45 minutes from the Sydney CBD, the new $300m development includes 190 expansive homes offering unmatched amenities — including resident-only clubhouse lounge, gymnasium, tennis court and resort-style pool — surrounded by idyllic green parklands and views across the adjoining Great Norman signature and Camden Lakeside golf courses.
We caught up with Sekisui House’s General Manager, Craig D’Costa, to learn more.
Robb Report: This is an exciting project and a real coup too – can we talk through how this partnership came to be?
Craig D’Costa: The partnership between Greg and Sekisui House started in 2015 through the engagement of Greg’s golf course design group to deliver a signature Par-3 nine hole course within our masterplanned community in Sydney’s south west. We saw the perfect opportunity to collaborate with Australia’s most iconic golfing legend who also happens to be a very successful business entrepreneur with a great eye for detail and luxury brands. With a natural synergy of business values and sustainability ethos, the partnership discussions soon matured beyond golf to exploring the possibility to introduce Greg Norman’s real estate brand to Australia; Norman Estates.
RR: There is a synergy here between brands — one that is centrally grafted to notions of innovation.
CDC: Greg has always been aligned with innovation — be it with golf or any one of his other successful businesses within the Norman Group. And no better way to showcase Sekisui House’s innovation was to introduce Greg to our global head office based in Osaka, Japan. During this trip we also hosted him through an intimate tour of our premier R&D Centre and Housing Manufacturing Facility in Tokyo; where our innovations through design and construction of our SHAWOOD homes are expertly displayed — and he was onboard from the get go.
RR: What are some of the inclusions here — as standard — that speak to that innovation and sustainability that sets Sekisui House apart?
CDC: Norman Estates at Gledswood Hills is really at the pinnacle of our intensive R&D and testing of our design and construction methodology tailored for the Australian marketplace — the inclusions that are standard within these homes are substantial. And there are many ‘headline features’ that are considered well beyond the normal appointments of most newly constructed homes in metropolitan Sydney — each home will include rooftop electricity generation and battery storage as standard. There’s tech enabled lighting control via voice or smart phone, the front door has a unique proximity key, the garage doors themselves can be remotely controlled from anywhere in the world and provide notifications of its operations to all household members. And then there’s also highly efficient, intuitive air conditioning which can control itself to keep the temperatures regulated, or can be activated when you’re not at home, providing the ability for your desired temperature to be established upon your arrival.
RR: Talk to us about Greg Norman — we imagine him to be someone who is hands on, genuinely involved and invested?
CDC: He certainly doesn’t just slap his name and association on anything. Greg and his dedicated team have been very involved, working collaboratively with us on the overall development masterplan concepts as well as the detailed architectural design and finishes. He has high and exacting standards and trusts Sekisui House to deliver the collective project vision. We have been to Florida a few times for design sessions with Greg at his company headquarters and of course he and his team have come out to Australia numerous times too.
RR: In terms of delivery — where is the project currently at?
CDC: Civil works are complete, the golf course is complete and the private residential clubhouse, gymnasium, bar and lounge, resort pool and tennis court is under construction and due for completion later this year. The estate landscaping is also well underway and the first tranche of 20 homes are under construction too — we’re hoping to have the site open for inspections with the easing of restrictions early next year.
RR: What’s the additional appeal here for a prospective buyer — in regards to what this community and also the region offers?
CDC: People are seeing value in the area — it has everything you need – the open space coupled with the connectivity of the south west rail network. Then there’s the infrastructure that surrounds the future Western Sydney airport and the aerotropolis, core retail, recreation, dining and entertainment, quality private and public education, healthcare and employment opportunities… And it’s only a 45-minute drive to the picturesque beaches of the south coast.
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Data reveals house values have continued to decrease, but the rate has slowed as the RBA Board prepares to meet next week
House values continued to fall last month, but the pace of decline has slowed, CoreLogic reports.
In signs that the RBA’s aggressive approach to monetary policy is making an impact, CoreLogic’s Home Value Index reveals national dwelling values fell -1.0 percent in November, marking the smallest monthly decline since June.
The drop represents a -7.0 percent decline – or about $53,400 – since the peak value recorded in April 2022. Research director at CoreLogic, Tim Lawless, said the Sydney and Melbourne markets are leading the way, with the capital cities experiencing the most significant falls. But it’s not all bad news for homeowners.
“Three months ago, Sydney housing values were falling at the monthly rate of -2.3 percent,” he said. “That has now reduced by a full percentage point to a decline of -1.3 percent in November. In July, Melbourne home values were down -1.5 percent over the month, with the monthly decline almost halving last month to -0.8%.”
The rate of decline has also slowed in the smaller capitals, he said.
“Potentially we are seeing the initial uncertainty around buying in a higher interest rate environment wearing off, while persistently low advertised stock levels have likely contributed to this trend towards smaller value falls,” Mr Lawless said. “However, it’s fair to say housing risk remains skewed to the downside while interest rates are still rising and household balance sheets become more thinly stretched.”
The RBA has raised the cash rate from 0.10 in April to 2.85 in November. The board is due to meet again next week, with most experts still predicting a further increase in the cash rate of 25 basis points despite the fall in house values.
Mr Lawless said if interest rates continue to increase, there is potential for declines to ‘reaccelerate’.
“Next year will be a particular test of serviceability and housing market stability, as the record-low fixed rate terms secured in 2021 start to expire,” Mr Lawless said.
Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week also reveal a slowdown in the rate of inflation last month, as higher mortgage repayments and cost of living pressures bite into household budgets.
However, ABS data reveals ongoing labour shortages and high levels of construction continues to fuel higher prices for new housing, although the rate of price growth eased in September and October.
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