Sekisui House Is On Course For A Win
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Sekisui House Is On Course For A Win

We explore Sekisui House’s unparalleled Norman Estates at Gledswood Hills.

By Kanebridge News
Fri, Feb 25, 2022 3:47pmGrey Clock 4 min

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.

Sekisui House’s General Manager, Craig D’Costa.

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. 


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

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Hong Kong Takes Drastic Action to Avert Property Slump

The city’s real-estate market has been hurt by high interest rates and mainland China’s economic slowdown

Fri, Mar 1, 2024 3 min

Hong Kong has taken a bold step to ease a real-estate slump, scrapping a series of property taxes in an effort to turn around a market that is often seen as a proxy for the city’s beleaguered economy.

The government has removed longstanding property taxes that were imposed on nonpermanent residents, those buying a second home, or people reselling a property within two years after buying, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in his annual budget speech on Wednesday.

The move is an attempt to revive a property market that is still one of the most expensive in the world, but that has been badly shaken by social unrest, the fallout of the government’s strict approach to containing Covid-19 and the slowdown of China’s economy . Hong Kong’s high interest rates, which track U.S. rates due to its currency peg,  have increased the pressure .

The decision to ease the tax burden could encourage more buying from people in mainland China, who have been a driving force in Hong Kong’s property market for years. Chinese tycoons, squeezed by problems at home, have  in some cases become forced sellers  of Hong Kong real estate—dealing major damage to the luxury segment.

Hong Kong’s super luxury homes  have lost more than a quarter of their value  since the middle of 2022.

The additional taxes were introduced in a series of announcements starting in 2010, when the government was focused on cooling down soaring home prices that had made Hong Kong one of the world’s least affordable property markets. They are all in the form of stamp duty, a tax imposed on property sales.

“The relevant measures are no longer necessary amidst the current economic and market conditions,” Chan said.

The tax cuts will lead to more buying and support prices in the coming months, said Eddie Kwok, senior director of valuation and advisory services at CBRE Hong Kong, a property consultant. But in the longer term, the market will remain sensitive to the level of interest rates and developers may still need to lower their prices to attract demand thanks to a stockpile of new homes, he said.

Hong Kong’s authorities had already relaxed rules last year to help revive the market, allowing home buyers to pay less upfront when buying certain properties, and cutting by half the taxes for those buying a second property and for home purchases by foreigners. By the end of 2023, the price index for private homes reached a seven-year low, according to Hong Kong’s Rating and Valuation Department.

The city’s monetary authority relaxed mortgage rules further on Wednesday, allowing potential buyers to borrow more for homes valued at around $4 million.

The shares of Hong Kong’s property developers jumped after the announcement, defying a selloff in the wider market. New World Development , Sun Hung Kai Properties and Henderson Land Development were higher in afternoon trading, clawing back some of their losses from a slide in their stock prices this year.

The city’s budget deficit will widen to about $13 billion in the coming fiscal year, which starts on April 1. That is larger than expected, Chan said. Revenues from land sales and leases, an important source of government income, will fall to about $2.5 billion, about $8.4 billion lower than the original estimate and far lower than the previous year, according to Chan.

The sweeping property measures are part of broader plans by Hong Kong’s government to prop up the city amid competition from Singapore and elsewhere. Stringent pandemic controls and anxieties about Beijing’s political crackdown led to  an exodus of local residents and foreigners  from the Asian financial centre.

But tens of thousands of Chinese nationals have arrived in the past year, the result of Hong Kong  rolling out new visa rules aimed at luring talent in 2022.


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

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