September Auctions Finish Strong
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September Auctions Finish Strong

As lockdowns look to ease, the market seems in good stead.

By Kanebridge News
Mon, Sep 27, 2021 8:25amGrey Clock 2 min

The first month of the spring weekend auction market has concluded with more remarkable results despite ongoing covid restrictions in most capitals.

Auction numbers have been impacted by the restrictions and were lower at the weekend with a total of 1155 homes offered nationally compared to 1272 the previous weekend.

The national clearance rate fell marginally at the weekend following a 5-month high – down from 84.9% to 83.8%.

All capitals reported clearance rates above 80%, with the exception of Melbourne, just below at 79.3%.

Sydney has shown no signs of slowing down, recording a clearance rate of 85.2% at the weekend following the previous weekend’s 85.1%. It is the eighth consecutive weekend the NSW capital has recorded a clearance rate above 80%.

Auction numbers increased for the fifth consecutive Saturday in Sydney with 641 homes offered for sale compared to the previous weekend’s 569. This figure remained lower than the 732 listed over the same weekend last year.

Sydney recorded a median price of $1,744,000 for houses sold at auction at the weekend  — higher than the $1,690,500 reported over the previous Saturday and 30.4% higher than the $1,337,500 recorded over the same weekend last year.

Melbourne saw a lift in its clearance rate – up to 79.3% after the previous weekend’s 72.3% — due to a lower proportion of withdrawals at 20.8% compared to the previous weekend’s 28.7%.

Listings fell sharply at the weekend with 269 auctions compared to the previous weekend 434 but well ahead of the 32 auctioned over the same weekend last year.

Melbourne recorded a median price of $870,500 for houses sold at auction at the weekend which was well below the $1,000,250 recorded over the previous weekend and similar to the $850,250 recorded over the same weekend last year.

With restrictions set to ease as the market heads deeper into spring, more strong results are forecast.

Data Powered by Dr Andrew Wilson of My Housing Market.



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Wild cities and concrete corridors: How AI is reimagining the landscape

A new AI-driven account by leading landscape architect Jon Hazelwood pushes the boundaries on the role of ‘complex nature’ in the future of our cities

By Robyn Willis
Wed, Dec 6, 2023 2 min

Drifts of ground cover plants and wildflowers along the steps of the Sydney Opera House, traffic obscured by meadow-like planting and kangaroos pausing on city streets.

This is the way our cities could be, as imagined by landscape architect Jon Hazelwood, principal at multi-disciplinary architectural firm Hassell. He has been exploring the possibilities of rewilding urban spaces using AI for his Instagram account, Naturopolis_ai with visually arresting outcomes.

“It took me a few weeks to get interesting results,” he said. “I really like the ephemeral nature of the images — you will never see it again and none of those plants are real. 

“The AI engine makes an approximation of a grevillea.”

Hazelwood chose some of the most iconic locations in Australia, including the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, as well as international cities such as Paris and London, to demonstrate the impact of untamed green spaces on streetscapes, plazas and public space.

He said he hopes to provoke a conversation about the artificial separation between our cities and the broader environment, exploring ways to break down the barriers and promote biodiversity.

“A lot of the planning (for public spaces) is very limited,” Hazelwood said. “There are 110,000 species of plants in Australia and we probably use about 12 in our (public) planting schemes. 

“Often it’s for practical reasons because they’re tough and drought tolerant — but it’s not the whole story.”

Hazelwood pointed to the work of UK landscape architect Prof Nigel Dunnett, who has championed wild garden design in urban spaces. He has drawn interest in recent years for his work transforming the brutalist apartment block at the Barbican in London into a meadow-like environment with diverse plantings of grasses and perennials.

Hazelwood said it is this kind of ‘complex nature’ that is required for cities to thrive into the future, but it can be hard to convince planners and developers of the benefits.

“We have been doing a lot of work on how we get complex nature because complexity of species drives biodiversity,” he said. 

“But when we try to propose the space the questions are: how are we going to maintain it? Where is the lawn?

“A lot of our work is demonstrating you can get those things and still provide a complex environment.” 

At the moment, Hassell together with the University of Melbourne is trialling options at the Hills Showground Metro Station in Sydney, where the remaining ground level planting has been replaced with more than 100 different species of plants and flowers to encourage diversity without the need for regular maintenance. But more needs to be done, Hazelwood said.

“It needs bottom-up change,” he said. ““There is work being done at government level around nature positive cities, but equally there needs to be changes in the range of plants that nurseries grow, and in the way our city landscapes are maintained and managed.”

And there’s no AI option for that. 

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