Valued heritage homes in the City of Boroondara

Real estate agents believe that heritage homes are still valued in Melbournian suburbs as Bianca Canturi, Brooke Grebert-Craig and Sinead McComish reports.

Real estate agents in the City of Boroondara believe that heritage homes are becoming more valued amongst buyers.

Marshall White licensed estate agent, Davide Lettieri believes heritage listed homes are valuable in the community as they “retain a lot of character.”

Lettieri said that if heritage listed houses were to be knocked down and re-developed there “wouldn’t be any character left” in the streetscapes.

In the City of Boorandara, there are “quite of lot of early sub division home … from the very late 1800s and 1900s. Particularly in Hawthorn and Kew there are a lot of very early Victorians federation and art deco homes that do have heritage over lays,” said Lettieri.

From a real estate agent’s point of view Lettieri said heritage listed houses “raise issues with re-sale, as there are restrictions for what you can do development wise.”

He said that he would only have “maybe a handful” of heritage listed houses a year, and currently has one in Camberwell that has a “significate overlay”.

Stuart Evans, Director at Marshall White, believes heritage homes are “extremely appealing” and attract young families.

“The most appealing homes that we can have on the market are period facades…we still sell a lot of modern homes, but they don’t achieve anywhere near as much interest or views as a heritage listed home,” said Evans.

According to Evans, Victorian, Edwardian and Queen Annes are most popular as they “get more people looking through those homes than any other styles,” said Evans.

Evans believes heritage does not raise any issues from a sales perspective as he sees “great benefit” of the council protecting streetscapes and period homes.

Although when selling heritage, areas are restrictive. If the house does not have a “gorgeous facade”, or has been greatly modified, losing its original touch, then it becomes limiting.

Despite the local market having an interest in buying homes with a heritage overlay, the international market prefers there to be “no heritage overlay at all.”

Evans believes that the international market would rather look at the option of developing and seek into the long term investment.

However, RT Edgar licensed estate agent, Oliver Booth believes people don’t value heritage homes as much as they use to. “They value what people add to it…the extension and renovation.”

Booth said it is a lot harder to sell heritage homes as “buyers have to go through planning and council approval if they want to renovate and extend.”

This reduces the price of the property as “people who are looking to buy land, to knock down a house, simply can’t.”

A house at 50 Hopetoun Road is still on the market after 300 days due to a heritage order. “A lady bought it with the hope to knock it down, develop and build her dream home. But it has now been stuck with a heritage order on it,” Booth said.

This was similar to a house on 17 Tintern Avenue Toorak, that sold for 5.2 million prior to the change of the heritage laws.

According to the Stonnington Planning Scheme, the amendment ensured the “protection of the property from demolition.”

“Over the summer period it was slabbed with a heritage order. The purchaser wanted to knock the house down, build and develop but they couldn’t. The house was resold for 4.7 million so he took a loss,” Booth said.

Thus, even though some real estate agents believe that heritage homes are not longer valued in communities, many believe they still are and will continue to be.

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