ON THE RISE: Barry Plant’s Tense Venneri, right, and Dallas Holmes on site at the new ‘Riverside Rise’ housing estate that has already attracted “strong interest” despite the subdivision only going on the market this week. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

By GRANT MAYNARD

MILDURA is in the midst of a residential building boom.

And you don’t have to look very hard, or very far, to find the evidence.

New subdivisions with new homes abound.

According to Professionals Mildura director, Tony Roccisano, this growth spurt is being driven by one staggering statistic – that during the past 12 months our city’s population has increased by more than 11 percent!

Compare that to Bendigo at 2.1 percent, and Melbourne at 3.8 percent during the same period.
And both those centres are considered to be ‘booming’, Mr Roccisano said.

What, he asks, does that say about Mildura?

To paraphrase the website Population Australia: Looking back at past eight years of Mildura’s population growth, the rate is very consistent and strong ranging from 7.64 percent to 13.64 percent and adding 4000 to 6000 people each year. Workers, the website continues, are moving to Mildura to take advantage of employment opportunities and the relatively cheap living costs.

One of the standout growth areas in Sunraysia is Irymple, and Mr Roccisano has all but sold out Stage 1 of ‘Irymple Park.’

The 33-lot first stage of the subdivision — off Irymple Avenue between 11th and 14th Streets — is nearly fully subscribed with more than 30 lots sold.

Stages 2 and 3 are to come.

In all, the development is expected to encompass more than 120 lots.

The Stage 1 lots ranged in size between 650m2 and 750m2, and were priced between $129,000 and $139,000.

Mr Roccisano said the subdivision had plenty of appeal.

He described its location as the ‘geographical centre’ of the district, nestling between Red Cliffs, Mildura and Nichols Point.

“That makes it very convenient,” he said.

Another plus is Irymple’s great soil, Mr Roccisano said.

A stable red loam that he described as being “great to build on” and able to support lush gardens.

“The developer has put a lot of effort into landscaping for this subdivision,” Mr Roccisano said.

Mr Roccisano predicted the subdivision’s wide streets would be tree-lined and shady in years to come, bordered by prolific gardens to add a great ‘feel’ to the area.

“There are also some fantastic covenants in place to protect the assets of residents,” he added.

But what he was even more excited to talk about was a 400-lot subdivision that he described as “a new satellite suburb for Mildura.”

Dubbed ‘Lake Park Estate,’ the site is bounded by Riverside and Ontario Avenues, and 16th Street.

To be developed in several stages, Stage 1 features 100 blocks ranging in size from 435m2 to 770m2 and in price from $135,000 to $145,000.

It is perfectly situated, Mr Roccisano said, to take advantage of the 15th Street shopping precinct, public and private schools and the proposed new Mildura South sporting precinct.

The same could be said of the new ‘Riverside Rise’ subdivision off Mildura’s Riverside Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets.

It started selling this week, but expressions of interest have been rolling in for weeks according to Barry Plant director, agent and auctioneer Tense Venneri.

He described the interest shown in the 44-block subdivision as “very strong.”

With blocks ranging in size from 500m2 to 1000m2, Mr Venneri said the variety of sizes was appealing to many people.

The developer is Lockstar Homes, and the blocks range in price from $132,000 to $167,000.

“That’s good value,” Mr Venneri said as he predicted that new subdivisions like Riverside Rise would be the catalyst for Mildura’s median house price to rise dramatically in coming months.

It is presently $310,000, but Mr Venneri wouldn’t be surprised if that rose significantly during the next year.

“The price of quality homes being built now is rising, and many of the house and land packages are starting in the $400,000-plus range.”

He sees a bright residential building future in Sunraysia for some time to come as the city continues to grow and demand remains strong.

The strong interest in Riverside Rise comes hot on the heels of the success of Lockstar’s Henry’s Run Estate.

Mr Venneri does not expect the new ‘Rise blocks to last long.

While development on the Victorian side of the Murray is going ahead in leaps and bounds, there are also signs that Gol Gol, on the New South Wales side, is attracting its fair share of attention.

Developer and former Barry Plant director, Trevor Rogers, says the town’s affordability, larger building block sizes and community amenities ensure the town continues to grow.

While not in the same league as the Victorian side in terms of the pace of residential building, it is forging ahead, Mr Rogers said.

His 56-lot Woodside Park Estate, off Wood Street, is all but sold out.

Admittedly it has taken some time, but Mr Rogers blames ‘red tape’ for stifling development early.

“It takes a little longer to do things in New South Wales,” he said.

It is an easy comparison for the real estate veteran to make. He also has an subdivision at Irymple on the go.

Despite the difference in pace, Mr Rogers is full of praise for Wentworth Shire Council.

“Council has been very supportive of development efforts at Gol Gol,” he said.

Especially since Ken Ross took over as general manager, Mr Rogers remarked.

It makes sense really. Ken was Council’s planning and development manager for many years before taking on the top job.

Mr Rogers confesses a soft spot for Gol Gol, and two of his adult children live there.

He says the town has plenty to offer.

“The pub is the hub of the town, and the community is very supportive,” he said.

Mr Rogers also pointed to the primary school, general store, sporting facilities, the Murray River and the town’s proximity to the new supermarket being built at Midway, next to the service station, as well as the new Tasco service station being built at Trentham Cliffs, as proof of the town’s increasing liveability.

He is also aware of other development projects in the pipeline that can only further enhance the town’s appeal.

All that, he points out, in a community that is closer to the centre of Mildura, and all it has to offer, than many of the city’s outlying housing estates.