Forest Pines: Dual Living is the New Trend

Date Released - May 12, 2015.

The Sunshine Coast’s first dual living display home, located in QM Properties’ Forest Pines estate, was recently officially unveiled by Kevin Doodney, founder of the Future Housing Taskforce.

Recognised within the industry as one of Australia’s most innovative and successful property specialists, Kevin has received 180 industry awards for his achievements, which include the concept and development of the Smarter Small Home, and the hugely successful Concept 90 Display Home Villages, along with selling over 15,000 land lots and home and land packages.

Kevin’s presentation on future trends in property at the opening event, hosted by builders Nu Trend Quality Homes in their ‘Premiere 280’ dual living display home, gave the audience of local industry professionals, including real estate agents, architects, builders and financiers, plenty to think about.

Kevin believes that Australia has one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the English-speaking world, and that we are not using our land or incomes to our best advantage.

Until the late fifties, Australians traditionally lived in 85 square metre Worker’s Cottages with an average family of two adults and three children. Now there are over 12 million empty bedrooms in the country, and most Australians stand to pay over $1 million in principal and interest on a $450,000 loan.

In his presentation, Kevin crunched the numbers on loans, mortgages and interest paid by homeowners in Australia, and emphasised the lifestyle advantages and investment value of dual or even triple key dwellings for both homeowners and investors.

According to Kevin, the owner of a four-bedroom home is currently staring down the barrel of repayments of over $600 per week plus an additional $150 for running costs.

“The main residence of a dual key home will rent for $450 to $480 per week, and an additional two bedroom apartment dwelling will rent for $300 to $330 per week, giving a total return of about $800 per week. Astute buyers wanting to pay a lower mortgage could reduce their repayments from around $600 per week down to $300 per week, as well as enjoying the advantage of reduced running costs due to the design innovations of dual key dwellings,’’ he said.

“In the past few years there has been growing interest from buyers in dual key occupancies,” said Forest Pines Sales Manager Steve Kollanyi.

According to Steve, there are several key economic and social reasons for this trend.

“Many baby boomers want to have their ageing parents close by, but without having to sacrifice their own privacy and space. The cost of living in high-quality retirement villages is also increasingly high, so people are looking for alternatives.”

“At the other end of the life cycle, children are now living in the family home into their mid-twenties or later, sometimes with partners,” said Steve.

“Traditional home designs do not accommodate for this more recent trend, and are still locked in the past when adult children moved into share houses when they started university.”

“Additionally, more people want to work from home and be able to have employees and clients coming in and out of the office without disturbing their private home life,” said Steve.

Nu Trend’s “The Premiere 280” is designed to accommodate three generations under one roof. The main residence contains three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a large living, dining, and kitchen area. In a separate, adjoining wing is a two bedroom granny flat with its own bathroom, kitchen and rumpus room.

Many of the creative dual living home designs demonstrated in Kevin’s presentation were single storey homes, but other space saving designs included modular homes imported from China that can be stacked on top of each other, vastly reducing land costs and promising double-digit returns on investment.

“Multi-generational living is not for everyone, but with the shortage of land available, and the financial struggles faced by first home buyers, it makes a lot of sense. Councils, financiers, planners and developers all need to adapt and change to meet this new demand in the market,” said Steve.

“Kevin’s presentation was very thought provoking, and is making us reassess at how we live and what we build,” said Steve.