Developers doubling down on affordable townhouse strategies to help housing crisis

WORDS: Ocean Road Magazine Editorial Staff PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied


Azure is ramping up its development pipeline in southeast Queensland to $1.5 billion over the next five years with the latest acquisition of a site at Rothwell in Brisbane’s north doubling down on its strategy of targeting the burgeoning affordable sector.

Azure, which is currently undertaking three projects in the Rothwell area, is planning to transform the 4.5ha site at 499-507 Anzac Avenue into a master-planned community of  230 townhouses, building on the company’s success with similar projects in southeast Queensland.

Azure’s portfolio is tackling demand at both ends of the market – from downsizers looking for premium stock in Brisbane’s inner city to more price pointed housing in the key fringe growth precincts.

The latest acquisition boosts the company’s active portfolio of seven developments to more than $500 million, including two luxury high rises in inner Brisbane – One Earle Lane at Toowong which is edging closer to a sellout and One Five Six by Azure at New Farm which set a price record for the inner city in 2022 with its $11.4 million penthouse sale.

Azure’s Acquisition Director Chris Schroor says the acquisition of the Rothwell site builds on the company’s strategy of townhouse developments to meet the growing demand for affordable housing.

“We’re bullish about townhouses and we’re doubling down on our strategy through this acquisition,” said Mr Schroor.

“We currently have three townhouse projects on the northern side of Brisbane, so this will add to that strategy.

“However, in order to meet the affordability criteria, we’re finding that we have to move further out of the Brisbane metropolitan area. Any offerings that we can deliver below $800,000 are selling quite strongly.”

In August, Azure launched the $55 million Munro by Azure which comprises 100 terrace homes in a gated estate located at Bundamba in Ipswich. The sold-out development offered three-bedroom, two-bathroom terrace homes for between $545,000 and $557,000 each.

“Our plans for Rothwell are similar to the Munro project, although it will be stronger from a price point considering the location,” said Mr Schroor.

“It’s important to secure sites such as this that can deliver projects of scale to ensure we can meet the price points where the market dominates at present.”

Azure already has two other Ipswich projects in train – the $50 million Seasons by Azure, comprising 68 terrace homes at the exclusive Brookwater enclave in Springfield, which is due for completion in December, and a proposed 129-lot project at Flinders View which is still in the planning stages.

The Rothwell project joins Azure’s existing Brisbane northside projects of The Terraces by Azure, a 53-townhouse development at Mango Hill set for completion in January, and Willow by Azure at Northlakes which comprises 76 terrace homes that are priced from $699,900.

The Rothwell development will become Azure’s flagship project for the area with plans to create a mix of terrace homes comprising three and four-bedroom designs with a multi-purpose room. Azure is also considering adding diversity with a two-bedroom product. The project will be highlighted by significant landscape and extensive communal amenity that is synonyms with the Azure brand.

“In terms of sales, confidence from all sectors of the market has well and truly returned,” said Mr Schroor. “We’ve had strong sales in the second half, with Munro selling out and the Northlakes development selling strongly.”

While the construction sector remains challenging, Mr Schroor says that as an integrated builder-developer Azure has been able to successfully deliver its planned schedule of projects.

“The current market conditions play well to our strengths, and we are continually assessing new opportunities as they arise,” he said.

“We’ve now reached scale with a great team of 90 people to support our existing and growing project portfolio.

“Our strategic plan is to deliver $1.5 billion in sales over the next five years, and we are on track so we are very confident in the market.”

Azure is a privately owned real estate development and investment company that has delivered more than 1,400 terraces, units and residential lots since it was founded in 2014.