A draft vision for the Canning Bridge precinct was first released by the City of Melville in 2010. The vision flagged a number of proposed initiatives for the area:
• An increase in residential densities and building heights (up to 20 storeys)
• Creation of a town square and community hub in Applecross
• Commercial developments adjacent to the freeway in Como
• Improved bus and rail interchanges
• Installation of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the river
Since then the area has been a hive of activity as we have witnessed its transformation and watched the developers move in. Today there would be hundreds of units for sale off the plan in the area with the most recently approved major residential development, Finbar Apartments in August last year (comprising 440 dwellings), bringing the total number of planned apartments in Applecross to more than 900.
There seems to be a couple of schools of thought on the current status of the precinct however. REIWA President Hayden Groves said in a statement following Finbar’s announcement in August that REIWA believed it would be the last residential project unveiled in the precinct for some time.
He said with population growth 10% lower than it was four years ago, falling median house prices and tighter lending criteria, new developments would be competing for a “shrinking number of buyers”. He added at the time that he feared developments could struggle to reach pre-sale targets.
Mr Groves did concede however that a premium location like Applecross, “should attract local downsizer buyers along with investors with an eye to living in a high-end luxury apartment down the track”.
Not everyone agreed with Mr Groves’ train of thought at the time however. Curtin University Senior Lecturer in Geography and Social Demography, Amanda Davies said despite the fact that overseas and interstate migration had slowed; Perth’s diversified population meant there was still significant demand for high-density housing. She added that there has been a shift in what people want in housing.
“The 30 and under market are looking for different types of lifestyles to what their parents had and we also have a considerable number of people entering retirement. If we put those things together it is very low risk to build high density housing that is high amenity in an area close to the CBD,” said Ms Davies.
City of Melville Mayor, Russell Aubrey said the City had planned for the construction of up to 2,400 new dwellings in the Canning Bridge Precinct by 2031 and remained confident in the development process.
With excellent schools, easy access to the CBD and Fremantle, thanks to great transport links, and great shopping and entertainment precincts, it’s not hard to see why people would want to live and invest in the precinct.