Crace, ACT

The new Australian Capital Territory suburb of Crace has topped the freshly released Housing Industry Association Residential Building and Population Hotspots report for both building activity and population growth. Crace is a community that has been designed with strong sustainability principles, so the ranking shows going green hasn’t been a deterrent for developers or buyers.

The entire suburb has GreenSmart accreditation, and all carbon emissions from development are being offset through a tree planning partnership with Greening Australia.

Other sustainability innovations include minimisation of the environmental impact of construction on the landscape, water sensitive urban design incorporating domestic rooftop rainwater harvesting for watering street trees, optimised solar orientation for residential blocks, and encouraging low-carbon transport, with every residence located no further than 400 metres from a bus stop. Crace is located adjacent to the new Gungahlin Town centre, which will be serviced by the proposed Canberra Light Rail project.

The HIA report showed the value of residential building approved in Crace over 2012/13 was $111,958,000 and the area had an annual population growth rate of 58.1 per cent. The mix of residential development includes detached dwellings, medium-density low rise apartment projects and townhouse projects.

Two other ACT suburbs located in the vicinity of Gungahlin topped the list – Bonner at number two and Casey at number three. Both of these have also been masterplanned for sustainability, with water harvesting for irrigation of common green space, public transport connectivity and appropriate solar orientation among the measures.

Melbourne’s CBD came in at number four, with the value of building during 2012-13 estimated as $385,148,000 – the nation’s second highest level of activity in terms of dollar values – however population growth was 22.7 per cent, just under half the level of Casey and Bonner. The report suggested this combination of high activity and high population growth suggests there is sufficient demand for inner-city apartments to support the ongoing construction boom.

The other 20 residential building hotspots, in order were:

5. Abbotsford, VIC
6. Forrestdale – Harrisdale – Piara Waters, WA
7. Cranbourne East, VIC
8. Baldivis, WA
9. Docklands, VIC
10. Yanchep, WA
11. Parklea – Kellyville Ridge, NSW
12. South Morang, VIC
13. Truganina, VIC
14. Cobbitty – Leppington, NSW
15. Ellenbrook, WA
16. Homebush Bay – Silverwater, NSW
17. Epping, VIC
18. Deeragun, QLD
19. North Lakes – Mango Hill, QLD
20. Point Cook, VIC

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