A masterplanned community set to replace an old quarry once owned by the father of Dame Nellie Melba has helped turn Lilydale into a new homes mecca.
New data from realestate.com.au shows the already well established suburb has been ranked as Melbourne’s third most popular for new houses, behind Doncaster and Langwarrin.
Head researcher Mike Gill said Intrapac Property’s quarry project, Kinley, was having an impact.
But he noted that despite high interest, sales for most house and land estates had slowed.
“In house and land we have moved from an absolute red hot market to buyers hitting the pause button,” Mr Gill said.
With about 3200 homes slated for the Kinley project, Intrapac has fielded more than 6000 inquiries from prospective buyers since it was launched last year.
Its first stage is all but sold out, with another to be launched in the coming months.
Intrapac chief operating officer Max Shifman said the interest dwarfed the handful of lots available to buy at the moment.
“We are active around the country, but I have never seen this level of registrations,” Mr Shifman said.
“We are getting 50-100 inquiries a week.”
Many buyers were attracted by the unique industrial heritage left behind by the former owner of the Lilydale Quarry, David Mitchell, a respected businessman and politician in his day who was overshadowed by his daughter, Dame Nellie Melba.
“The heritage buildings are quite spectacular structures that speak to the history of the site,” he said.
“I have actually started running personal tours of the site and showing people through the industrial and heritage aspects of the project.”
While the development wasn’t immune to a broader downturn in Melbourne and the impact of the banking royal commission on availability of finance, a 31-home display village now underway is expected to propel interest further.
Civil works for the first stage are expected to start imminently.
House and land package prices for the lots remaining in the first stage of Kinley range from $664,000 to $950,000.
“But we are getting ready to release our second stage in the next couple of months,” Mr Shifman said.
Lots in the second stage will range from 350-500sq m.