Rochester estate breaks new ground

The prestige property on Mitchell St went under the hammer on Saturday, December 5. Photo by Meg Saultry

Rochester’s first residential real estate development in recent memory may be too little, too late as realtors contemplate the missed opportunity of 2021.

Rochwell Rise Estate, a seven-block development adjacent to Railway Rd and bordering Fuller Ave, has been announced for sale by Gillies St Rochester’s Ray White office.

Rising Rochester: Ray White Real Estate Director Rob Hosking expects the seven residential blocks of Rochwell Rise Estate to be snapped up quickly in Rochester.

Director Rob Hosking said while the development was “timely and exciting” it came hot on the heels of a 12-month period when people were “crying out for land in the area”.

“If we had them this time last year we would have had them sold in a week,” Mr Hosking said.

“We had that many inquiries last year, it was bedlam.”

Rochwell Rise’s seve large allotments, ranging in size from 950 to 1138 square metres may be the tip of the iceberg as realtors in Rochester push for further land development on the outskirts and inside the town boundaries.

Mr Hosking said Rochwell Rise had taken a long time to get to this stage, the blocks expected to bring between $280,000 and $335,000.

“It was approved a fortnight ago, but it has been 12 months in the works,” he said.

“It has been approved for development, and will commence some time in the first half of next year.

“One is already sold.”

Mr Hosking said the elevated plot of land was “one of the highest spots in the town”.

“A developer bought it quite some time ago,” he said.

“It is the same person who built the four new town houses in Echuca Rd last year.”

Mr Hosking said there was a “desperate” need for building locks right across northern Victoria.

He described the lack of residential land developments in Rochester as “detrimental to the town’s development”.

“We could have had 50 new houses built in Rochester last year if blocks were available,” he said.

“It is sad to see, the town has missed out.”

There is potential for further land sub-division and development, realtors currently negotiating with land holders to achieve the goal of further residential sub-divisions.

“The problem is that everyone is acting on the demand,” Mr Hosking said.

“As more become available in other areas there is more competition.

“The other thing now is the increased building cost, which has taken a bit of the sting out of the market.”

Mr Hosking said the ability of Rochester to offer large block was something that would count in its favour.

“Large blocks appeal to people from Melbourne, who are now working from a home office,” he said.

“But the red tape required to get land re-zoned is a headache.

“The state government has let everyone down.”

There are very small amounts of land zoned for residential development in Rochester, Mr Hosking suggesting the first step was to have that land zoned for residential before anything could be developed.

He said Campaspe Shire could play a leading role in that process.

“Some of the other Campaspe towns are ahead of us, but I am not sure of just how much land they (council) do own in Rochester,” he said.