Coastal property values affected by landmark decision

People with sea view coastal properties may see a shift in values after a landmark decision by Victoria’s Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

People with sea view coastal properties may see a shift in values after a landmark decision by Victoria’s Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The tribunal has banned the development of six homes in the farming/coastal area of Toora, nearly 200km south-east of Melbourne. Development was banned because of rising sea levels and storm severity.

Valuer Scott Keck from Charter Keck Cramer, says the decision sends a message of caution to those who own foreshore properties in low lying areas. “It sends a warning whether it is justified or not, that potential purchasers need to look more deeply at these properties. The planning authorities are sending a message that there is going to be intervention, perhaps increasingly in this type of development in this topography.

“That must be because of concerns of risk,” he says. “Therefore, this must apply to similar types of properties.”

He says it is a matter of sentiment. “The fact of the matter is that the properties may never be affected, but sentiment may cause a fall in value for similar properties.”

Conversely, he says, properties that are elevated and not affected may find their values increase. “Properties with the same type of amenities but that are elevated may attract far greater demand.”

The decision is also expected to affect other decisions on sensitive coastal sites around Australia pending, including a 600 lot residential development at Point Lonsdale. The decision means that the significance of global warming and sea level change may need to be incorporated into affected local council guidelines.

The decision will almost certainly put pressure on state governments to look at introducing state planning policy to prevent an ad hoc response by councils to the development of coastal homes and to provide more certainty for developers, sea changers and existing property owners.

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