It is no secret that corner blocks are generally more attention-grabbing for developers, but have you ever stopped to think why? What is it about corner blocks that makes them that much more valuable?
Essentially, what sets a corner block apart from a standard block is the fact that it has more ‘frontage’ – more of it directly faces the street. A regular 810m2 block (32 perches) has a frontage of 20 metres. A block of the same shape sited on a corner not only offers those same 20 metres, but another 40m of frontage along the side, too.
There are two main reasons why this additional frontage is valuable to developers:
1. The ability to provide street access, rather than driveway access, to more properties
Put yourself in the shoes of the purchaser of a new townhouse. Would you rather buy a townhouse that has street access, or a townhouse which you must drive 25 metres down a narrow driveway to access?
The great majority of us would choose the townhouse that had the street access. It simply feels more like a home. Nobody wants to access their house via a narrow driveway unless they have to.
The townhouse that has street access is far more appealing to buyers, and therefore will sell for a higher price. This additional sale prices goes straight into the pocket of the developer (since it doesn’t cost the developer any more to build the townhouses fronting the street)
2. More efficient use of land means there’s more land to develop
A corner block provides a developer with a vastly more efficient use of the land, for the simple reason that the public street now provides access to more of the properties. Otherwise the developer would have to use up a part of the land that might have been developed as an access route to the properties further to the rear of the site.
These access routes or driveways will typically take up between 60m2 and 100m2 of land. On a site of 810m2, the developer could lose in the region of 10% of the entire property in this way.
Corner blocks don’t have this problem, so they offer the developer an immediate 10% premium in the form of additional land. Surely, then, it makes sense the developer should pass on that 10% bonus to the original property owner?
The corner block has always been high on the radar of property developers. Now you know why.
If you own a corner block, make sure you are aware of this when selling to a developer – and make sure that that extra 10% makes its way into your pocket.