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A Solaris development event. Source: Cedar Woods
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  • Buyers are demanding more from property developers, and the community in which their new house is located is becoming increasingly important
  • Cedar Woods’ Nathan Blackburne says it has become more evident that the desire for personal connection, as well as a connection to the natural world, is essential
  • “Over the years, we’ve noticed the wish lists of our customers change when it comes to what they expect to see in a new development,” he says
  • Mr Blackburne says much of this plays into the company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policy

Four walls and a key to the front door are no longer sufficient. Buyers are demanding more from property developers and the community in which their new house is located is becoming increasingly important.

According to Cedar Woods Managing Director Nathan Blackburne, it has become more evident in the past 18 months that the desire for personal connection, as well as a connection to the natural world, is essential for many individuals.

“Over the years, we’ve noticed the wish lists of our customers change when it comes to what they expect to see in a new development,” he said.

“Previously, the focus was what was included within the four walls of a home. This has been shifted to the local amenity of the area and now we’re seeing a shift towards community-related expectations.”

As an example, Mr Blackburne said purchasers could create an initial connection with their new community and meet their soon-to-be neighbours at its “slab parties” in property developments.

“Bringing residents along with us on the journey results in them feeling connected, with a stronger sense of place,” he said.

“Our long-term goal is to give our residents and surrounding businesses the tools they need to continue the work we start in the community. By establishing community from the early stages, our residents feel empowered to drive initiatives themselves.”

Mr Blackburne said COVID-19 had brought much of this to the fore while climate issues were also becoming more important.

“We’re noticing that over the past 12 months, in particular, that purchasers are looking for differentiators in where they choose to live in, and the style of house that may choose to live in with a much greater emphasis on sustainability-related features of a project,” he said.

Mr Blackburne said much of it played into the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) policy.

“We think that our company can play an important role in the betterment of people’s lives and more broadly, the betterment of the local community,” he said.

“The research shows that social connections are important anti-dote to loneliness and anxiety and that people with good community connections are happier and experience fewer mental and physical health problems.”

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