Jake camped out overnight at Tralee to so he was guaranteed to purchase the block of their choice. Photo: Jay Cronan
A night sleeping rough could be the smartest financial decision that Jake Cannon has ever made.
The 25-year-old father from Chisholm and his friend Tim Costello camped out overnight on Saturday to secure one of the first blocks at Tralee to be released to the public.
Mr Cannon said the sleepout had saved him hundreds of thousands of dollars because an average block in Tralee costs about $200,000 less than in Lawson, the most recent land release in the ACT.
"For the price difference to be so big is a massive bonus, rather than buying somewhere like Lawson," Mr Cannon said. "That's the advantage with the price. It's a fair bit more affordable for your average families.
"Paying more than $500,000 just for a block of land in Canberra means you need a massive loan or a large income."
The firefighter said land in the capital was almost unaffordable for the average Canberran and he hoped Tralee will be a wake-up call for the territory. "The price in Tralee is that much different; you can't go past it."
It seemed many others agreed. Buyers lined up at 5am for a chance to buy one of 79 lots released on Sunday morning.
The blocks - the first of a slated 3500 to be developed at Tralee - that went on the market ranged between 449 square metres and 734sqm, costing between $255,000 and $305,000. Twenty-three lots were sold on Sunday, taking total sales for the housing development to 113 in the past two weeks.
Ninety blocks were sold to ACT and NSW builders late last month. The initial release of land was confined to builders with a long-standing relationship with developer Village Building Company.
Village Building managing director Bob Winnel said another 85 lots will be released in a fortnight. They will be the last for more than two years.
About 30 house and land packages would then go to the market in March, he said. In total, 270 blocks will be released by October 2014 and, when complete, about 10,000 residents will call the 303-hectare suburb home.
Tralee will have sports and other facilities, two schools, a childcare centre and a healthcare centre, Mr Winnel said.
"It's a huge satisfaction to finally be producing something and create a community out there on land we acquired 12 years ago," he said.
"The early indications are, there is strong interest in people living on that border land."
Mr Winnel said the release took advantage of the lack of available land for housing in the ACT.
He said it showed regional centres, like Queanbeyan, had a strong role to play in meeting the need for greenfield sites.
"It's important we're doing this at the moment because the ACT government has nothing on the market at the moment, and won't for a few months.
"It's important the region gets supply. The ACT hasn't kept up with land supply since 1997, which has caused price escalation, which has put about 35 per cent of the market out of the market.
"It needs to be addressed,'' Mr Winnel said. ''There is a lack of housing affordability."