“What are the typical subdivision costs in WA?”
This is one of the most popular questions I get asked when chatting to property investors. It’s second only to “how do I find a great deal?”.
It’s a great question and was the reason I wrote the Subdivision Masterclass and included it in the Ultimate Property Hub membership site.
Finding out those key expenses is not always easy, especially when you don’t know where to look or who to ask. So I figured why don’t I just share all the juicy details right here!
So over the coming months, I will focus on particular areas of Australia seeking out the answer to:
“What does it cost to subdivide a property in … ?”
Previously I’ve written about subdivision costs in QLD, however this time we’ll be taking a close look at WA.
Subdivision Costs In WA
There are 5 main costs to consider when buying a property:
- Purchase price (What you pay for the property)
- Purchase costs (stamp duty, legals, building and pest inspections, soil tests etc)
- Adding value costs (in this case, subdivision costs)
- Holding costs (mortgage repayments, insurance, rates etc)
- Selling costs (I always like to include this even if you don’t intend to sell. Working out the end sales value helps you think about exit strategies before you even sign a contract)
You can work out the above five expenses using online calculators. Even better, you can download my free 2 minute deal assessment formula to get it done even quicker!
So let’s break down Point #3, the subdivision costs.
Subdivision costs will vary greatly from state to state and council to council. Today we are focusing on WA only. Still, you can use this info to make sure you’re at least asking the right questions wherever you are!
Subdivision Costs WA: Demolition Costs
When you’re subdividing a property, you may need to demolish the existing dwelling. This can be due to many reasons, but often it’s something as simple as the house being positioned in the wrong spot.
To have a 3 bedroom home pushed over, I like to factor in about $20k. This also includes shutting off and/or capping services such as electricity, gas and water, so the site is safe and ready for the next phase.
Subdivision Costs WA: Detailed Survey
To begin the process of a subdivision, you’ll need a detailed survey. This is a key part of your application, as it’s required before you can submit the application to the relevant council for approval.
The application includes:
- The boundary realignment you are proposing
- The multiple lots you are planning to create
- Setbacks and dimensions of existing dwellings
- Information on contours, easements and services to the site
While the cost will vary depending on the size, slope and access to your site, a town planner or surveyor will be able to give you an accurate cost for this in their fee proposal.
The surveying component in a simple subdivision is often in the $7000 – $10000 range that comprises of:
- Initial Site Contour and Detail Survey and Proposal Plan to accompany DA – $2250 – $2750
- Final Lot and Easement Marking and supply of Survey Plan suitable for Plan Sealing and subsequent Titles lodgement – $3500 – $4250
- As-Constructed Survey – Location of new services to specific requirements – $1750 – $2250
The latter two can only be done by a Cadastral Surveyor.
Subdivision Costs WA: Planning Report
The planning report is a package that is submitted to the relevant council, along with the application to subdivide. It contains a lot of specific details about the proposed subdivision and is usually done by the town planner.
This can cost between $2,500 and $3,000, but your town planner can provide you with a quote prior to getting it done.
Subdivision Costs WA: Soil Test
If you (or a future owner) are planning to build on the site, a soil test is always a good idea. This is part of conducting your due diligence, and it’s best to ensure that there are no hazards that would prevent you or anyone else from building on the site.
A thorough soil test will also detail the type of soil you have on your hands, which is a key aspect of building because particular types of soil can affect the foundations used for dwellings.
Soil tests can be anywhere between $1,500 to $3,000, depending on the location of the site (ie. near the hills can be more expensive as the soil there will likely be a mixture of clay/rock, while closer to the beach it will likely be sand/rock).
Subdivision Costs WA: Public Notification
Prior to subdividing, you’ll need to give local residents the chance to comment on your proposal. To do this, you can issue a public notification. This process includes:
- Erecting a sign noting all details of the subdivision submission
- Running advertisements in the local paper
- Mailing letters to neighbouring properties.
This process can cost between $700 and $1,000.
Subdivision Costs WA: Council Application
Council application costs should be included in the fee proposal provided by your town planner and will make up part of a package of documents that you will submit to the council. This package includes the proposed detailed survey plan, as well as other relevant documents.
Depending on the complexity of the site, costs for this service can be $3,000 to $4,000.
Subdivision Costs WA: Council Application Fees
With each application, the council expects an accompanying fee to go with it. This will vary from council to council and your town planner will detail these costs for you.
Budget around $4000 for developer compliance fees and a subdivision application fee.
Bear in mind that other fees and charges may include (approximate figures only):
- WAPC Application Fee = $3,350(+GST)
- Lodgement of DP at Landgate = $458.70(+GST)
- Council Clearance Fees = $160(incl. GST)
- WAPC Endorsement Fees = $680(incl GST)
Subdivision Costs WA: Council Contributions
Council contributions have the tendency to be the most expensive item throughout the whole process.
This is because when you subdivide a property, you’re increasing the population of the area. So for the council, an increase in population means a subsequent increase in infrastructure, which of course costs money! As such, most councils will require you to pay a levy to assist with these increased costs.
This cost can vary quite dramatically, so you’ll need to have it assessed by your town planner to give you an accurate cost.
In Perth, you can expect to pay up to $25,000 per extra lot that you create.
Bear in mind that this cost may not be necessary if your site already has two lots on one title, such as a splitter block, since it is effectively already subdivided.
Subdivision Costs WA: Registering Titles
Title registration is a set fee that depends on the number of titles you are registering. To find out the exact figure for your area, give the local land registry office a call.
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A simple one into two lot subdivision would incur a fee of approximately $330.
Subdivision Costs WA: Sewer And Water
Creating a new lot means you may need to provide services to the new property. However, it’s best to check this with your local council or town planner, as sometimes it’s not compulsory.
For those intending to build, you might find benefit in installing the following services: (This also applies if you’re expecting to sell the block to someone that wants to build!)
The cost to bring that service to your property varies. It depends on where the main sewer pipe is and how that pipe is accessed.
If the sewer main is already on your site or accessible via the street you can expect to pay between $2,500 to $5,000. This includes design, draft, and installation.
Much like the sewer costs, it varies. Depending on where the main water line is, and how accessible it is.
If the water line is at the front of your property, under the road, you should expect to pay around $6,500 per lot. This includes design, draft, and installation – including a new water meter.
You need to make sure that rainfall is properly directed to the street. You’ll do this by either extending the existing stormwater pipes or installing new ones.
The cost will largely depend on the site, so you will need a specific quote for this task from a private plumber. Budget about $2000 for a reasonably flat 1000m2 site.
Be prepared to increase this amount for larger sites and be guided by your town planning and/or civil engineering consultants.
Bear in mind if you have a larger site you made need an overland flow report which the town planner can assist with.
Subdivision Costs WA: Installation of Services
This refers to the installation of services such as electricity and telecommunications. Do you need to bring power to the site? Do the services run overhead, or underground? These factors will cause a large variance in cost.
Generally, you can allocate $4,000 to $5,000 for a one into two lot subdivision, which will include having a power pole erected and prepared for connection.
Underground power may incur higher costs, but it all depends on where the services already exist. Check with the local energy supplier and cross-check that with council to make sure they are recognised.
Subdivision Costs WA: Compliance Certificates
In order to prove both power and telecommunications can be provided to the site, you’ll need a compliance certificate.
An approximate cost for a compliance certificate for power and telecommunication is around $1,000.
Subdivision Costs WA: Driveways and Crossover
Creating new lots means creating new access to the properties. You will generally need to install:
- A concrete crossover
- Driveway with curb
- And suitable guttering
Concrete is not cheap… so make sure you get a contractor out to quote for this.
Expect to pay $75 to $100 per square metre of installed concrete, but the total cost will vary depending on the type of driveway and the finish applied. Generally, you could expect to pay $5,000 per lot for a new crossover.
Bear in mind a battle-axe site (front and rear lot) may need a longer driveway which brings a higher cost to this part of the project.
Subdivision Costs WA: Fencing
Fencing may not be compulsory for getting the subdivision approved but it does help define the individual lots, which can help potential buyers better assess their purchase.
The cost will depend on how much fencing you need and what type of fencing you’re installing. As an example, an 1800mm high Colourbond or post & rail fence can cost around $85 per metre installed.
Subdivision Costs WA: Earth Works and Retaining walls
This expense is so site-specific that it’s impossible to provide an estimate.
If your site slopes, or has an odd access that needs earthworks to reshape the site and build retaining walls, you must obtain multiple quotes.
Earthworks and retaining dirt can costs tens of thousands of dollars, so be sure you are allocating accurate funds for this if required.
Subdivision Costs WA: Other Expenses
Each site will have its own specifics that need addressing.
It’s important to communicate with your town planner to ensure there are no other site-specific expenses that are not obvious.
These can include:
- A fire hydrant needing to be installed on the street
- Extra footpaths created
- Additional reports that document impact on wildlife habitat, bushfire hazards, vegetation or heritage overlays
- Relocation of bus stops, council signage, Telstra or Energex service pits
- Tree removal
Subdivision Costs WA: Contingency
It’s impossible to foresee every cost of the project.
That’s why it’s so important to have a contingency fund available. You’ll need it when extra expenses pop up. Materials can increase in cost. Something happens and suddenly you have unfavourable market conditions.
You need to be prepared.
So how can you allow for these unforeseen items?
By always being conservative with your budgeted numbers. Always allow 15% of the total costs in your contingency budget.
As you can see, there are substantial costs involved in completing a subdivision.
My #1 tip for you is to ensure you have a great town planner on your team. A town planner can help ascertain proper costings through a comprehensive fee proposal.
What Is The Next Area Of Australia You Want Me To Cover?
Where are you looking to subdivide? Hit me up in the comments below and I’ll go on a mission to find out the costs for you!