The Costs of Subdivision:
Subdivision costs are always on potential subdividers minds. One of the most frequent questions we are asked here at SCM, and it’s usually asked quite innocently, is this – “How much does a Subdivision cost?”
Not an unreasonable question you might think, but when one delves a little deeper and considers all the different things that go into successfully subdividing land these days that question is more akin to asking “How long is a piece of string?”
Subdivision costs for a 1 into 2 lot subdivision can vary greatly as each site has its own constraints and differences with respect to the extent of infrastructure required. Some lots may require minimum investment in infrastructure such as just providing new sewer and water connections on existing mains and electricity and phone services. Others may require much more substantial upgrades such as footpaths, water and sewer main extensions and underground electricity connections.
So, annoyingly for some, the short answer is that ‘it depends’ – there is not a fixed straight forward answer. Rarely if ever are any 2 subdivisions the same, but what we can do is go over the various cost items that need to be factored in when subdividing.
Cost is a major factor determining if a Property Development is feasible, we can presumably agree on that. Whatever the project, an especially important aspect of our role as Project Manager is to save money and time for our clients.
Subdivision Costs Centres:
To help you better to plan your cash flow we’ll break these costs down to different stages of the subdivision process.
A. Initial subdivision costs – prior to lodging your development application with Council.
- Surveyor – site plan and proposal plan / lot layout
- Project Manager – ensuring that averything needed is organised, nothing more.
- Town Planner – town planning assessment & report / application
- Engineer – initial simple report.
- Possible specialist consultant reports dependent on project complexity & overlays eg. Hydraulic Engineer, Bushfire, Eco, Traffic, Noise etc
B. At Lodgement of the DA – application to subdivide:
- Council Application Fee – this will vary dependent on which Council, the number of lots and the type of application viz: Code assessable or Impact assessable
C. After Receipt of Council Approval
The Council approval will come with a lot of conditions, mostly relating to provision of services etc. It will be these conditions that will determine the costs you incur in the next several stages. If you are not happy with these further Town Planner costs and potentially legal fees may need to be factored in. Presuming you are happy then in the provision of those various services such as sewer, water, storm water disposal etc will require detailed design and reports that comply with the requirements of that authority such as Queensland Urban Utilities [QUU] or Energex as two examples. There are more and that will vary from one subdivision to another.
- Civil Engineer – design
- Project Manager – organise consultants / consult on designs to ensure efficiency / call Tenders / organise quotes, timelines etc
- Council & other utility providers lodgement & assessment fees [e.g QUU, Energex & NBN] to review and approve the detailed designs – Council will issue an Operational Works Approval. After these are received the actaul works can start
Potentially others such as
- Traffic Engineer – design / report
- Geotechnical or Soil test Engineers
- Electrical Engineers- design / report
- Hydraulic Consultant &/or Engineer- design / report
- Other specialists such as Arborists or Ecologists / Fauna consultants- design / report
D. Operational & Other Civil Works:
Once you have your operational works approval and other approved drawings you can commence actually doing the physical works whic, again, will vary from one subdivision to another. These could include things such as
- Costs associated with clearing the site e.g. Vegetation & Demolition of unwanted improvements such as buildings, slabs, fences swimming pools etc
- Earthworks / construction of retaining walls, provision of fill etc
- Civil construction costs such as provision of water, sewer and drainage
- Provision of access – roads, driveways, crossovers etc
- Provision or upgrade electrical & telecommunications
- landscaping on site or provision of street trees
- Project manger’s fees to oversee all works and keep the job moving on time within budget
- Engineers / Certifiers inspection fees
- Surveyor – provision of ‘as constructed’ plans
E. Plan Sealing Stage
- Surveyor – pegging the lots and provision of “the Survey Plan” ready to be sealed then lodged into titles. This plan forms the basis of future Titles and the Registered Plan
- Cost of drafting easement documents if required
- Council Fees – being their Plan Sealing fees & Inspection fee
- External Works or Infrastructure Contributions
F. Titles Office
- Titles office lodgement & registration fees
- Solicitors fees OR SCM Projects to arrange lodgement and follow up requisitions etc / liaise with Mortgagee etc
So, What do these add up to for a typical 1 into 2 ROL?
Fairly typically it’s likely to come in around the $100k mark give or take 10% all things considered but may be as little as $80k or as high as $150k or more in certain circumstances especially if very awkward access or extreme demolition or eartworks are required or if the site is distant from mains services. There are a myriad of things that can and do affect cost.