While some heritage-listed properties in Canberra are worthy of a restoration, there are older properties that have not aged as well as the others so they are better off knocked down. In fact, knockdown rebuilds are very popular in Canberra, with a number of homebuyers specifically looking for older homes in established suburbs.

“The majority of buyers actually prefer the feel and touch of a new home and they prefer that someone else does the hard work, but we do see a good amount of clientele who prefer to do it themselves over time,” said Shaun Iqbal, principal at Impact Properties Gungahlin.

The majority of these old properties are found in Canberra’s secondary and older neighbourhoods, such as Reid and Red Hill. O’Connor in the north and Yarralumla in the south also has a mix of newly-built homes alongside older homes that are reaching the end of their lifespans.

According to Iqbal, this option is cheaper for those with industry experience. However, the cost of buying a project is similar to buying a finished product for the average buyer.

SOTA Custom Homes director Rama Heidari also advises buyers to consider the pros and cons of doing knockdown rebuilds.

“If considering a knockdown rebuild of an old house, you need to be well aware and familiar with the regulatory processes and costs involved,” Heidari said. “Compared to a brand new block in newly developed suburbs, there is a considerably higher amount of fees, approvals, and paperwork that needs to be undertaken and the timeframe could easily take more than a year.”