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Sunland scraps its plans as buyers shift their demands for housing

Business

Gold Coast-based property developer Sunland Group has been forced back to the drawing board on some of its projects as a dramatic shift in the homebuyer market emerges.

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The company was hit with an 86 per cent fall in profit to $2.4 million for the June 30 year and now has to cope with a dramatic shift in what home buyers want.

The fall in earnings included a $14 million tax hit on inventory and the expensing of consultant costs that had previously been capitalised.

Excluding those impacts, the company had underlying earnings of $16.4 million compared with $26.7 million, which still represented a 38 per cent decline.

A fully franked interim dividend and special dividends totalling 10 cents a share will be paid.

Managing director Sahba Abedian said the company was not immune to the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is evident there is an increase in demand from downsizers and our response to these changes and buyer deomgraphic is to place a higher emphasis on designing for the owner-occupier market,” Abedian said.

The change in demand means the company must now meet the demands of downsizers and end-user buyers.

That has meant that the design of some projects would not meet demand and so the design and consultants’ costs on projects such as Grace, Mariners Cove, Greenmount and Lanes Retail were “obsolete” and had to be scrapped.

Sales volumes increased, despite the pandemic impacts and contracted presales in-hand for projects released totalled 192 lots with a combined value of $296 million.

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