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Rise of the duplex property

The quest to build a property which helps top up your bank balance, rather than the reverse, has led to an unprecedented surge in demand for Rob Tate Homes’ dual living designs.

The rise of the duplex property has created a steady stream of visitors to the Sovereign Hills Display Village’s first dual design, the Sanremo.

We spoke with new home consultant Mark Collins to gain an insight into both the Sanremo design and what’s driving the trend.

To start with Mark, can you share some information about the Sanremo duplex design on display on York Street, Port Macquarie?

The Sanremo design features two, three-bedroom, two-bathroom, two-garage homes. It’s designed for dual occupation, perfect for investors and large families. Each home features an open plan central kitchen/living/dining area opening onto an alfresco area. A great feature of this home is the separate private entrance facing different streets.

What are the most common reasons your clients approach you to build a duplex design?

The majority of our clients are looking for an investment; something that will provide dual rental income and, in this current market, around a 6-7% gross return. That market is shifting however, as we’re seeing more downsizers looking to live in one themselves and rent the other out to have an ongoing income stream.

What are the most common questions clients ask you when investigating building a duplex design?

Is it possible at Sovereign Hills? If so what are the design guidelines that need to be met? Can we help secure land? What are the council regulations? Can they be subdivided and separate titles provided? Clients ask about the varying title options on completion: Torrens, strata or single title. What is the rental demand like? What designs will suit the block and can they customise the duplex? How long is the DA process? How long will it take to build? … And the big one, how much will it cost?

What do you see as the benefits of building a duplex design?

– 6-7% gross rental return
– Very strong market, with very low vacancy rates
– High demand, very strong capital growth
– Both can be subdivided and sold off individually on completion for a development profit
– Maximising the use of the block
– Contact with your tenant if you move into one and rent the other
– A very solid asset for the future and/or a great income stream

How has the Sanremo design been received by visitors?

People love the fact they face separate streets; they don’t look like a duplex and are very private. The inclusions are first class. The higher ceilings let a lot of light into the space. At 175sqm each, they offer three spacious bedrooms and the design is modern.

How long does it take to build a single-storey duplex design when compared with a single-storey single dwelling design? 

We’re sitting at 140 days currently. It used to be 120, however, many single dwellings are now also taking 140 to complete.

Is Rob Tate Homes the Mid North Coast’s duplex builder specialists?

Yes, it’s our speciality. We build on average 40 per year. Our range of designs is large, we understand the council DA and subdivision processes, as well as the often differing duplex guidelines for each estate. More than that, take a drive around; we receive lots of calls from our construction site signage on display in many local estates.

What portion of your annual construction program do duplex designs account for now?

Duplex designs account for 90% of our annual building program. We will occasionally consider a custom single dwelling build, but for now duplex designs remain our speciality.

To learn more about the Sanremo and Rob Tate Homes duplex designs, make an appointment today:

Contact (02) 6585 5102 or email


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