One of the first developers to pick up the slack from the collapse of Porter Davis Homes (PDH) has completed its first batch of townhouses for the failed company's customers across two estates on the outskirts of Melbourne, while giving encouraging signs for a second round of builds that was optional under its contract with liquidators.
Nostra Property Group has handed over 19 townhouses to purchases in the Orana Estate in Clyde North and the Kingsfield Estate in Sunbury, representing a small portion of the 126 homes the builder is working on with the remainder due for completion within the next six months.
Nostra, which is known for such brands as Homes by Nostra and Banksia Homes, announced in April that it would undertake these builds and have the option to start construction on a further 169 ex-Porter Davis townhouses. Now it has been confirmed the group is in the process of acquiring these pre-sold projects.
Nostra's managing director and founder Anthony Caruana says one of the biggest challenges when acquiring the Porter Davis medium density division was completing homes that were already half constructed.
"Building these townhomes was made possible by the assistance of the talented ex-staff members employed by Porter Davis, who ensured what is delivered on-site is what is on the plans," says Caruana.
The group took on 16 Porter Davis employees as part of the arrangement.
"It’s been incredibly fulfilling to see families move into their finished homes - what was an uncertain and tumultuous time for them is now in the past and they can start the next chapter and move forward," he says.
Having built more than 3,100 homes since 2006 with high regard in the medium-density construction space, Caruana says Nostra Property Group was a natural fit for completing these homes.
"The acquisition of the Porter Davis medium-density business was a natural addition to the Nostra business from a capability, competency and financial viewpoint," he says.
"It also enabled the contracted purchasers to realise the delivery of their townhouses.
"Homeowners can feel confident that we will deliver on our promises; our business direction is not driven by volume but rather each new project we take on is assessed on its commercial merits and its fit within the company’s brand and value."
The Victoria Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) recently assessed Nostra and gave it an 'A' level risk category, which signifies the lowest risk possible.
In late March PDH appointed Said Jahani, Matt Byrnes and Cameron Crichton of Grant Thornton Australia as liquidators, putting the building of 1,500 homes in limbo in Victoria and a further 200 in Queensland, in addition to a further 770 contracts with customers where building had not yet begun.
Other builders that have been involved in taking over ex-Porter Davis projects include Australia's largest residential builder Metricon and listed homebuilder Simonds Group (ASX: SIO). In June, a creditors' report for the PDH revealed it had been running at a loss from at least the December quarter of 2021, accumulating $557 million of which most is unsecured and is unlikely to be repaid.
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