Property Australia

Tuning in to Australia's property obsession


When Australians aren’t talking house prices, we’re glued to the latest renovation show on TV. So we asked some of our industry’s rising stars for their take. Why are we so hooked?


Travis Doherty

Chief Executive Officer, Village Building Co.

140819 - Story 3 - Travis Doherty“I love Grand Designs. Kevin McCloud is a bit of legend in our house and I’ve come to appreciate the Australian version with Peter Maddison. You can’t help but admire the vision, innovative flair and sheer determination of the people that go on the show and how they test the absolute limits on what’s possible.

“I get inspired by the architecture, the engineering brilliance and vast array of building materials; we’ve come such a long way as an industry. But at the same time, I find often find myself chuckling toward the end of each episode when the all too common reality comes to fruition. Over time and over budget! We’ve still got a long way to go!”


Lauren Bolton

Marketing & Communications Lead, The Buchan Group

140819 - Story 3 - Lauren Bolton“Faced with soaring property and land prices I can’t help but be drawn in by the allure of the tiny house movement and subsequent micro-village concept. I find myself unpacking whether this could be the solution to my own property woes, as well as those of many other Australians; and as a result, the YouTube series Living Big in a Tiny House is a firm favourite of mine.

“There is so much we can learn from the design of tiny houses; their creative utilisation of space, reduced environmental impact, and how their design reshapes our traditional understanding of ‘home’. While I understand the tiny house movement is often romanticised, and frankly I don’t think I could ‘bite the bullet’ and do it myself, I do think that the underlying concept of smaller, more affordable housing will continue to evolve significantly as local councils invest in prototype micro-villages. How this will influence development policy and impact the way our neighbourhoods are shaped is yet to be seen, but I hope it will make for a more affordable, sustainable, and community focussed property landscape going forward.”


Jayne Fitzpatrick

Project Manager, Sarah Constructions

140819 - Story 3 - Jayne Fitzpatrick“Australians have always been obsessed with property – the dream of owning their own quarter acre block and building their ‘Castle’. The emergence of property television shows over the past 10 years, and their popularity, illustrates this obsession.

“I confess that I am not immune to this obsession. Ironically after working all day in the construction industry, my choice of relaxation, more often than not, is watching property shows. I can often be found curled up on the lounge glued to Selling Houses Australia, Love it or List it or Grand Designs. Whether it is the trying to predict what works Shayna and Charlie are going to do to increase the chance of a sale or urging Team List It to stay, or marvelling at the vision and commitment  people have in delivering their grand design – there is always something that has me tuning in.

“I believe that there is something compelling with these types of programs that goes to the very core of Australians – it seems to be in our DNA. Perhaps it is because the property industry is Australia’s biggest employer and our largest industry. Or maybe it’s just because we believe ‘it's not a house, it's a home’.”


Eamon McErvale

Project Manager, PDS Group

140819 - Story 3 - Eamon McErvale.jpg“I’m a big Grand Designs fan and particularly love any of the projects which rejuvenate an existing heritage structure. The passion of the guests on the show is inspiring and it generally seems that money is no object when it comes to delivering their dream! If you haven’t seen the show, I recommend checking out the episode where a Victorian water tower in London was repurposed.

“Australian’s love of shows like Grand Designs is matched by our love of renovating in reality. Whether it be a major renovation, a minor DIY job or anything in between, we find any excuse to get down to Bunnings to work on a project (and sneak past the sausage sizzle)!”


Genéne Kleppe

Executive Director,

140819 - Story 3 - Genene Kleppe“While I love watching Grand Designs, I also see the tragedy of local architects, in particular, not embracing technology or sharing its power with homeowners. We cannot expect homeowners to be across the wonders of technologies. It is incumbent on professionals to share new knowledge to show how design and budget link, and how design can optimise ongoing home maintenance costs. I keep watching, hoping that grassroots demand will accelerate industry change.”



Anthony McLaughlin

Director, Duo Projects

140819 - Story 3 - Anthony McLaughlin“One line that demonstrates the Australian psyche with our fascination of property is that “…home ownership is part of the Australian way of life”. Like many of us, reading, watching, living and breathing property feeds our culture of property obsession.

TV shows such as Grand Designs, Million Dollar Listing and House Hunters has skewed our views of what the perfect property looks like. Around the dinner table with friends, property will always be a hot topic. Our obsession is to renovate and create our dream home that suits our lifestyle because of the shows we watch on TV or read on the weekend newspapers. These shows enable us to have a look at other people’s homes and see what they’ve done with them. Being inspired by these shows allows us to push the boundaries of design and construction. Even better, we learn how to think like a real estate agent and try to beat them at their game!”