Mr Armageddon does Melbourne McMansion A-bomb

For the bears out there, we can find some common ground here:

Houses and Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the fouding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.


  1. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Red flags when in the middle of nowhere they have no backyards or even parks nearby.

  2. I’m surprised they didn’t connect the name Donnybrook with its Irish origin

    A donnybrook is an occasion that is a bit of an uproar, a chaotic brawl or a heated disagreement. The word donnybrook is derived from a public fair that was held in Donnybrook, Ireland beginning in the 1200s.

    • When I was growing up in Melbourne, Donnybrook was a rural backwater, a location with an odd name on the way to Kinglake National Park.

  3. This is widespread across Aus. Ipswich, Toowoomba, GC, SC all have estates like this too. Someone tried to sell me house and land here for 500k+ as an investment ito Sydneysiders youd be surprised how many people think that its cheap.

  4. It’s great to see them talking about the other big issue here, these places are hideous and an environmental/amenity disaster. They are making a total and permanent mess of our outer suburbs and regions.

  5. I drive through Dunnybrook all the time on the way to my mum’s place in Kinglake. My wife’s father and his brothers owned farm land out that way many years ago and sold it before all this new development. The houses are all cookie-cutter style McMansions, ugly as sin, built on top of each other. Lots of infrastructure going on down that way too, in terms of storm drains etc.. further up the road you see old farm’s and the suburbs are creeping closer.

    Just had a look on Google Streetview and in 2015 you can’t see any of the new developments there yet.
    It’s all popped up in the last 2-3 years….

    Go up and down this road (Donnybrook Road), it’s all very flat looking wastelands.

    Donnybrook isn’t the only area that will get smashed, Wollert, Whittlesea, Doreen and Mernda will all be in trouble too.
    South Morang and Epping are also not very desirable.. and will be impacted. You can follow the pain all the way to Thomastown and probably into Reservoir and Preston I’d say (it will get down that way eventually).

    • TighterandTighter

      Wallan, Broadford, Diggers, etc

      Folks gotta live somewhere but no eaves and verandahs!

      • Donnybrook is very sparse, not many trees. So not a bushfire zone. It’s when you get past Whittlesea and up towards Kinglake you get thicker bush. My mum’s land is now quite clear now, and she keeps the grass cut low. Not sure it would prevent it burning in another bushfire, but it would certainly have less risk than the old house that burnt down in 2008/9.

    • Canberra has one called Googong. You drive out of rural Queanbeyan some distance through desolate sheep paddocks, empty poor quality grassland everywhere… then suddenly in the middle of nothing I’d this vast planned housing estate with tiny blocks, houses crammed together, all the same sh!t designs, narrow roads, no gardens. And then more sheep paddocks stretching off forever.

      And f#ckwits have bought these properties. For stupid prices.


      • Arrow2MEMBER

        Yep. Imagine waking up one morning and realising you’d bought one of these.

        Nightmare stuff.

      • Land with dam or creek frontage 20 minutes out of Canberra towards Bungendore or a bit further to there, can buy a good home for 7 tp 900k on acres or maybe 25 acres with right to build second home. Canberrans response …..who would want to live out there? Even though faster to CBD than many Canberra suburbs. Look blank eyed at tanks of clean water, views, paddocks.

        Answer….they want to live cheek by jowl, close together and choose these developments rather than excellent alternatives. The region I mentioned has a working party to get a private high speed broadband up to 100/100 which you can’t get in Canberra. City people want to live in ghettos.

      • Arrow2MEMBER

        Yep. There are nice suburbs with big blocks still in Canberra though.

        I guess some people just want a “new build” house and pay stupid money for it even though the land underneath is tiny and poorly located.

        The sad part of the joke comes when I suppose in 4-5 years they realise the new build house is also sh!t quality and they have lost in three ways at once.

      • triageMEMBER

        A2 – yeah but for $550k in Canberra you get to choose a basic 3 bed apartment in or near one of the town centres or a 3 bed house in somewhere like Googong. There’s not too many other options. What’s a better option for kids growing up? (and rents are still at killer highs in the ACT).

    • BubbleyMEMBER

      It always amazes me how expensive land is in Australia.

      No, let me change that, I know why its so expensive. It always amazes that Aussies will pay so much for land in Australia – a massive country with a tiny population.

      • AndrewMEMBER

        I reckon it is a mixture of ignorance and helplessness with a sprinkling of “why don’t you buy where you can afford? That’s what we did, but we worked hard for what we have”

    • Drove past this place earlier this year, looked at the signage etc and remember a mate of mine just sitting there saying “who the fvck would want to live here”.

  6. Forrest GumpMEMBER

    Donnybrook, when I was growing up, is where you stopped to get fuel on the way to Sydney. Thats it. Fill up take a leak, get back in the car and get the hell out of there.

    There really is NOTHING there. Still!

    Any idiot that spend $400K + on a house out there is really stupid…seriously

    • That’s it, the land is bland and it’s just brown paddocks of nothingness…

      • haroldusMEMBER

        (a poem by Gavin and Harry)
        the land is bland and it’s just brown paddocks of nothingness…

        My soul shrivels.

        My heart aches.

        For what is, and what was.

        Turn out the light; stick the fork in.

        We are done.

      • PeachyMEMBER

        I reckon those lyrics could work well as a blues song. Who will record it and put it on YouTube?

        Don’t you boys have a dozen guitars each? Do it.

        I like fuzz, so use fuzz please when you do it.


  7. It would come across a bit stronger if they both didn’t seem to gleeful to be telling it.

    • I haven’t watched the video so I cannot say for sure but I’ve have seen incredulous wonder mistaken for gleefulness.

      • I agree . They are not gleeful- they are horrified.
        And it’s a financial and social disaster in the making. And it’s not as if we haven’t had the example of Ireland to avoid.

    • I watched it last night and they were not gleeful, they were horrified and shocked on behalf of the people who had bought. Of course, given their fields they were also not at all surprised so that may have complicated their reactions but they did not go anywhere near gleeful or I told you so.

    • Lothar Grosserschlongen

      ‘Olivine was designed with the aim of celebrating the history and beauty of the site’s natural surrounds, including the retention of many of the site’s majestic, 200-year-old River Red Gums. Set to deliver superb amenity, exceptional education opportunities and a diverse choice of beautiful homes this community will take suburban living to another level.’
      My stomach deadset turns when I read unadulterated bullshit like this. Only the truly desperate, vulnerable, ignorant or uninformed would go anywhere this shithole so those peddling it are no better than drug dealers. Taking advantage and ruining the lives of the vulnerable should gain you a special place in hell. Maybe all RE Agents should be made to live in Donnybrook for the rest of their lives as punishment for their sins.

  8. Mining BoganMEMBER

    *lights cigarette, leans back, blows smoke ring and sighs deeply and contentedly*

  9. St JacquesMEMBER

    But Australia is different – the 30 year mining boom will save us…. oh f### !

  10. A developer out there told me they are planning high density. I didn’t believe him but here it is:
    “Located adjacent to the existing Donnybrook Railway Station, LTC 5 provides a strategic opportunity for the redevelopment of a high density residential and mixed use centre to take advantage of the future upgrades to the station and services.”

    There are multiple locations planned in Donnybrook for these.

  11. If anyone needs more entertainment – look up gumtree, go to “land for sale” and then type in “nomination” as the search term. I am not too familiar with it but if you buy land off the plan in estates you can essentially on sell it by nominating someone to take on the off the plan contract.

    Some folks bought 2 years ago, trying to get back their deposit …

    Some folks offering discounts (taking 50% losses on their deposits!)

    Some folks willing to walk away from the deposit completely ….

    Exciting times!!

  12. “Located adjacent to the existing Donnybrook Railway Station, LTC 5 provides a strategic opportunity for the redevelopment of a high density residential and mixed use centre to take advantage of the future upgrades to the station and services.”

    There are multiple locations planned in Donnybrook for these.

    Good luck

  13. We bought in Woodend 66km out of Melbourne in 2012, $475,000 for a house on 5 acres, yes its in the forest and yes there is always the danger of bushfires, but seriously I wouldnt want to really live anywhere else, the community is second to none, collectively we have managed to kick out Villawood who bought some land and wanted to build 650 blocks, they put up a real estate information shop in the high street, ho how I laughed when someone shot the windows out with a shotgun.(they wanted to chop down 12 Avenue of Honour trees to make the development more aesthetically appealing,,,lol) they closed not long after than, next was Coles turn, wanting to build a large servo with a fast food restaurant (we dont have any in Woodend), they were soon shown the error of their ways, but they kept insisting taking the community to VCAT 3 times, OH how I laughed when the 3rd time the judge threw it out and told Coles not to bother coming back…The servo never went ahead. There is a lot of people with a lot of money who live in the Macedon Ranges, and that includes Barristers that are on the side of the people. A house recently sold a couple of doors away for around $890,000 on 4 acres. It takes less than an hour to drive to work.

    • All power to you and your community to keep these asshole developers out. The Macedon ranges is littered with people who have made their money in Melbourne and then cashed out. Good luck to the youth in those areas of ever affording a home.