As Sydney’s population grows, so does the number of properties.
New apartments and townhouses, new homes and subdivisions, and even entire new suburbs are appearing before our eyes. So if you’re a home buyer or investor, which areas should you be watching? And what does our city’s changing face mean for the value of your property?
Trend 1. From business to pleasure
One of the most visible property trends over the past decade has been the conversion of former business areas into residential neighbourhoods. Once reasonably austere areas such as Parramatta, North Sydney, Chatswood and Macquarie Park have had new life breathed into them as high rise living takes hold. One factor that you may have noticed is common to each of these centres is their proximity to jobs, as well as to great transport links. If we are to build high density it makes sense to build it where people can move around easily without resorting to the car.
Trend 2. Development on the fringe
In case you haven’t noticed, the NSW government has been on something of an infrastructure building boom: with new roads, new rail links and new transport hubs underway. This has made some outer areas of Sydney much more accessible than they once were. As a result, many of the acreages that dotted the city fringe are being subdivided, and many of the more sparsely populated areas closeby are becoming more buzzing. For example at a recently established suburb, The Ponds, average home prices rose from just over $600,000 at the start of 2012 to more than $1million by the end of 2017. Little wonder when the north-west rail link will soon come to nearby Rouse Hill, cutting the commute into the Sydney CBD by more than 20 minutes each way.
Trend 3. The rise and rise of the West
Sydney’s western suburbs may traditionally have played second fiddle to the city’s more glamorous east, but not anymore. New transport links, a new airport and new waves of migration have made western Sydney more desirable than ever – both as a place to live and a place to do business. Many areas in the greater west have become true property hotspots. For instance, the average property price in Bringelly, 46km west of the CBD and next door to Badgerys Creek, rose more than anywhere in Australia over 2017, more than doubling. Meanwhile, Rosehill, 23km west of the city was Sydney’s fourth best performer. Both areas are undergoing substantial redevelopment.
Trend 4. Filling in the blanks
As the push to house more people becomes more marked, it’s not only the outer areas being opened up for new homes. Many areas close to the city – especially those once home to industrial sites – are in demand from residential developers looking to build close to transport links and the CBD. Alexandria and Rosebery in the inner south east, St Leonards in the north, and Marrickville in the inner West all fit the bill here. In fact, St Leonards population is set to double over the next 15 years.
Trend 5. Heading up (or down) the coast
As Sydney’s home prices stay near record highs, many people are looking further afield – sometimes that includes moving outside of the metropolitan area altogether. As a result, property prices in neighbouring areas are booming. For evidence of this, look no further than Gosford, where the average property price more than trebled between 2013 and 2017, rising from $302,000 to around $1million. Many expect Central Coast prices to continue outperforming most parts of Sydney over the next little while, as local infrastructure upgrades come online and the Northconnex tunnel cuts the commuting time to Sydney.
The shape of Sydney’s property market has changed dramatically over the past decade or so. As more and more people look to call Sydney home, it will change even further in the decade ahead.
A greater supply of smaller, more affordable homes close to transport hubs is good news for first home buyers looking to get a foot on the property ladder, while better transport links and new subdivisions should give more growing families room to move. For investors worried about oversupply, history shows that quality developments close to transport almost always do well in the long-term. This should be especially true as more and more families opt for well-connected apartment living over the traditional quarter acre block.
That said, whether you’re looking for a place to call home or an investment property and you’re hoping for growth, the same fundamentals will continue to apply – with location, proximity to work, transport and amenities and liveability mattering most.