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Local Developments Update: September 2018

Our Investment Services team is having plenty of conversations about the local market, so we’re back with another monthly update to keep you abreast of developments around the area.

Recent Council stats show that more than $800 million of dual-occupancy, townhouse and unit developments were approved across Newcastle and Lake Macquarie in the last financial year. (Prices have also risen in that time, with the median unit price increasing by 9.7% in Newcastle and 1.8% in Lake Macquarie, according to Australian Property Monitors.)

So how are the Newcastle and Lake Mac communities reacting to this potential growth?

A key response has been the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan, encompassing Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens and Cessnock councils. The plan predicts around 60,000 new dwellings in the period leading up to 2036. As well as delivering conveniently located housing, the plan aims to improve connections to jobs, services and recreation through improved transport options; create a more skilled workforce; and enhance quality of life for residents.

Newcastle and Lake Macquarie aren’t the only places that are thriving – there’s plenty happening in the Maitland area too, opening it up as a promising area for investors wishing to diversify their portfolios.

Newcastle CBD and Suburbs

The CBD will soon be home to a Woolworths Metro, with the major supermarket signing on to become the main retail tenant in the Hunter Street mall redevelopment. The first two stages of the project are due for completion in 2020.

Newcastle’s light rail works are set to be completed by the end of September, with roads reopening and tram testing taking place over the next few months. The light rail should commence operation in early 2019; its first vehicle arrived in Newcastle earlier this month.

Image via Iris Capital

Out in the suburbs, Lambton development 121 Elder was unveiled this month, with prices ranging from the high $400,000s through to $950,000. Hamilton’s One14 Tudor also hit the market, setting a new price record for the area with the $1.175 million sale of a three-bedroom penthouse apartment.

If you’re wondering which areas to watch in future, keep an eye on Merewether, Fletcher, New Lambton, Mayfield and Wallsend – recent data analysis from the Newcastle Herald indicates that these suburbs had the most dual occupancy applications in the 2017–2018 financial year.

Lake Macquarie

Lake Macquarie Council has recently approved a mixed-use development on the Toronto foreshore, including 44 residential units as well as commercial space. The approval comes as part of a bid to increase Toronto’s population density and transform the town into ‘an attractive new community, tourist and lifestyle destination’, with the council also set to spend $9 million upgrading the foreshore.

Pasterfield Sports Complex. Image: Marina Neil via Newcastle Herald

In other developments, the $15 million Pasterfield Sports Complex officially opened in late August, and is set to become the major sporting and recreational hub for Cameron Park. The complex features a large sporting field, skate park, cricket practice nets, netball courts, 1km shared pathway loop, outdoor fitness equipment and giant playground, with a revamped clubhouse/community centre and BMX track opening soon.

Maitland

In light of current and upcoming residential development in key areas such as Huntlee, Lochinvar, Aberglasslyn and Farley, local councillors are pushing for public transport expansions and improvements. Transport NSW has this month responded, introducing ‘new or enhanced services to growing residential areas, including Huntlee, Anambah and Aberglasslyn’.

These growing areas are likely to join suburbs like RutherfordThornton and Gillieston Heights in achieving solid rental returns around the 4–5% mark.

Another future drawcard for the area, the new Maitland hospital, could open as soon as 2022, with work expected to begin early next year. The future hospital plays a key role in the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan, which identifies East Maitland as a ‘catalyst area’ for employment and residential growth.

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Interested in chatting further about developments or the local property market? Wondering about branching out with your investments and targeting growing areas? Get in touch with our Investment Services team today for objective information and insight.

   

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