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Infrastructure Unlocks New Commercial Hotspots

Infrastructure is the big factor to watch when it comes to future capital gain and income potential, if history is any guide.

When the Anzac Bridge opened in 1995, property prices in Lilyfield and Rozelle rose by up to 46% within just two years. The M5 and Epping to Chatswood rail line had similar impact, unlocking new growth potential in outer suburbs. So where should smart commercial investors be looking today?

The 2017 NSW government budget committed$72.7 billion over the next four years to targeted road and public transport projects. This infrastructure boom will reduce Sydney’s commutes, ease congestion and complete the missing links between communities – and it’s expected to boost both residential and commercial property values.

Western Sydney is a core focus. Already Australia’s third largest economy, this region is expected to attract another million residents within the next 10 to 15 years, and the areas around Parramatta, Liverpool and Penrith have been allocated around half the state’s infrastructure spend – making them obvious hotspots for growth.

WestConnex completes the western freeway link

Due for completion by 2023, this $20billion 33-kilometre motorway will link Western Sydney with Sydney Airport and the city’s south with the M4 to M5 link completing the circuit. There is also a proposed link to the new western harbour tunnel and Beacheslink to the north. Saving 40 minutes on the drive between Parramatta and Sydney airport, this will be transformational for both businesses and commuters.

Heavy vehicle congestion on busy arterial roads, such as Parramatta Rd and Victoria Rd, will also be eased. With new parklands – including 10 hectares over thedisused Rozelle railyards – these established inner west village neighbourhoods will become even more people-friendly.

Experts predict a similar impact on property values as the M2 had on the Hills district when it opened in 1997.

All aboard the Metro Northwest

Australia’s biggest public transport project is an $8.3 billion investment. From 2019 it will provide metro train services every four minutes during peak times, as well as eight new metro stations (including Bella Vista and Norwest), five upgraded stations and 4,000 commuter car spaces.

Western Sydney Airport will see the region soar

In a speech to theAustralian Transport Summit in August, Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher, described the rapid investor response to the proposed second airport at Badgery’s Creek. “The new Sydney Science Park is being developed nearby in Luddenham… (and) universities are working to increase their presence and activities in the area – including Sydney University, Western Sydney University and Wollongong University.” The airport is expected to see its first landings in 2026, connecting local businesses to national and international markets – and giving Liverpool the chance to emerge as Sydney’s third CBD, similar to Parramatta.

Meanwhile, NSW and Federal governments have also committed $3.6billion to the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, a 10-year road and transport program to ensure this new economic hub thrives.

Parramatta gets its own light rail

Capitalising on the $1.6billion upgrade of Parramatta’s city centre, the first stage of its new light rail – connecting Westmead to Parramatta and Carlingford – is expected to open in 2023. Stage two will extend the route from the Camellia precinct to Strathfield, allowing even more locals and visitors to explore all Sydney’s second CBD has to offer.

Trams return to the east, but not as we knew them

Of course, not all the investment is in the west. The new light rail from Central to Circular Quay will move hundreds of commuters, visitors and students through Surry Hills and Moore Park every four minutes, and then on to Randwick and Kingsford every eight. Up to 450 people can be carried on each state of the art tram – the equivalent of nine buses. This will vastly improve public access to the SCG, Fox Studios, University of NSW and the Prince of Wales health precinct, and it’s expected to quickly create $3 billion in economic benefit for NSW.

All these projects add up to one of the most ambitious infrastructure investment programs in generations – and one that is sorely needed to create a sustainable, productive and liveable Sydney of the future.

Jeff Moxham
Managing Director & Partner
Ray White Commercial NSW
M 0413 838 339

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