Some 40 years in the making, Canberra’s Majura Parkway is finally set to see the light of day.
This 11.5km stretch of bitumen will link the Federal Highway in the north to the Monaro Highway in the south and, crucially, aims to ease congestion and provide better access to the Majura Valley.
Major winners will be the gridlocked residents of the Gungahlin area, and the new road could be a major boon for the region’s property market.
“There’s a big traffic gridlock at the moment for people trying to get in and out of Gungahlin, because essentially there’s only one road at the moment,” explains Property Council of Australia ACT executive director Catherine Carter.
The big recent development is the decision by Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese to match the ACT’s $144m budget with Commonwealth funds.
The project is now expected to get started next year, and completion has been slated for 2016. But, while this could prove to be an exciting decade for Canberra’s development as a city, activity in the property market has stayed cool.
The city’s fundamentals remain strong: average full-time adult total weekly earnings in the ACT increased by just over 1% between February and May to reach $1,532, according to the latest ABS seasonally adjusted estimates. (The nationwide figure is some $173 lower at $1,359.)
But buyers are yet to be convinced that they should jump into the market in large numbers.
SQM Research figures for the amount of stock on the market, for example, show that July’s total of 1,794 is 22.5% higher than it was the same time last year (1,464).
Listings are also up by 5% on a month-to-month basis (June’s figure was 1,716), and the city’s cool climate dictates that Canberra’s spring buying season will lag behind that of the nation’s warmer cities.
“Spring is still a fair way off for Canberra, so we aren’t seeing a lot of listings yet,” says Raine & Horne Canberra principal Peta Barrett.
Carter adds that while Canberra’s high wages mean that it’s not ranked as having some of the affordability issues that some of our nation’s other cities suffer from, high property prices deter new residents from settling in the city.
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