Expert says infrastructure isn't the be all and end all of investment locations

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The head of one real estate agency believes the western Sydney suburb of Wentworth Park will be a 2016 real estate hotspot once the Homebush Bay Bridge is completed.

The bridge, which is due to be completed in May, will provide direct public transport and pedestrian links between Wentworth Point and Rhodes and allow for Wentworth Point to be better integrated into public transport links to facilities such as Sydney Olympic Park.

Ewan Morton, principal of Morton Real Estate, believe the bridge’s completion could prices in Wentworth Park hit double digit growth in 2016 and bring the suburb back in line with its neighbours.

“The benefits of the bridge for residents in Wentworth Point are huge, but Rhodes won't have the same uplift in property values because it is already a saturated market,” Morton said.

“Currently Rhodes is more expensive because it has a major shopping centre and is connected to railway, but I expect Wentworth Point to regain price parity when people appreciate the new infrastructure and improved transport services,” he said.

Morton said a proposed primary school and child care centre, as well as expanded retail options in Wentworth Park will also help the suburb become an attractive option for those looking to live in an area that is removed but still accessible to from the Sydney CBD.

But while Morton may believe the infrastructure attention Wentworth Point is receiving is a positive for the area, Gavin McPherson, chief executive officer of Oasis Property Buyers, said people should let that sort information cloud their judgement when it comes to making an investment decision.

“Infrastructure is excellent, but it doesn’t take precedence over bad zoning or overly generous planning laws,” McPherson said.

“My biggest plan when looking at somewhere is how many dwellings are there going to be let into the area. Sometimes when you say infrastructure that can be a scary thing because an area’s getting all this infrastructure put in because there’s going to be 18,000 new apartments,” he said.

“Never, ever would I run into an area just because there’s infrastructure going in, you really need to ask what’s behind it? Is it because there’s a plan to attract 20,000 new occupants to the area? That’s fine and it might mean it’s a great place to live, but that’s probably not great from an investment point of view.”

Though he doesn’t see infrastructure expenditure as the be all and end all when it comes to deciding an investment location, McPherson, who is bearish on Sydney’s prospects in 2016, said there are some aspects he does take notice of when looking at possible investment areas.

“It does depend where you are in the city, if you’re in the inner city it probably doesn’t matter quite as much because you’re so close to a lot of things already.

“In other areas I look for at least two public transport modes and three modes is a bonus and in somewhere like the Homebush Bay area does have that. You’ve got trains, buses and you’ve got the ferry, all of which do make it more accessible.”
 

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