A key infrastructure upgrade has helped one area of New South Wales kick into gear, according to the head of a major real estate franchise.
Angus Raine, executive chairman of Raine & Horne, believes the recent upgrade of the Great Western Highway to dual carriageway is behind the improved performance of property markets in the Blue Mountains and regional areas further west.
“Work on the dual carriageway seems to have dragged on since the days of Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson, but the road's completion earlier this year means the Great Western Highway is virtually an extension of the M4 Motorway,” Raine said.
“This has led to increased traffic to the mountains and beyond, with property interest and prices spiking as a result,” he said.
Raine said prices in the region have jumped 5% - 10% in the past 12 months as a result of the work and Glen Ebzery, principal of Raine & Horne Leura and Raine & Horne Katoomba, said the market is performing at its best in more than a decade.
“The prices that have been achieved for some Blue Mountains properties are unheard of – and well above the highs of the last real estate boom in 2003 and 2004,” Ebzery said.
Those opinions are backed up by Mathew Ward, director of buyers’ agency Aspect, who said after a period under the radar the region has started moving forward.
“Generally the area is doing quite well. Towns like Lithgow and Oberon have been flying under the radar over recent years but they’re starting to pick up,” Ward said.
“The bigger towns like Orange
and Bathurst have been solid recently and look like they will continue to be solid. There’s good infrastructure spending happening there at the moment and they have a good economic mix as well. They might not get a boom like Sydney, but they’ll be a good slow burn,” he said.
Based in Orange, Ward said the agency is currently dealing with a number of investors who currently see the area as more trustworthy than the Sydney market.
“The way Sydney’s gone at the moment, the gap between its prices and the regions is too big and people are starting to look for the cheaper areas with good returns.
“Most of the stuff we’re doing at the moment is investors. They’re seeing they can get a modern property for $300,000 - $350,000, so they get the depreciation benefits, as well as good growth and returns.
“A lot of them are investors from Sydney who just aren’t trusting of what the Sydney market is doing at the moment.”
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