Sydney’s newest public transport system could come with both positives and negatives for property owners in the city
The New South Wales state government this week released its plans for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest rail project that will see automated trains run on a new line from Chatswood to Sydenham.
According to Transport for NSW, construction on the project will begin on the project in 2017 and will include the construction of six new stations at Crows Nest, Victoria Cross (North Sydney), Barangaroo, Martin Place, Pitt Street and Central.
A seventh station will be built at either the University of Sydney or in Waterloo, while the current train line from Sydenham to Bankstown will be upgraded to accommodate the Metro service.
The new line will be Sydney’s second Metro service, with work on the Sydney Metro Northwest from Chatswood to Rouse Hill expected to be finished in 2019.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance described the Metro system as “Australia’s biggest public transport project,” and Rich Harvey, managing director of Propertybuyer, said the City & Southwest line could have a positive impact on property values before work even begins.
“A project like this is absolutely a good thing for the market,” Harvey said.
“With infrastructure projects like this there are two periods where it can have a dramatic effect on prices. The first is when the announcement is made and the second is just after the project is completed,” he said.
Currently the line will stop at Bankstown; however the government has said it is possible it will be extended to reach Liverpool, which Harvey said would be “fantastic” for that area of the city.
“If it was extended from Bankstown to Liverpool it would be fantastic. Those areas would be the ones that would really see a benefit from the project and the increased accessibility to the rest of Sydney.
“There’s a reason why train infrastructure has the greatest effect on the market and that’s because it can move the greatest number of people. That means density in an area increases, which means a greater number of renters.”
Though the announcement and completion of the project will help values, Harvey said there could be some pain for owners in between those periods.
“During construction of a project like this there can be some issues. Things like dust, noise and vibrations can throw up some problems.
“The best example is when there was tunnelling under Epping and the piling process caused some cracking in the nearby areas, not to mention the deafening noise it produced, so that’s something you need to have in mind.”
It’s not only owners adjacent to construction areas who may be put out by the project. Some owners may soon be faced with the reality they will not see the benefits of the project if their property is located in construction areas, with the government already beginning the compulsory acquisition process.
“Transport for NSW has a team of about 50 people that began contacting all affected property owners and tenants early [Monday],” a Transport for NSW spokesperson said.
“Major construction on Sydney Metro City & Southwest will begin in 2017 and therefore Transport for NSW is aiming to have most properties available at that time,” the spokesperson said.
With much of the line travelling through areas on the northern side of the harbour that are heavily occupied by office space, the acquisition process could have a marked impact on the commercial sector.
“It’s great that areas like Crows Nest will have their own station, but the construction process is going to see a withdrawal of a chunk of commercial buildings in those areas,” David Bolt, co-founder of commercial property agents Hartigan Bolt, said.
“For tenants in the affected areas it’s bad luck for them as it means they’ll have to move; however, for other owners the fact that the market is going to be squeezed a bit I think will be good for rents in the area,” he said.
The contracted market is likely to be temporary, though, with Bolt believing the completed project will draw developers to the area to replenish stock.
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