Light rail creates hotspots in Aussie city

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Investors looking for potential hotspots in the high performing Sydney market could do well to follow the tracks of recently developed urban transport infrastructure.

A new report from Knight Frank, which looks at the impact of new urban infrastructure on areas and house prices in the Asia Pacific region, has identified Sydney’s inner west as a residential hotspot.

Knight Frank Asia Pacific head of research Nicholas Holt said that, as the modern day city expands, a more complex network of urban transport infrastructure was influencing populations and housing markets.

“While new transport infrastructure does not have a universally positive impact on residential pricing, we commonly witness outperformance and new residential hotspots emerge as access improves and travel times around the city are reduced.”

Changes in infrastructure – such as new transport corridors and metro systems– could stimulate and open up parts of a city, attract investment, create extra demand for housing and bring a new energy to areas, Holt said.

Taking this into account, the report highlighted various potential or actual hotspots around the Asia Pacific region – of which Sydney’s inner west was one.

Knight Frank residential research Australia’s Michelle Ciesielski said the area made the list because of the recently completed extension to Sydney’s light rail network.

The extension added nine new stops between Lilyfield and Dulwich Hill, connecting train and bus routes in the inner west as an alternate passage to the Sydney CBD.

“In the three months leading to the maiden journey in March 2014, apartment prices in the suburbs of Leichhardt, Haberfield, Summer Hill and Dulwich Hill averaged capital growth of 3.6%, trending above the 2.3% experienced across Sydney.”

For investors interested in pursuing this theory it might pay to keep a close eye on the NSW government’s plans for, and progress on, new urban transport infrastructure in Sydney.

Construction on a $1.6 billion light rail network for the Sydney CBD and south east is set to kick off early next year, while $400 million has been set aside to progress the development of a light rail system in Western Sydney.
However, as Your Investment Property reported recently, investors attracted to an area by the announcement of a new driver should always look at the area’s key statistical indicators as well.  

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