Perfect Storm Hits The Hunter

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This year, thanks to a State Government plan called the Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy, the Newcastle CBD will undergo major renovations, including the development of a light rail system.

This new infrastructure plan will reconnected the CBD with the waterfront and see the completion a number of significant city-building projects already underway.

According to experts, the strategy is causing unprecedented investment interest in the Hunter and particularly within the CBD.

Chris Chapman, Managing Director of Colliers International in Newcastle, said the infrastructure plans are creating the perfect storm for Newcastle.

“For the first time in memory, cashed-up investors are being attracted to both residential and commercial properties in the CBD,” he explains.
“These two sectors have traditionally been counter-cyclical, so to have them both firing at once is unprecedented.”

Property Council NSW Regional Director-Hunter Andrew Fletcher, describes the industry mood as buoyant since the O’Farrell Government announced the plan.

“Research commissioned by the Newcastle Renewal Taskforce shows the combined effect of light rail and urban renewal will turbo-charge the local economy,” he says.
“That means a huge boost for job creation and private investment in the region.”

Increased tourism and the expansion of Newcastle Airport is also fuelling investor interest according to Will Creedon, Chair of Tourism Hunter.

“As the airport expands to take international flights and the hosting of the Asian Cup matches exposes us to a global TV audience of more than 2.5 billion people, we also get the opportunity to have overseas investors better understand the Hunter’s competitive advantage.”

At present, according to RP Data, homes located within the Newcastle CBD offer a rental yield of 5% with a median price of $576,000, while a unit will set you back about $450,000, providing a slightly higher return of 6%. Purchasing a unit in the nearby beachside suburb of Merewether will cost you about $395,000 and provide a return of around 4%, with advertised rents currently between $295.00 and $400.00 per week.

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