Opportunities presented by affordability and infrastructure projects in western Sydney has resulted in a surge in the number of people knocking down older homes in the area and looking to redevelop.

According to John Castellano, group sales and marketing manager for Elderton Group, home detonations – once a popular choice in Eastern Suburbs and North Shore – have started the move west as a range of buyers look to improve the housing stock in the area.

“There are a few different types of buyers who are doing it for different motivations. There are those that are doing it to their own home and the drivers there are that they’re set up and they’ve got their networks around them and want to stay there,” Castellano said.

“Then you’ve got the others who might be coming into an area and they may be forced to buy an older home and knock it down because that’s what’s available and then the third one is your buyer coming in looking to do some multi-unit developments, a duplex or something like that,” he said.

While there are plenty of people looking to upgrade their family home in are they’re comfortable with, Castellano said there has been a marked increase in the number of investors looking to buy in Sydney’s west and try their hand at a development project.  

“That’s increased dramatically, incredibly so. If you’re talking a typical duplex they’re usually looking to sell one and keep one, if we’re talking a larger development, like a group of townhouses, that’s generally somebody looking to sell on,” he said.  

“I think it’s going to become even more popular. As supply dries up affordability becomes a huge issue and people will continue to look at the areas that have traditionally been more affordable and see what opportunities are there.”

In particular Castellano said suburbs with existing infrastructure are proving to be extremely popular, though he said future projects in the region are also drawing buyer attention.

“St Mary’s is incredibly popular, Blacktown is popular and Penrith is popular. Anywhere that is set up and has a transport hub set has been incredibly popular. They’re areas I didn’t think would be this popular, I’ve worked on developments in those areas in the past, as recent as five or six years ago and the interest in them has increased dramatically.

“We’ve also had some big infrastructure announcements in those areas. We’ve got a second airport going in out there and people’s brains are taking straight away and long term there’s some great potential there.”

Of the investors looking to those suburbs, Castellano said the majority are from outside the area and he cautioned them to do their research before committing to a project.

“You do need to do a hell of a lot of diligence. Depending on the size of the project, you may want to get a planner involved and I’d certainly recommend speaking to council first, even before purchasing a property to do that sort of thing.

“Get a planner involved, get an architect involved. Really talk to those people that are doing this on a day to day basis.”