The big story in property news occupying everyone’s attention over 2017 was Sydney reaching its zenith and beginning to cool toward the end of the year. The year was filled with the usual apoplectic media coverage of Sydney’s continuing surge, with warnings about unaffordable housing. Property commentators had back-flipped by the close of 2017 as media attention turned to doom and gloom stories about a post-peak Sydney property market.
Caution Urged as Sydney Began to Cool Toward the End of 2017
As 2017 neared its end there were calls for the property-buying public to listen to the cautious tones of the Reserve Bank and the Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison. Property buyers were reminded of not paying too much for properties that could see reductions in values. Ensuring mortgages were serviceable for borrowers, with assumed changed conditions and higher interest-rates, was also something Treasurer Morrison encouraged property-buyers to do.
Yet the property story that didn’t receive much coverage – and probably should have – is the affordability and growth story only a short journey away from Sydney. Both Wollongong and Newcastle experienced growth, however, Newcastle’s growth prospects and opportunities for investors ahead in 2018 represents one of the great turn-around stories of Australian history.
Newcastle Expected to Remain Strong throughout 2018
The key drivers of Newcastle’s change of fortunes have, at their core, the massive injection of capital flowing into the region. This is quite literally changing the face of the region as new public works spending on much-needed projects, like the light-rail project, heavy-rail, and public transport interchange at Wickham and Hamilton, and the soon-to-be-constructed Maitland public hospital, bring new hope to a region blighted by the 1988 earthquake and loss of BHP.
The Hunter Expressway, which opened in 2014, has seen commute times from areas further from Newcastle CBD slashed. This has made it far easier to live in areas like Maitland, Kurri Kurri, Cessnock, and Singleton, and work in Newcastle or outlying areas.
Whether this has been responsible for the residential housing market picking-up in these areas, or it is a perfect storm of better facilities and public transport as well as Sydney residents seeking refuge from very high property prices and rents, the Hunter Region has many positives looking ahead to 2018 and beyond.
Positive Signs of Growth for Investors across the Region Ahead in 2018
Newcastle may be finally seeing a fair share of funding for public projects. But, what effect is this actually having on the leading indicators of growth in the area?
Looking back on 2017 we can see the numbers are very positive across the region. In Newcastle itself, housing prices rose by almost 13 percent in the year to July 2017. The Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA), which takes in popular winery destinations such as Pokolbin, and suburbs like Kurri Kurri, witnessed just under 10% growth.
Investors looking for a good income from their property investments can be heartened by the good rental returns in the area. Throughout the region, many houses are built on big blocks which are suitable for dual-income strategies such as sub-dividing and building another house or even a granny flat.
Teaming-up with industry-experts with good local knowledge is paramount when it comes to making a success of investing in rural and regional areas such as Newcastle and the Hunter. Vision Property & Finance have experienced advisors in place, in Newcastle, who are able to give you the best local knowledge available for you to succeed with.