We chose to run a dedicated section on this because there are several significant projects underway and there is probably more to come with our Prime Minister declaring he wants to be known as the “Infrastructure PM”. We believe that new infrastructure will be a major catalyst for price growth in pockets of both regions.
In the case of roads and other transport infrastructure, it can also bring outer suburbs ‘closer’ to the city and unlock pockets of value in areas previously ignored by city workers.
Let’s start with Sydney.
WestConnex is the largest urban transport project in NSW history. It involves a 33km link between Sydney’s far west and the airport and Port Botany precinct. The project includes widening existing roads including the M4 and M5 East. It will also free up Parramatta Road for local traffic and public transport. Sydney’s East and West will be directly linked for the first time, bypassing 50 sets of traffic lights. It will save 35 minutes on a trip from Parramatta to Sydney Airport and 20 minutes from Penrith to the CBD.
Areas to benefit: Inner West, South-West, St George, Western Sydney
CBD and South East Light Rail
The light rail will extend from Circular Quay along George Street to Central Station, then on to Kingsford via Anzac Parade and Randwick via Alison Road. There will be stations at Moore Park, University of NSW, Prince of Wales Hospital and Randwick Racecourse. The design is being finalised with work to commence in 2014. Light rail can provide greater capacity than buses and should ease traffic congestion, with 220 fewer buses entering the CBD in the AM peak.
Completion date: 2020
Areas to benefit: Kensington, Kingsford, Randwick, Surry Hills
North West Train Line
This 23km heavy train line will run from Epping through to the Hills and North West regions, with eight stations at Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Showground, Norwest, Bella Vista, Kellyville, Rouse Hill and Cudgegong Road. There will be 12 trains per hour during peak periods. This will be a fully-automated rapid transit system – an Australian-first incorporating driverless trains. The line will transform the Hills and North West, where modern four bedroom homes currently trade from the $700,000s in Kellyville and $600,000s in Rouse Hill. Lack of easy CBD transport and expensive tolls have held property prices back for years.
Completion date: 2020
Areas to benefit: Baulkham Hills, Bella Vista, Castle Hill, Cherrybrook, Kellyville, Rouse Hill
The 22 hectare former container port on the western harbourside edge of Sydney CBD will house 800 stylish apartments; three commercial towers; a mixed retail and café precinct; and a 5.7 hectare waterfront park. The site will include a landmark 350-room hotel with a VIP casino. About 23,000 people will work there, with 6,000 newly-created jobs. The first release of 159 residential apartments sold in less than 6 ½ hours.
Completion date: First stage 2015 – first commercial tower, Wynyard pedestrian link and Headland Park
Areas to benefit: CBD, Millers Point, Pyrmont, Walsh Bay
Inner West Light Rail Extension
The Inner West light rail currently runs from Central Station to Lilyfield. The 5.6km extension will run along the former Rozelle freight rail corridor out to Dulwich Hill, with nine stations at Leichhardt North, Hawthorne Canal, Marion Street, Taverners Hill, Lewisham West, Waratah Mills, Arlington Street, Dulwich Grove and Dulwich Hill Interchange. Construction began in 2012 and all platforms are now in place. We expect significant new demand for property in the immediate vicinity of the stations.
Completion date: 2015
Areas to benefit: Dulwich Hill, Haberfield, Leichhardt, Lewisham, Marrickville
Next week, I’ll go through the most significant projects I see for the property market in Brisbane and regional Queensland.