High-Speed Rail May Ease Pressure On Affordability
9th February 2012
Leading real estate group Raine & Horne says the much-anticipated east coast high-speed rail network will not only underpin long term property prices in regional centres in NSW, but also solve some of Sydney's affordability issues.
According to an interim report tabled last month by global consultant AECOM, the proposed high-speed network will enable commuters to travel between Brisbane and Sydney (and Sydney/Melbourne) in three hours, while it will be just 40 minutes from Sydney to Newcastle and one hour between Sydney and Canberra.*
"I acknowledge a fast train between Brisbane and Melbourne has been discussed for two decades, but it has the ability to solve the affordability issue in Sydney and push up regional real estate values by as much as 10% once it gets the go ahead from Canberra," says Angus Raine, CEO Raine & Horne.
"For instance, we'd urge the Government to include a station at Goulburn on the fast train network.
"Goulburn is a major inland city centrally located between Sydney and Canberra and is very affordable with three bedroom houses for under $200,000, while workers could be in Sydney in roughly 30 minutes.
"Likewise a high-speed train could encourage more businesses to shift to regional centres such as Newcastle and Gosford. This will help to generate jobs growth, which is a key factor in long-term real estate growth."
Jason Maxwell, Co-Principal of Raine & Horne Newcastle, agrees that if a fast train gets a green light it could attract Sydney workers looking for more affordable housing to the Newcastle region.
"There's a big disparity between Sydney and Newcastle wages and if a worker can earn 20% more working in Sydney but still live in Newcastle, I'm sure a fast train will have a major impact," says Mr Maxwell.
"Moreover it's possible to buy two bedroom apartments in the Newcastle CBD for under $333,000."
The proposed high-speed rail network would also have an enormous impact on the Central Coast, with Geoff Tilden, Co-Principal, Raine & Horne Gosford, suggesting that a fast train would attract more buyers from Sydney looking for value and long term capital growth.
"There are three bedroom homes for sale for under $320,000 in North Gosford, however we'd need to see some holes in the ground before there'd be an impact on values," says Mr Tilden.
"There are up to 40,000 commuters travelling from the Central Coast to Sydney on a daily basis and they must battle with a faltering rail service and the challenging F3," says Mr Tilden.
"We could double the number of commuters with a fast train service between Sydney and Newcastle, as it could potentially reduce the commute to well under 30 minutes.
A fast train service would also encourage more Sydney-siders to move to the Central Coast's Wyong Shire is search of more affordable homes, says Andrew Sorensen, Co-principal, Raine & Horne Charmhaven.
"In Charmhaven, it's possible to buy a three bedroom home for around $250,000, while we have enjoyed capital growth of between 3% and 5% growth every year since 2004. This could jump to between 5% and 10% annually if the fast train is approved."
"A fast train would be of significant appeal for those living in Wyong, particularly considering how often we must deal with traffic chaos caused by an F3 closure."
In the ACT, where the interim report has identified that a new railway station would be located in Civic or the Canberra Airport, Michael Elton, Franchise Owner, Raine & Horne Canberra, agrees a high-speed train is a great idea.
"A fast train would give more people from Sydney the opportunity to enjoy Canberra's unique lifestyle, cultural attractions and affordable real estate," says Mr Elton.
"With a significant number of interstate investors benefiting from the exceptional rental returns achieved in West Belconnen, it's fair to expect that homes under $450,000 in suburbs such as Charnwood, Holt, Higgins, Latham, and Dunlop could now be possible targets for those considering a Sydney commute if the fast train is rubber-stamped."
** image for illustration purposes only