What is gentrification and how does it change property values?

A beautiful apartment with direct views to the city is up for sale in Redfern, if you’re interested. It is close to everything in reach, the Sydney CBD, Au Tech Park, Redfern & Central Station. The price, according to realestate.com.au is a cool $1.133 million.

It’s not just one of those properties, considering that it’s a rather high price tag for an area that was once home to low density industrial sites and was known as a beacon to a lot of people. It was subject to gentrification in the recent years, with the state government having extensive redevelopment plans.

This is commonly what happens in large cities: less well-known areas predictably get transformed when neighbouring hot spots peak. New infrastructures are built, cafes appear and suddenly, a shabby two-bedder is selling for an amazing price.

Meanwhile in another Australian city
This scene has also played out in Pascoe Vale in Melbourne. It started unassumingly in farming, housed dairies and afterwards quarries, largely dig up in neighbouring Coburg and Brunswick. These areas are far from being candidates for Better Homes and Gardens.

However, a few years ago, gentrification began in Pascoe Vale and compact cottages on tiny land rapidly became sought-after. According to realestate.com.au, the average house price surged from $460,000 in 2008 to $760,000 by the end of 2016, an impressive annual growth of 8%.

Of course, the fact that Pascoe Vale is near Essendon is very significant. People like Essendon because of its Edwardian, Federation and California bungalow houses and tastefully lined leafy streets. Because of this, buyers have been keeping track of its neighbouring suburbs, seeking investment opportunities.

Sydney has long been a property hot spot, but now investors are turning their attention to a harbour city just two hours away from the city.

So what’s happening in Newcastle?
Newcastle, which has a median house price of $980,000, is already drawing attention from investors and homebuyers alike.

Figures from the Domain Regional House Price Report show that Newcastle is strong growth is already taking place. House values rose 9.3% in the year to September and 4.2% over the quarter. These numbers are already higher than the latest house price results for Sydney and Melbourne, an increase of 2.1% and 9.1% over the year, respectively.

Many infrastructure developments are happening in the area. These developments include a new light rail, revitalisation of the central business district, a $6.5 billion investment from the NSW government, and substantial strips of rezoning throughout the city.

Sydney-based investors are flocking to Newcastle because of the affordability factor and the prospect of adding value with granny flats and subdivisions.

Our harbour side city, once deeply rooted in coal and steel, is definitely on its way to a major transformation.