The 11 Sydney areas every property investor should know

The rapidly growing Sydney, that has forecasts numbering more than 1.6 million additional people by 2031 and 664,000 new homes needed, has seen numerous plans for its future and growth.

The 11 Sydney areas every property investor should know: Urban Activation Precincts

Growth Infrastructure Plans and the Precinct Support Scheme are among the initiatives being used to support expected growth. Another of these is the Urban Activation Precincts – essentially, 11 different areas with the aim of providing more properties that can easily access infrastructure, transport, services and jobs.

A frequent mantra in property investing is to follow government spending and upcoming infrastructure projects, as well as strong population growth, to get in early to the hotspots.

According to the NSW state government, the choice behind the 11 areas was based on locations they could provide affordable and diverse housing with “good access to infrastructure, particularly transport”. It applies to both greenfield and infill locations.

“Precincts are envisaged as being larger areas, usually made up of multiple land-holdings. They will be capable of delivering significant additional growth and require coordination from State and local government to realise their potential,” explains the guideline to why these areas are selected.

The first eight announced in March 2013, with the final three on this list announced this month. There have been varying levels of progress in each, with some left uncertain as other planning projects and community consultation are explored. We have detailed some of the more prominent factors below.

North Ryde Station

  • 12.5 hectares of land rezoned
  • Maximum building heights around the station (reduced from initial plan of 108 metres) set at 92 metres
  • More than 2.4 hectares of parks and open space expected
  • An estimated 3,000 homes and 1,500 jobs within 10 minutes of the station
  • More than $17 million worth of transport upgrades

Epping Town Centre

  • Rezoning is complete, as from March 2014
  • Funding arrangements being worked through with Parramatta City Council and Hornsby Shire Council
  • Strong demand for residential development currently
  • Expected increase in demand for retail development

Herring Road, Macquarie Park

  • Changes to land use zonings, building heights and densities are proposed
  • Expectation for increased housing, commercial, retail, education and recreation development
  • New connecting streets, footpaths and cycleways proposed
  • Existing market demand for new housing and employment identified
  • Around 54 hectares of the 247 hectares rezoned to provide 3,750 new homes
  • Rezoning allows buildings of between eight and 22 storeys within 400 metre radius of the railway station (for residential and commercial mixed uses)
  • Up to five storeys allowed in selected residential areas

Randwick

  • The current process was on hold for three months after December 2013 community consultation
  • Feedback to again be sought
  • Precinct spans parts of Randwick, Kensington and Kingsford, and includes UNSW, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick Children’s Hospital, Randwick Racecourse and NIDA

Anzac Parade South

  • The current process was on hold for three months after December 2013 community consultation
  • Feedback to again be sought
  • Precinct includes corridor around Anzac Parade from south of Kingsford to La Perouse

Carter Street, Lidcombe

  • Strong connections to Sydney Olympic Park suggest it will benefit from government infrastructure investment
  • Currently under consideration after a public exhibition period

Proposals:

  • More than 5,500 new homes, including townhouses and apartments
  • Buildings of primarily four to six storeys along east-west streets, six to eight stories along main streets and parks, and up to 20 storeys on five specified sites
  • Retail centre with up to 12,000 square metres of shops and services along Uhrig Road
  • Corporate offices and a business and technology park on 11.4 hectares along the M4 corridor

Wentworth Point

  • Rezoning completed in June 2014
  • Two residential neighbourhoods, with a total of 2,300 apartments in buildings spanning up to seven storeys and six buildings of up to 25 storeys
  • New primary school with 18 classrooms
  • Marine facilities may be possible
  • Funding arrangements being discussed with Auburn Council

Mascot Station

  • Plan is currently on hold pending details of the WestConnex project
  • Higher density housing demand has been identified
  • Residential redevelopment is currently well-advanced in the area surrounding the station, which was formerly industrial land
  • Scope to expand the redevelopment area

Kellyville Station

  • Investigation over potential land uses in the precinct being undertaken
  • Precinct includes the area around the future station, part of the North West Rail Link
  • Boundary is based on nearest road boundary – within 800 metres of the station or a 10 minute walk

Showground Station

  • Investigation over potential land uses in the precinct being undertaken
  • Precinct includes the area around the future station, part of the North West Rail Link
  • Boundary is based on nearest road boundary – within 800 metres of the station or a 10 minute walk

Bella Vista Station

  • Investigation over potential land uses in the precinct being undertaken
  • Precinct includes the area around the future station, part of the North West Rail Link
  • Boundary is based on nearest road boundary – within 800 metres of the station or a 10 minute walk

The Property Council of Australia (PCA) has said that the latest three additions to the list are sensible decisions. However, they’ve noted that to deliver on housing targets, the state government will need to reject a claim from the local council to increase apartment sizes, explained PCA NSW executive director Glenn Byres.

“The scale of investment in the new rail line is unprecedented so it makes sense to leverage off it with new hot spots for growth,” said Byres.

“Escalating population growth in our west means we need to hasten investment in new housing and employment opportunities,” he said, noting that lifting densities will improve housing yield in the targeted sites.

“But we also need councils to play their part and ensure local planning controls reflect the objective of adding to the vibrancy of key centres,” he said, pointing to the Hills Shire Council’s consideration of planning controls that may increase apartment sizes by as much as 50%, limiting availability of one-bedroom apartments.

“The state will need to reject the claim because the changes risk increasing construction costs by up to $65,000 per apartment and limit the ability of developers to meet market demand,” he said.

The PCA are also encouraging a fast-tracked approach to these three areas.

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