The NSW Government’s recent announcement of Stage 2 of the Sydney Metro, commencing in 2018, is set to push up property prices on the Lower North Shore by as much as 10%, especially around the two new metro stations located at Crows Nest and North Sydney.
The proposed Crows Nest station will be located on the western fringe of the fashionable Crows Nest village and accessed via the corner of Clarke and Hume Streets, and the corner of the Pacific Highway and Oxley Street, opening up this busy corridor to a whole new range of commuters.
Meanwhile, the new North Sydney station – known as Victoria Cross – will be located in the northern section of the North Sydney CBD and accessed via the eastern side of Miller Street between Berry and Mount Streets.
But the developments don’t stop there, with additional metro stations to be located at the rapidly evolving Barangaroo on the western side of the Sydney CBD, as well as Martin Place, Pitt Street and Central Station. There’s also the prospect of additional stations at Sydney University and Waterloo.
In my view, the announcement of additional metro stations is an excellent development for the Lower North Shore, because more often than not a major infrastructure improvement can lead to an immediate spike in real estate values.
The shrewd money will see the benefits of the additional stations and how they help link Crows Nest and North Sydney to jobs in the Sydney CBD and Barangaroo as a massive positive, meaning an immediate spike in Lower North Shore property values of between 5% and 10% is not out of the question.
In North Sydney, for example, retailers such as Coles have already identified the potential, with the area undergoing a major residential growth surge. Coles has opened an outlet in the AAMI Building at 99 Walker Street, while ALDI and JB Hi-Fi also have a local presence. In addition, Woolworths are said to be considering establishing a retail outlet in North Sydney.
My colleague Duncan Grady, from Raine & Horne North Sydney, confirms the area had been in danger of becoming a 1970s-like commercial relic, with the North Sydney CBD virtually people-free after 7pm on a weeknight and on weekends. The lack of retail outlets meant there was little reason to visit North Sydney outside traditional work hours.
However, Duncan confirms that the North Sydney CBD has now embarked on becoming a vibrant mixed-use precinct, with something like 3,000 new residential apartments set to be completed between 2013 and 2019. And with the likes of Coles investing in North Sydney’s growth and the additional rail infrastructure, long-term apartment price growth above the city’s annual long-term average of around 7% is definitely possible.
Up the road in Crows Nest, the new metro is also set to provide a boost. Heidi Brown, from Raine & Horne Crows Nest, says that while the 2024 completion date is still a long way down the track, the announcement is fantastic for Crows Nest, as it will result in plenty of residential development and more businesses moving to the suburb. A lot of local residents also don’t have parking, so a metro will make it much easier to get to the city for work. On the flipside, other Sydneysiders will be able to use the new service to visit the great cafes and restaurants in Crows Nest.
And it would seem that the announcement is already paying off, with Heidi confirming her two bedroom garden apartment at 6/108-110 Shirley Road, Wollstonecraft sold at auction for $1,020,000 on the day the new Crows Nest metro station was announced, as owner-occupiers lead the charge for properties in Crows Nest, Wollstonecraft and North Sydney.
Across the harbour, the potential of a metro station at Sydney University would be well received by the land-locked Inner West, according to Gerard Hill from Raine & Horne Newtown. With the Inner West containing some of the most congested roads in Sydney, Gerard says any move that will remove cars from the roads will be great for the environment, business and long-term property prices. Gerard cites the example of the light rail service to Dulwich Hill, which has lifted that suburb’s profile with owner-occupiers and investors.
If Sydney University is ultimately added to the Sydney metro grid, I’d expect an immediate impact on prices in Newtown and Camperdown, which could jump by as much as 10% very quickly.
About the author: Angus Raine is a leading commentator on the Australian property industry and has been CEO of the Raine & Horne property group since 2006. Mr Raine started his real estate career over twenty six years ago, previously working with three blue-chip international real estate firms, before becoming director of Raine & Horne Holdings Pty Limited in 1998.