The property boom of the past several years has seen homebuyers increasingly priced out of the inner city market, with a domino effect resulting in suburbs in outlying areas now attracting their own premium price tags – and often, where you’d least expect it.
A prime example of this phenomenon is Pitt Town, situated 59km north-west of the CBD, in the city of Hawkesbury. Once the setting of the fictional “Wandin Valley” in the Australian cult classic A Country Practice, this semi-rural locale has reached an unlikely median house price of $1.29 million this year, almost doubling since 2014.
Big benefits of ‘Priority Growth Area’ status
Established in 1810 and relocated in 1815, Pitt Town was one of New South Wales Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s ‘Macquarie Towns’ on the Hawkesbury River, from which the local government area now derives its name.
The bicentenary of the town in 2015 heralded a new era in its history, as council re-zoning and infrastructure works have sent this small, relaxed community catapulting into the twenty-first century. Once a grain farming region, the whole of Hawkesbury has seen prices rise, and this has been bolstered it was named a Priority Growth Area by the New South Wales Government, alongside the Blacktown and The Hills local government areas.
New homes, jobs and transport links are part of the plan, which will see the population of the north-west region grow to around a quarter of a million people once it’s fully developed. By 2026, there will be in excess of 33,000 new homes built to house the influx of residents.
In Pitt Town, the transformation is already underway, in the form of the Vermont Living master-planned community. The development, which spans 225 hectares and will comprise 659 homes upon completion, is surrounded by natural parklands and is a short drive from the Cattai National Park and Longneck Lagoon, making it desirable for those seeking a tree-change still within commuting distance of Sydney. Vermont Living includes a large area of open parkland, Bona Vista Park, which opened in April this year and features playgrounds, barbeque and picnic facilities across 6.6 acres.
Currently under construction, the Sydney Metro Northwest rail link is set to deliver 8 new train stations and more than 4000 parking spaces in the growing north-west corridor, and will operate services every 4 minutes during peak travel times – making commuting a breeze.
The system will be the first fully-automated metro rail system in the country, delivering reliable, accessible public transport to the area. It’s a huge development for a region which has traditionally had the highest levels of car ownership per household in New South Wales.
As the area transitions from a semi-rural community to a thriving metropolitan hub populated by families and city workers, this statistic will undoubtedly change, and the new Metro Northwest service will play a major role in this transformation.
Rural heritage moves with the times
Meanwhile, with several great schools nearby, families are flocking to the area in droves. Pitt Town public primary school occupies a semi-rural setting, enabling students to connect with nature and take a hands-on approach to the learning about environmental sustainability – setting it apart from nearby schools.
For those seeking a faith-based education for their children Arndell Anglican College caters to students from Kindergarten to Year 12, and each year plays host to the annual Interschool Equestrian Carnival, held at the Hawkesbury Showgrounds.
As development continues in Sydney’s north-west, opportunities to secure an affordable property in the area may become scarce – so perhaps now is the perfect time to snap up a home in Pitt Town, before market forces push prices out of reach?