Paul Wrigley of Ray White Toronto likes this article, the article claims the Newcastle area is in a good place for growth.
Sydney and New South Wales:
NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell – who, according to the opinion polls will be Premier late in March 2011 – says he wants to be known as the Infrastructure Premier.
O’Farrell has promised to complete Sydney’s north-west and south-west rail links and begin building either the M4 East or the M5 duplication in his first term. He says his government would create two new bodies, one called Infrastructure New South Wales (which will prioritise projects) and the other Restart New South Wales (which will source the funding through tax revenues, private borrowing, and leasing the desalination plant).
Given that these are election promises, and nobody ever got rich by betting on politicians keeping their word, we’ll believe it when we see it. Especially as this is New South Wales, where grand projects are announced, only to be scrapped later, usually within weeks of a change of Premier (and the ones that do get built are usually financial disasters).
But it’s a worthy ambition. Sydney’s lack of infrastructure development is a national disgrace and one of the reasons why its property market has been the worst performer among the capital cities over the past six years or so. Infrastructure projects are a major generator of hotspots through the jobs they create and the improvement to amenity that they bring.
One of the key reasons I rate Newcastle and the Hunter region so highly is the level of infrastructure that’s boosting the local economy: the Hunter Expressway is under way, the port is on a perpetual cycle of expansions, rail links are being upgraded and billions are being spent on power generation facilities and resources enterprises. Newcastle puts Sydney to shame.
So too does Orange, where educational facilities are expanding, a new hospital is being built, water security is being upgraded and $2 billion is being spent on a mine expansion.
Sydney has been the under-achiever of the capital city markets in the past decade. Here’s one illustration: 91% of Adelaide’s suburbs have a double-digit growth average (average annual rise in median house prices over the past 10 years) but only two of Sydney’s 700-plus suburbs have double-digit growth averages.
I don’t see Sydney’s status changing any time soon. But NSW is full of bright and bustling regional centres which provide affordable options and growth prospects for property investors. Apart from Newcastle and Orange, I’d be happy to own real estate in any of these places: Wagga Wagga, Dubbo, Tamworth, Kempsey, Grafton, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Moree, Kyogle, Casino, Glen Innes, Inverell, Armidale, Batemans Bay, Bega, Nowra, Goulburn and Parkes.