If you follow the mainstream news, you’ll have heard or read nothing but doom and gloom over the past year or more, where the property market is concerned. Specifically, if you own property in Sydney’s inner urban regions, you may have had little to feel optimistic about for some time. Out in the west and south west however, it’s a different story. By some miracle of circumstance, planning - and for some property owners - sheer luck, the local property market on that side of town is recording growth figures that to many, may seem like a mistake. In fact, Sydney’s north west has experienced its biggest growth period in more than a decade.
A recent report from CoreLogic put three of Sydney’s regions in the top 6 of Australia’s fastest growing – all in the west. Sydney’s Parramatta, inner south west Sydney and outer south west Sydney were in 2nd, 3rd and 4th places respectively. The report stated that over the 10-year period since 2008, property prices in western and south western Sydney had grown over 150 per cent, eclipsing the national average of 95 per cent. Suburbs in the south west particularly, such as Warwick Farm, Busby, Cabramatta and Campbelltown, have shown an increase in value of almost 113 per cent (with 46.9 per cent the national average).
In dollar figures, this translates (as an example), to an increase from just over $500,000 as an average house price, to almost $1.3 million for the same type of property, ten years later. Similarly, unit prices increased from around $165,000 to over $450,000. To break it down further in terms of location, Strathfield’s growth was recorded at 172.6%, Burwood at 161.4%, Rydalmere 153.5%, Gladesville at 152.5% and Busby at 149.7%
There are a number of contributing factors to this strong growth pattern, some of which could not have been predicted. Population growth seems to have been a key motivator for much of the change in the region over the last decade. Suburbs from Liverpool, extending south west as far as Campbelltown and Camden saw a boom in population growth in the 5-year period from 2011 – 2015, with almost 100,000 new residents moving to the region. Similarly, Sydney’s western suburbs experienced a record-breaking increase in population between 2009 and 2017, with much of this attributed to overseas migration. This regional immigration surge is still evident, with the most recent figures showing Sydney’s western regions in the top 5 destinations for overseas migrant populations.
The influx of new residents has driven demand for more housing and better infrastructure, which explains the large number of projects nearing completion or currently underway, such as the Western Sydney Airport Project, the Western Sydney City Deal and the Sydney Metro Project. Over the long term, there is also the grand vision for The Greater Sydney Region Plan which envisages Sydney as a three-city metropolis, with greater Parramatta as the central city. Although Sydney’s harbour side location makes it one of the most picturesque cities in the world, it’s far from practical for the millions who commute into it from the north, west and south. The Greater Sydney Region Plan has at its heart a vision, for the majority of residents to be within 30 minutes of their primary daily needs. The plan aims to relocate the focus from the south and centralise Sydney’s metropolitan region, making Parramatta greater Sydney’s new most central location – rebranded as the Central River City.
For the suburbs surrounding Parramatta, this will be transformational. From Liverpool to Kellyville, Baulkham Hills to Lidcombe, the Greater Parramatta region and its cusp suburbs will all experience continued growth in the coming decade. Both State and Federal Governments are together pouring billions of dollars into the region to support and sustain its growth, under their plans. This will require patience from locals who no doubt have lived with construction chaos for some time now and will continue to do so for many years to come. However, those with the tenacity to wait it out may just find themselves rezoned out of a regional address and into a prime CBD location, without having to even lift a finger.
Western Sydney for a long time has had a reputation of being a less than desirable place to live. With continued population growth expected and considerable transformation currently underway, it won’t be long before that perception is a distant memory and the best of Sydney living will be in the (former) west.