Knowledge the key to unlocking major infrastructure opportunities

With Prime Minister Tony Abbott announcing the approval of Badgerys Creek as the site for Sydney’s second airport, agents in Sydney’s west are being warned about ignoring the opportunities presented by major infrastructure projects.

Lachlan Walker, head of the Place Advisory division at Place Projects, who has witnessed first-hand the delivery of several major projects in Brisbane in the last few years, believes “awareness” should be foremost in the minds of agents in western Sydney.

“It’s about agents becoming more aware of the infrastructure being implemented which is going to impact an area immediately … this is going to help them convey a story about what’s going on in the marketplace and what could happen,” Mr Walker told Real Estate Business.

“If someone is looking to sell, being able to promote that you’ve got the knowledge on that locality is crucial. Knowledge is everything when it comes to the sales presentation,” he added.

Mr Walker pointed to the recently completed Airport Link in Brisbane as a shining example of how having an extensive knowledge of infrastructure projects can open up opportunities.

“The Airport Link connecting the north side of the city to the south has shortened transport times, reduced traffic, and has really connected the two parts of the city. Some of those northern suburbs experienced an overnight price growth once it was completed. There was a bit of depression in the market during construction, but once completed there was an immediate rise,” said Mr Walker.

He added that many owners who live in those northern suburbs are already looking to sell.

“They’re aware of what is going on, so that knowledge base of being able to promote that as an agent in the local area, knowing what’s happening in that space, you can give your seller some kind of feeling about taking this back to the marketplace,” said Mr Walker.

Mr Walker added that when you combine long-term capital growth, population growth, infrastructure investment and employment opportunities in an area, you tend to see high demand.

“As soon as you get high demand you get price growth,” he said.

Douglas Driscoll, CEO at Starr Partners, has described the building of the proposed new airport as “bittersweet” for the real estate market in Sydney’s west.

“There’s not many places, anywhere in the country, growing as fast as the south west corridor of Sydney, and clearly demand for property will increase due to more jobs coming to the area, but the noise pollution the airport will produce is also a big consideration,” Mr Driscoll told Real Estate Business.

“There is already an over-demand for property in the surrounding area,” he added.

Mr Driscoll said it was inevitable that Starr Partners would face an influx of fresh competition into its stronghold of south west Sydney as demand for property increases with the building of the new airport. 

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