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Hunter markets set for take-off, top network predicts

24 June 2019 Tim Neary

Property markets in the Hunter region are set to benefit from several major infrastructure projects, according to leading real estate firm Raine & Horne, including major expansions of the city’s university and airport.

The network said that, recently, Newcastle Airport signed a $50 million debt facility agreement with ANZ Bank over five years.

“[This] will help facilitate significantly enhanced airport facilities and thousands of additional jobs over the next five years,” it said. 

“Meanwhile, media reports suggest the University of Newcastle has filed a development application for stage 1 of a $95 million creative industries and innovation hub in the city’s CBD.” 

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Co-principal of Raine & Horne Wallsend, New Lambton and Mayfield, Tony Tolazzi said infrastructure improvements are always good news.

“For the economy, jobs growth and the long-term health of the region’s property market,” he said.

“We also have 1,250 extra workers expected to be involved in the $470 million construction of the new Maitland hospital. Whether it’s an airport upgrade or new hospital, workers need somewhere to live. It’s as simple as that.

“Infrastructure announcements coupled with more confident commentary about the state of the region’s property market now that the election campaign is behind us will also attract more interest to listings in our region.”

Mr Tolazzi said that, at the same time, listings are at the lowest level in the last decade.

“So, with interest rates dropping, the winter months will be a good time for buyers to make a move now before prices start to rise again, possibly as soon as the traditional selling market in spring.”

Commute

Co-principal of Raine & Horne Wallsend, New Lambton, and Mayfield, Colin Bice said the airport expansion will impact markets between Newcastle and Port Stephen.

“Any suburbs that are within a reasonable commuting distance of the airport will benefit from the improvements.

“Usually, there’s a spike in demand from buyers, and this should lead to an upswing in values for suburbs such as Mayfield, Stockton, Port Stephens and Nelson Bay, which are serviced by Raine & Horne offices.

“Longer-term infrastructure improvements, the re-election of the federal government, interest rate cuts and APRA’s call to lenders to remove the 7 per cent interest rate floor on residential mortgages have combined to stabilise property markets in our region.”

Anxious

Leading Raine & Horne agent in the area John Hogan agreed the threat to negative gearing took a significant toll on the Newcastle market.

“People were anxious about real estate transactions, while APRA’s demands for tighter bank lending arrangements weren’t helping market conditions either.

“Turnover and listings are still down, but we expect a stronger spring market now that the uncertainty about property taxes has been removed by the federal election result.

“The Hunter market has turned the corner, with investors from Sydney and Brisbane now looking at places such as Hamlyn Terrace for off-the-plan opportunities now there is more certainty.”

Commission

Craig Fennings, also from Raine & Horne Wallsend, New Lambton and Mayfield, agreed that several factors would ensure the Newcastle property market enjoys a stronger run into Christmas than last year.

“The mortgage lending tap was gradually turned off as the banks dealt with the findings from the banking royal commission,” he said.

“We then rolled into a state and the federal election, which further stymied interest in our region’s property markets.”

Mr Fennings said that while it’s still too early to determine whether the win by the Coalition will prove a magic bullet for Hunter region real estate, the promise to let first-timers into the market with 5 per cent deposits will ultimately fuel a broader market rebound.

“It’s also pleasing our local lenders such as the Greater Bank, Newcastle Permanent and Maitland Mutual as well as the smaller lenders passed on the recent rate cut in full earlier this month.

“Lower interest rates and smaller deposits will attract more first home buyers into the market. This is a fantastic result as first-timers stoke the fire at the bottom of the property pyramid, which allows upgraders to make their next property move too.”

Hunter markets set for take-off, top network predicts
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