Newcastle Property Update
In 2012, a lower number of residential property sales were recorded in the Newcastle and Hunter Valley regions compared with 2010 and 2011. Of those properties that transacted, there was clear favouritism towards more affordable types.
But despite the decline in sales activity, there is reason for optimism in 2013 as some suburbs showed modest trending increases in house prices in 2012, following a period of decline in 2011.
The Newcastle and Hunter Valley market can be affected by the fortunes of the local mining sector with stable employment pivotal to housing investment. Softening coal prices may pose a threat to the local economy in 2013 with implications for local property values.
Charlestown, located 10km south of Newcastle, was one of the region’s best performing suburbs in 2012, with an increase of 6.4 per cent in the median dwelling price, according to researcher RP Data.
Charlestown’s central location and well-developed infrastructure, together with affordable housing options are key factors in its growth. In comparison, nearby sought after beach-side suburb Merewether, fell by a reported 3 per cent in 2012.
After decades of debate and changes at the head of state politics, the O’Farrell Liberal Government announced the decision to cut the rail line into Newcastle. Instead, they proposed to construct a transport interchange at Wickham, with buses to replace trains for travel into Newcastle CBD.
The rail line has commonly been viewed as a physical barrier reducing connectivity between the working harbour and the city. Its removal will create public space and will encourage the establishment of new public and private housing investment, which the CBD has been lacking for some time.
Chris Lackey, State Manager (NSW)
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