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State of Markets – VIC March 2012

By Phillip Tarrant

Essential information, plus expert insight on what is shaping the national property market...

VICTORIA

New infrastructure an investor boon
Victoria’s regional rail link is going ahead, with numerous companies being given some of the $1.6 billion worth of government contracts – and property investors eyeing the increased appeal the new infrastructure will bring.

“The corridor has been set aside for so many years with a view to having a rail line through here as development proceeded, and that work is now contracted,” Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu announced recently.

The project includes 30km of new track, with new stations planned at West Footscray, Wyndham Vale and Tarneit. It will be completed in early 2016.

“The work is under contract and underway, and that’s a real positive for this region, and a positive for the rail network, a positive for the project, and I believe a great positive for the Victorian economy,” Mr Baillieu said.

The three packages that make up the project come to $800 million, $500 million and $270 million respectively and is believed to be Australia’s largest public transport development to date.

Victorian coast to see growth
Coastal areas from Seaford to Inverloch are expected to see 50,000 new homes by 2026. A government plan targets areas where population growth is expected to soar above the state average and the Bass Coast falls within this category.

The region is set to see an injection of 13,400 extra homes within the next 14 years.
According to the Victorian Coastal Strategy, areas within an hour and a half of a city or major town are the main growth areas.

Infrastructure projects, including new freeways such as the Peninsula Link, are opening up the areas further for residents.

‘Activity centres’ also identified in the Melbourne 2030 plan will continue to be “the focus of further intensification of activity and development.” The centres include Frankston, Williamstown and Mornington.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Housing values to surge in Perth
While units outperformed houses in Perth last year, there will be a resurgence in house prices, according to a new study.

House prices saw a downturn of 5.2 per cent in 2011, while units decreased by 3.3 per cent, the Australian Property Monitors (APM) House Price Report found.

However, house prices are set to grow, according to APM forecasts.

“Perth offers one of the best prospects for prices growth in 2012 with a significant increase in buyer activity,” the report says.

“With recessed house prices, together with low levels of new construction and a flood of workers seeking the wages bonanza delivered by nearly $100 billion in mining activity, Perth house prices have the clear potential to rise by a double-digit percentage.”

APM senior economist Andrew Wilson explained that decreases were due to low buyer confidence, particularly over the September 2011 quarter.

“Buyer wariness over the quarter was exacerbated by growing concerns over the state of the international economy, a weakening stock market and

a softening of economic activity,” he said.

BHP confirms $690m Pilbara project
BHP Billiton has confirmed that a satellite mine project worth just under $690 million will be developed in the Pilbara region.

The Orebody 24 mine is part of the Mt Whaleback operation, the world’s biggest single-pit, open-cut iron ore mine.

“Orebody 24 is a sustaining mine to maintain iron ore production output from the Newman Joint Venture operations,” BHP Billiton said in a statement.
Production is set to begin later this year.

The building of the mine includes construction of a train loadout facility, a rail spur and other supporting infrastructure.

“The Orebody 24 development is consistent with our strategy to invest in high quality, expandable resource basins and highlights the benefits of our ability to leverage existing infrastructure to sustain current production,” Iron Ore president Ian Ashby said.

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Highest annual price growth - click a suburb below to view full profile data:
1.
FAIRLIGHT 46.02%
2.
CASUARINA 44.36%
3.
THE ENTRANCE NORTH 41.09%
4.
ULTIMO 40.67%
5.
LAVENDER BAY 40.2%