Urban renewal and relative affordability are fuelling rapid price growth in one New South Wales area.
Sales in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie have increased by almost 35 per cent in the past year, according to PRDnationwide.
The figure represents a combination of residential resales and off-the-plan apartment sales across the Hunter region, according to the agency.
PRDnationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie managing director Mark Kentwell said an upsurge in investor interest in the region, combined with an expanded sales team, was fuelling the bonanza.
“The sales momentum has not wavered and we are not seeing the traditional dip in transactions that occurs during the winter months,” he said.
“We see this strong sales trend continuing for the rest of 2014.”
Mr Kentwell said the consistent run of robust sales had lifted the city’s median price, which he dubbed a “reassuring sign for investors”.
PRDnationwide research reveals Newcastle’s median house price rose from $408,000 in June 2013 to $494,500 last month. The agency records Sydney’s median as $782,000, up from $684,000 in June last year.
Mr Kentwell said frenzied sales activity and subsequent price hikes in the Sydney property market had driven some investors to look elsewhere for a better deal.
“Sydney’s growth is such that investors are now looking to regional hotspots to invest and are finding great value and potential in Newcastle,” he said.
“We’re not far geographically from Sydney but the pricing situation is quite different and more accessible for buyers.”
Newcastle’s urban renewal strategy for the CBD had also shone a light on the city’s potential for investment, he said.
“Investors have identified that there’s a strong, exciting plan in place to transform the CBD into a dynamic 21st century regional city.
“They can see the faith government and the development industry are showing through infrastructure and major projects, and this has cemented their decision to invest here.”
The agency said it had chalked up residential deals worth more than $172 million in the six months to June 30, well up on the $128 million recorded the same time last year. Sales volumes are also up with 279 deals recorded between January and June this year, up from 220 transactions in the first half of 2013.