Chinese-backed developer Ecospective has snapped up 11 separate lots at the showground precinct in Castle Hill for $40 million.
Ecospective plans to develop at least 300 apartments across buildings set to reach 12-storeys in the precinct, which was dumped by Mirvac after planning controls in the area were changed in late 2017.
Mirvac pulled out of the precinct after planning changes by the NSW government enforced larger apartment sizes, rendering its plans unviable.
After a controversial three-year consultation period, the government rezoned 270 hectares of land to service the Sydney Metro North West metro station. The masterplan includes the provision for 5000 new homes and a revitalised town centre.
Ecospective acquired a total 9,634sq m, flagging plans for a multi-stage mid-rise development.
An Ecospective spokesperson said that the timing was right to secure a deal in Castle Hill.
“With the opening of the Sydney Metro North West imminent, residents will very quickly realise how dramatically the metro will upgrade transportation, improve retail, bring employment and provide better access to education.
“Fundamentally, we are very confident in the Sydney residential market.”
Colliers agent Guillaume Volz said the sale shows movement in an otherwise difficult market.
“Sensible developers held off buying towards the end of the peak, waiting for buying opportunities that are now appearing,” Volz said.
“We see astute buyers looking beyond the current activity to replenish their shelves ahead of improving sales conditions in late 2019.”
Charter Keck Cramer NSW director Bennett Wulff said his analysis forecast an undersupply by 2020.
“Based upon current population projections, Metropolitan Sydney requires approximately 36,000 new dwellings to be completed every year until 2036, of which approximately 27,000 dwellings (75%) are intended to be infill and therefore predominantly apartments.
“While this target was achieved in 2018 and is anticipated to be met in 2019, our research is indicating a decline in apartment completions to circa 23,700 in 2020.”