Recent urban renewal of the Newcastle CBD has seen an increased activity in the project space and an upsurge in sales.
PRDnationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Agency Managing Director Mark Kentwell said that the cementing of plans for the urban renewal of the Newcastle CBD has been driving the delivery of new apartment projects.
“A key factor in this rejuvenation is the University of Newcastle’s plans for a $95 million vertical campus in the CBD which will accommodate 3,500 students and staff,” he said.
“As a result we are seeing improved sentiment in the resale market and the swift absorption of new stock, so consequently, investor activity is up.”
PRDnationwide’s Q1 2014 Newcastle Property Watch report suggests the city’s redevelopment and growth has captured the interest of Sydney buyers, who are looking north for investment opportunities in close proximity to an urban hub.
“With Sydney median prices achieving record highs in 2013 investors have also begun to search for greater perceived value,” the report states.
According to the report, house and unit prices in Newcastle are trending upwards, with median prices increasing 8 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively in the 12 months to October 2013.
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Analysis of earlier data reveals the median house price in Newcastle has increased 26 per cent since 2009, while the median apartment price has increased around 11 per cent in the same timeframe.
“The market is active, prices are trending upwards, we’re undergoing a major urban renewal and developers are pushing ahead with their projects,” Mr Kentwell said.
The spike in Newcastle's property market has prompted PRDnationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie to bolster its project marketing arm with the opening of a CBD display suite.
“The rate of our office’s project sales has doubled in the past 12 months compared to the two years previous," Mr Kentwell said.
“It’s a perfect storm scenario which has cemented our decision to strengthen our project marketing presence.”
Mr Kentwell says the division’s premises, at 113-145 Hunter St, features interactive technology showcasing all current active projects in the CBD and provides details of the area’s urban redevelopment plans.
Mr Kentwell said his agency’s expansion was fuelled by Newcastle’s growth and the large number of projects underway or planned for the region.