Rezoning fuels housing boom in western Sydney

The NSW government will rezone three large sites in the growth corridor west of Sydney for new housing estates to be developed.

The rezoning will allow about 6600 homes to be built close to transport and infrastructure in Redbank near North Richmond, Marsden Park North on the Cumberland Plain and Ashlar near Blacktown.

The Department of Planning estimates that Sydney’s growing population will need 664,000 extra homes in the next 20 years. Most of them will sprout in greenfield areas such as the ones recently unlocked.

There have been 100,000 new homes built in NSW in the past three years, with almost half of them in the booming outer western suburbs. By comparison, in the three years to 2011 fewer than 20,000 homes were built in the west.

The rezoning will allow about 6600 homes to be built close to transport and infrastructure.

Across the city, housing approval figures are trending at near 11-year records.

Redbank, one of the two rural sites to be rezoned, is now used for cattle grazing and the land at Ashlar used to be golf course.

Marsden Park North, which together with Ashlar is in the municipality of Blacktown, is destined to have 4000 lots developed next to Cudgegong Station, which is being built on the North West Rail Link.

Some  35km west of Sydney, the site covers 1227ha and is being released for housing ahead of the government’s scheduled program on the basis that its developer-owner pay for new infrastructure.

The undulating farmland dotted with dams at Redbank is 65km from Sydney. It will be rezoned from primary production to accommodate up to 1400 new homes close to the North Richmond Station on the Western Line.

The developer of the 180ha site in Hawkesbury Council will build a neighbourhood centre and fund the construction of roads and other transport infrastructure.

The third site, the former Ashlar Golf Course, is just 34km west of Sydney and will be home to up to 1200 houses.

The KFC restaurant near the 38ha golf course will be redeveloped into an expanded retail hub.

Small business moving in Queensland

Continuing low interest rates and booming pockets in Queensland industry are encouraging small businesses to tear up leases and buy their own buildings in growing numbers, according to CBRE.

One such property is a  freestanding warehouse at 53 Canberra St, Hemmant, in Brisbane’s Trade Coast Precinct, which was bought by Industrial Imaging for $1.2 million.

The 530sqm property, 15km east of the city, has office space that will allow the family owned business to expand.

CBRE agent Ben Lyons says the facility is now vacant but had been leased up until recently for about $70,000 a year.

Auction heats up South Melbourne

A hotly contested auction in South Melbourne ended with an owner-occupier paying $1.85 million, or $6000 per sqm, for a commercial building in South Melbourne.

Teska Carson agent Tom Maule says the property at 141 Cecil St is opposite the South Melbourne market  in one of the city’s most fashionable residential and commercial precincts.

While the private investor who bought the property prepares to relocate, it will continue to be leased to two tenants for a short term. Annual rent collected is estimated at $84,000.

Two private investors had owned the 307 sqm property for 30 years before agreeing to sell.

Bakery cooks up frenzied bidding

The shrinking availability of A-Grade commercial properties close to Melbourne has buyers wandering further afield, leading to tightening yields across a wider catchment, according to agents Gross Waddell.

In the outer-northern suburb of Reservoir, a building being used as a bakery sold for $1.35 million, representing a yield of 3.84% and a price that exceeded the reserve by 30%.

The auction for 14 Edwardes St, which is in the heart of a shopping strip, attracted a large crowd of 80 people who went on to witness more than 100 bids cast during a frenzied session.