02 AUGUST 2019 | Daily Top Story: Sydney site values tipped to soar following planning crackdown

A flagged NSW government crackdown on “spot rezonings” is tipped to drive up prices for Sydney sites already zoned for mixed-use development.

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes recently signalled he would push to end spot rezonings, which have been used to gain approval for new residential developments outside what is permitted under local planning guidelines.

The government’s stance will provide a significant boost for existing owners of zoned, mixed-use development sites – particularly those near existing or proposed rail infrastructure.

Our expectation is that larger sites that have already been zoned for medium density residential development will soar in value if spot rezonings are restricted.

The Auburn RSL club and car park on Northumberland Road.
The Auburn RSL club and car park on Northumberland Road.CREDIT:AAP

The shift in policy is also expected to lead to a shortage of zoned sites over the next three to five years, particularly in Sydney’s high demand, middle-ring suburbs.

Developers are already reacting to the proposed changes, with a spike in enquiries for available zoned sites such as the redundant Auburn RSL club building and car park, on the northern side of Auburn railway station.

The 11,848sq m Northumberland Road site has B4 mixed-use zoning and is expected to support a major residential development, comprising over 400 apartments.

There has been particularly strong enquiry for zoned sites such as Auburn from both local builder/developers and groups seeking build-to-rent opportunities in Sydney’s middle-ring suburbs, where that style of project is becoming increasingly viable.

Developers are particularly focused on sites near existing or proposed rail infrastructure to cater for the close to 36,000 new dwellings required in Sydney each year up until 2036 based on population growth projections.

CBRE’s research report, A New Train of Thought, forecasts the Sydney Metro Rail initiative alone will spur an estimated $1.4 billion in suburban Sydney development each year for the next decade through the upgrade of 16 stations and the creation of 15 stations.

The initiative will deliver 66 kilometres of new rail across pockets of greater Sydney, with driverless trains arriving every four minutes during peak periods.

The North-West rail line recently opened, with the CBD & South-West line to be delivered within five years. It is expected to reduce commute times and has the potential to affect median house prices through artificial price growth via development. It also provides alternative options for companies to conduct business by spreading rental costs across newly commutable markets.

Station areas forecast to have above-average development spending include: Sydney CBD, Macquarie Park, Rouse Hill, Marrickville, Epping, Waterloo, Kellyville, Bankstown and Chatswood.

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/sydney-site-values-tipped-to-soar-following-planning-crackdown-20190718-p528fo.html

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