Newcastle combines beach culture with a thriving arts scene
Just two and a half hours from Sydney and rapidly becoming a sophisticated, cosmopolitan centre in its own right, Newcastle holds rich and attractive opportunities for any investor. It wasn’t always this way. For a long time Newcastle was one of the roughest places in NSW. It was a coal port full of sailors, miners and a city based on steel and industry. Then, the recession of the early 90s hit the city hard, as did the closure of the BHP steelworks, the largest employer in the area. Few would have predicted that Newcastle would turn around to becoming the second most populated city in NSW with an exodus of Sydneysiders flocking to it each year.
Newcastle has transformed itself from entirely dependent on coal and steel based industrial city to more service based, especially in the areas of education, health and tourism.
What makes Newcastle so attractive to visitors?
It’s a combination of things. It has a strong beach culture and a thriving arts scene. The historic buildings scattered throughout the city are a tourist drawcard. It’s a short drive to Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley with its blossoming wineries. Pictured on left is the heritage-listed Commandant's Baths, on right is the iconic Nobby's Lighthouse.
Newcastle is a growing, self-contained city
Newcastle’s population is 163,884 and the Department of Planning have projected it will reach 190,000 by 2036. It has a gross regional worth over $14 billion. Greater Newcastle currently has around 275,000 jobs with most located in the local government areas of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. The region is attracting significant investment from both private and government sectors which will transform Newcastle into a very innovative and dynamic regional centre. Data source: ABS Census 2016.
The population of NSW is ageing as more people move into the 65 years plus bracket, coupled with the the fact that people are living longer. The population of Greater Newcastle is no exception. Furthermore, the trend is exacerbated by retirees moving into the region, attracted by the coastal and regional lifestyle. New housing must be aligned with this need, which means that smaller, single storey dwellings will be in demand.
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New investment enhances Newcastle's infrastructure
Newcastle has three of the features vital for any regional centre’s flourishing development: its own airport; its own university and a large hospital. The future of this region is exciting, with $6.5 billion worth of infrastructure planned or under way and nearly $2 billion in private development projects. $292 million has also been invested in a new city campus for the University of Newcastle (pictured above) the law courts and Hunter Medical Research Institute Hub.
The $368 million light rail system is now complete and will improve transportation around Newcastle’s CBD and integrate knowledge centres at the John Hunter and Calvary Mater Hospitals and University of Newcastle Research Campus. A fast rail route between Newcastle and Sydney has been identified by the Australian Government which, if it goes ahead, will reduce the travel time by an hour. It's important to mention the Port of Newcastle; it's the largest port on the east coast of Australia and the world's leading coal export port, an economic and trade centre for the region.
RAAF aerospace centre
RAAF Base in Williamtown to become a thriving business hub and home to F-35 Fighters
The Aerolab will be a thriving business hub
A $1 billion infrastructure injection has been given to the Williamtown RAAF Base, along with the runway upgrade, state funded Astra Aerolab project (expected to deliver 5,500 jobs) and proposed Special Activation Precinct. “Port Stephens Mayor, Ryan Palmer forecasts a strong economic future for the region on the back of the airport investment and the arrival of the F-35A.”
Newcastle is on a booming trajectory
According to the QBE Australian Housing Outlook 2019-2022, the Newcastle property market performed well over the past five years to June 2018, with an average price growth of 8.1% per annum. Local economic conditions in Newcastle will continue to strengthen as the city becomes the logistics hub for the region and annual average price growth of 3% p.a. is forecasted over the period to June 2022, with the median house price expected to reach a new high of $630,000. This is still extremely affordable relative to Sydney’s forecast median house price over the same period of $1,040,000 by June 2022.
NSW Government Planning & Environment, RP Data Core Logic, Hunter Research Foundation, Domain State of the Market report for September 2017, The Urban Developer, Residex, .id The Population Experts: What’s driving urban renewal in Newcastle? QBE Australian Housing Outlook 2019-2022, Real Estate Institute of NSW, Newcastle Herald: Newcastle house prices up as interest rates fall to new record low after Reserve Bank announces cut, Australian Financial Review: Newcastle Joins the Expansion Trend, Transport NSW: Fast Rail Network to Transform Australia, Port Stephens Examiner: Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer optimistic on Williamtown Special Activation Precinct, OpenAgent: Best suburbs to invest in Newcastle and the Central Coast in 2020.
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