Coastal property hotspots: where the investors are buying
Affordability and lifestyle factors are making coastal towns more attractive to sea changers and investors than ever before. Find out which of your favourite New South Wales coastal towns are set to boom.
With 20 years experience in property and finance Sean concentrates on the fundamentals of strategic property investment.
As Sydney has become prohibitively expensive, we're seeing an exodus of young families, renters and lower income earners to regional centres. Places like Newcastle and Wollongong have already seen unprecedented growth. As these areas boost their infrastructure and local economies, this, in turn, further encourages population expansion.
Regional suburbs boast a much better entry price than their city counterparts and with ever improving transport, job prospect and amenities, city dwellers have to make very few compromises when deciding to relocate. All of this means that well-chosen regional centres are an exciting proposition for the canny investor.
Our research team have been closely watching a few of the coastal cities that are emerging as new growth areas and today we’re shining the spotlight on Ballina, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie.
With a growing community, the need for adequate medical care is paramount and Coffs Harbour is rapidly stepping up. $38 million from the state budget will fund a new emergency department for the Coffs Harbour hospital and extra capacity for chemotherapy, renal dialysis and operating theatres. The hospital upgrades will also serve surrounding communities, including Bellingen and Nambucca.
Sports and recreation are in the spotlight in Coffs Harbour, with $10 million in State Government funding leading to exciting upgrades for the Coffs Coast Regional Sports Hub. They include extra event parking, three new fields, a sports amenity block, a cycleway and pedestrian bridges linking the Stadium, Education Campus and Health Campus.
The Jetty 4Shores project, to revitalise the waterfront, took out top honours in the Australian Institute of Architects NSW Country Division Awards. The new precinct features an open plaza with stages for events, a boardwalk linking the plaza to the jetty and market area, and a wheelchair ramp for direct beach access.
The Coffs Harbour Creative Arts Group, a not-for-profit organisation, is making great strides with funding from the State Government's Regional Culture Fund. Upgrades include improvements to the Showground Gallery, which showcases community works of art.
Affordability and lifestyle factors make coastal towns attractive to investors.
Port Macquarie is fast shedding its reputation as a sleepy beach town. A population boom includes tertiary students and young families flocking to the area and breathing new life into a region that’s already well known for its scenic beaches and sea change benefits. The current population of 82, 370 is projected to increase to approximately 104,000 by 2036.
Much of the boom is thanks to the Charles Sturt University development application. The $40 million stage two expansion is set to enable increased student numbers by nearly a thousand. The aim is to build a two-story building with a laboratory, student kitchen and service areas.
In terms of retail shopping and convenience, earthworks are underway on the first stage of the Sovereign Hills Estate Town Centre. The retail hub is set to offer residents a supermarket, medical services, hardware and restaurants in the one location.
Along with a population boom comes the need to upgrade transport options. A $9.875 million upgrade to the Port Macquarie Airport terminal building is funded with a $5 million contribution from the NSW Government and $1.25 million from the Australian Government. Also jointly funded, is a $3.3 billion upgrade to 105 kilometres of the Pacific Highway, between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.
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Pacific Highway upgrades are also helping to make the coastal hotspot of Ballina more accessible. 50 per cent of the upgrade from Ballina to Woolgoolga is complete, and it has already improved road safety and decreased travel times. Extra alternative routes and flood measures will add to the upgrade.
Another upgrade making news in Ballina, is the $7.35 million investment in the Ballina District Hospital. This includes new back-of-house services, a state-of-the-art operating theatre complex, medical imaging upgrades and medical records department. The upgrade is expected to attract new medical staff to the region.
Ballina Byron Gateway Airport continues to grow at 6 per cent each year. The Terminal Expansion project has commenced, with $2.4 million from Ballina Shire Council and $4.5 million from the NSW Government. A revamp to the terminal will increase its size by approximately 50 per cent, to cater for projected future growth. Extensions will also improve the cafe and add retail outlets, toilet facilities and energy efficient design features.
Job growth is on the rise throughout the region, especially due to the approval for a $30 million neighbourhood shopping centre in the Epiq community of Lennox Head. It’s expected to open in mid 2020, with Woolworths leading the way among alfresco restaurants, specialty stores and services. Currently, it’s projected to support about 273 jobs.
Other Australian coastal gems that have been on our radar for several years are: Newcastle, Geelong, the Sunshine Coast and Wollongong. We have plenty of customers that have seen great results in these areas in recent years.
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