Investing in Newcastle From Sydney – Part One

For sometime now, the property market in Sydney has been out of reach for the average investor. Most are heading up the F3 Freeway or M1 Motorway as it is known as now to explore what value they get for their dollars in the Newcastle market. The most common brief I get for people investing in Newcastle as a buyers agent is for a low maintenance two or three bedroom home under $500,000. While there are currently over 400 properties for sale in the Greater Newcastle Region, it has been very challenging to find the right property for my buyer agent clients. Why is that you might say? Surely there is plenty to choose from? Yes that is correct there is plenty to choose from and I will review all the new listings that come through the portals to check their suitability for my clients then if they meet their criteria I inspect them.

Now in my tenth year of  working in the Newcastle Residential Property Market, there are few areas or streets that I am not familiar with so many properties are ruled out on the basis of their location. This could be being close to housing commission, on a busy road or a local short cut, flood prone land or too close to the railway line. The last point is one that throws a lot of people when I suggest to avoid being too close to the railway line or train stations. In Newcastle with the exception of a short stretch of line from Hamilton Station to Islington (behind houses on Fern Street), the railway carries passenger, coal and freight trains. Passenger trains make little noise, they have been designed that way, the occasional toot of the horn and that is about it.

Coal and freight trains on the other hand are purpose built. They travel slowly and have a low rumble, a little diesel smoke and an awful “nails on chalkboard” screech when under brakes. In residential areas the noise is somewhat abated by concrete acoustic walls and reduced hours of operation but in most part there are trains running twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. The majority of our train station were built when the suburbs and the city was at its infancy. As time has past and the urban sprawl so has the move away from these stations. You’ll find that in most cases the train stations that are most utilised are for uni students travelling to and from the Callaghan campus via the Warabrook station or commuters travelling to Sydney at major stations such as Broadmeadow and Cardiff where there is plenty of parking available.

Light rail is coming to Newcastle and it will have its advantages as well as disadvantages. Hopefully with the disruption comes a shift for people that work in the CBD to consider public transport as currently it is very poorly patronised. If investing in Newcastle, car parking is a pretty close second to location. Even in the CBD or nearby, it would be unwise to consider a property without a car space. You are limiting your potential tenant market dramatically when car ownership and travel by car is so huge in Newcastle. On street parking is difficult to get, expensive and it isn’t possible to gain a residential parking permit in some areas of the CBD (East of King Street but check this out from Newcastle City Council).

Should you wish to tap into a bit more of my local knowledge, give me a call on 0438502371 or drop me an email to organise a chat.


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