The month in review: Newcastle
By Herron Todd White
Fern Bay is a relatively new estate by Newcastle standards. Situated approximately ten minutes drive from Mayfield across the Stockton Bridge, the initial stages started selling in 2007 and 2008 and have been released steadily since. The most recent stages lie close to Stockton Beach and asking prices are over $300,000 for some blocks, whereas the initial selling prices were in the low $200,000 bracket. We notice that of late re-sales in the estate are achieving around $260,000 to $270,000 which seems reasonable. Selling prices for newly built four bedroom homes are generally in the high $500,000 to mid $600,000 bracket. Anecdotally there are a number of houses occupied under DHA leases as Fern Bay is a close distance to the Williamtown Airport and RAAF base.
Cameron Park is one of the two major expansion areas of Newcastle that have seen significant activity over the past decade or so. The other expansion area, Fletcher, is coming up next in our discussion. Between Cameron Park and Fletcher the sprawl of Newcastle ever westward continues. It won’t be too long before more suburbs bang up against the freeway at this rate. The topography of Cameron Park is punctuated by a bumpy elevation and depending on the contour of the block, asking prices were initially quite cheap, especially for the steeper sites that result in a higher build price. While you can still find the odd block for less than $200,000, most asking prices now are northwards of $250,000 for flatter blocks.
Fletcher is the other main release area in and around Newcastle and has any number of different estates slowly interconnecting and entwining to become one large suburb. A recent addition of a large Bunnings down the road in neighbouring Wallsend and a Coles anchored neighbourhood shopping centre have increased the amenity of the area for convenience shopping. Prices aren’t too dissimilar to Cameron Park and seem to have followed a similar trajectory over the life of the development. Owners in Cameron Park look down their noses at Fletcher and owners in Fletcher look down their noses at Cameron Park, so you know that it’s roughly similar!
Nelson Bay after being in the doldrums for a period after the GFC is continuing to shows strong signs of a recovery across the board and the Landcom subdivision in Corlette has shown price growth in the six or so years that it has been selling land. The latest release of Vantage had prices regularly transacting in the $250,000 to $300,000 range. We notice that the newest release only just recently occurred (at the time of writing) with asking prices reduced somewhat to between $205,000 and $250,000. Blocks in this release are all generously sized being predominantly between 650 and 900 square metres.
We could wax on about all the land being released, sold etc in the following locations: Aberglassyn / Rutherford, Heddon Greta / Cliftleigh, Gillieston Heights, Chisholm and we can now add Huntlee to this list. We won’t however. If you are a regular reader of this column you are well aware of the drum that we have been beating in these spots. Another month, the same script and the same tale of un-positivity (that is now a word). Just for the sake of completion however, these areas appear to be over saturated with land relative to real demand that is not speculation driven. Until such time as the resource sector rebounds, the demand is likely to remain weak and generally unsupportive of conditions for price growth.