High-speed rail could help clear Sydney’s housing affordability issues

Media release - 26th March, 2014

Leading real estate group Raine & Horne says an east coast high-speed rail (HSR) network between Brisbane and Melbourne will not only underpin long term property prices in regional centres in NSW, Victoria and South East Queensland, but also help relieve some of Sydney’s affordability pressures.

According to one recent media report, the high-speed rail link is back on the agenda, with Gosford City Council putting pressure on Central Coast MPs to agitate for the Newcastle-Sydney stretch to be shunted to the front of the queue in the high-speed rail link rollout.  

Presently, the building of the Sydney-Melbourne line will be the first stage of the HSR roll-out, starting with the Sydney-Canberra sector.

Subsequent stages would be Canberra-Melbourne, Newcastle-Sydney, Brisbane-Gold Coast and Gold Coast-Newcastle.

“I acknowledge a fast train between Brisbane and Melbourne has been discussed for two decades, but it has the ability to solve the affordability issue in Sydney and push up regional real estate values by as much as 10% once it becomes reality,” says Angus Raine, Executive Chairman and CEO Raine & Horne.

“For instance, we’ve been urging the Government to include a station at Goulburn on the HSR network for a number of years now.”

A station is proposed for the Southern Highlands, along with stops at other centres such as the Gold Coast, Casino, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, the Central Coast, Southern Highlands, Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton.

“Goulburn is a major inland city centrally located between Sydney and Canberra and is very affordable with three bedroom houses for under $250,000, while workers could be in Sydney in roughly 30 minutes,” says Mr Raine.

“Likewise a high-speed train could encourage more businesses to shift to regional centres such as Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Wagga Wagga. This will help to generate jobs growth, which is a key factor in long-term real estate growth.”

According to Brett Hunter, General Manager, Raine & Horne Terrigal, the HSR is becoming a major community issue for the Central Coast.

“The Central Coast community is becoming increasingly supportive of the high-speed rail concept, while one local government agency is even bringing a Japanese Bullet Train expert to the region to discuss the merits of faster train travel,” says Mr Hunter.  

The proposed high-speed rail network would have an enormous impact on local real estate markets, according to Mr Hunter, by attracting more Sydney buyers to the Central Coast.

“There are three bedroom homes for sale for under $320,000 in North Gosford, however we’d need to see some holes in the ground before there’d be an impact on values,” says Mr Hunter.

“There are tens of thousands of commuters travelling from the Central Coast to Sydney every day and they must battle inconsistent rail services and the testing M1 (formerly the F3).

“We could double the number of commuters with a fast train service between Sydney and Newcastle, which would prove attractive to more Sydneysiders, who are looking for a way to break away from the city’s surging real estate prices.”

Mr Hunter said the recent announcement of the $3 billion NorthConnex tunnel would help shave the Central Coast/Sydney commute.

NorthConnex will be a nine kilometre tolled link from the southern end of the M1 Pacific Motorway at Wahroonga to the Hills M2 Motorway at its existing Pennant Hills Road interchange.

“Construction is set to start in 2015 and is expected to cut commuting times to Sydney by 15 minutes,” says Mr Hunter.

–ENDS–

For further media information contact:

Angus Raine, Executive Chairman and CEO, Raine & Horne on 0409 920 697

Brett Hunter, General Manager, Raine & Horne Terrigal/Avoca on 0410 630 222

Andrew Harrington, National Marketing & Communications Coordinator on 02 9258 5400