As Newcastle’s house prices shoot up, first home buyers have been left with a dwindling pool of suburbs for a foothold in the market.
But for those willing to look west, agents say there is still plenty of value to be found in the Hunter.
In 2016, Kurri Kurri had a median price of $310,000 and Weston’s average price was $290,000.
James Rodrick of Starr Partners Maitland described them as two of the region’s most underrated suburbs.
With the opening of the Hunter Expressway, they are within commuting distance of the Newcastle CBD. It’s a half hour’s drive in the other direction to the wineries at Pokolbin.
“With migration, people will always stay close to the freeways, the main arteries and infrastructure,” Mr Rodrick said.
“If you’re starting out, you can still buy a three-bedroom home in Kurri Kurri or Weston for under $300,000. That’s becoming a gap in the market in Newcastle.”
Mayor of Cessnock Bob Pynsent said the suburbs offered a “great community feel” and the possibility of good capital gains over time.
The council is working to entice industry and businesses to those areas, so that residents do not have to commute. Mr Pynsent pointed out the Hunter Regional Plan also designated the expressway corridor as a site for future commercial development.
“As the housing develops, hopefully the jobs will develop as well,” Mr Pynsent said.
“Particularly the development of the Hydro [aluminium smelter], there will be plenty of jobs available in the local area. We’ve just had 82 hectares rezoned at Black Hill and that’s another great opportunity for employment.”
NEW CARDIFF HEIGHTS RECORD
A property described as being ‘in the treetops’ at Cardiff Heights has sold prior to auction for $874,000.
The sale of 58 Main Road by Sam Tsiaousis of PRDnationwide set a new price record for a non-acreage property in the suburb.
The home was cleverly designed with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, to take in a stunning bushland backdrop.
SHARPE’S NURSERY TO BE DEVELOPED
Sharpe’s Nursery in Merewether will be transformed into a new terrace complex branded “Oasis”.
But Judy Sharpe will leave a lasting legacy on Alice Street, designing the extensive gardens for the 12 new homes.
ABL Property Development is behind the two- and three-bedroom terraces, being sold off-the-plan by Walkom Real Estate.
Over two levels, they will feature gourmet kitchens, luxe bathrooms and alfresco entertaining. Building is expected to be completed by about April 2018.
AGENTS IN LIGHTS
Five of the Hunter’s big hitters have made Real Estate Business’s top 100 Australian agents for 2017.
PRDnationwide Port Stephen’s Dane Queenan was the highest placed, coming in at 69. He is a regular fixture in the top 100, but missed out last year.
“I haven’t worked any harder than in previous years but I think I’ve worked a bit smarter,” he said.
Mr Queenan played professional rugby league before making the leap into real estate – and has kept his competitive drive from the football field.
“I don’t like to be beaten,” he admits. But satisfied vendors remain his biggest motivator.
“Whether it’s a phone call at nine o’clock at night or seeing them on a Sunday, it’s really like a marriage. I’m very committed to it.
“I’m also very grateful for my team, they give me 100 per cent commitment.”
George Rafty of First National Newcastle City came in at 72 and Mark Kentwell of PRDnationwide Newcastle was placed 81.
Michael Flook and Ben Robinson of Robinson Property took out the 92nd and 94th places respectively.