Year in Review: 2017 proves ground-breaking year for apartments in Newcastle

Over $150 million was splashed as a harbourside development sold out in five days, a record $6 million sale in the East End was registered and Newcastle rated among the top-five cities to invest in an apartment in Australia. 

Dane Crawford described 2017 as an “unprecedented” year for the apartment market in Newcastle and predicted the pace to continue.

The Colliers International director of residential project marketing has seen some milestone moments for the city this year, including the sell-out of Lume in record time.

A week later a penthouse in the East End development was sold for $6 million, smashing Newcastle’s previous apartment price record by more than $1.5 million.

The 340 square metre residence, equating to $17,647 per square metre, was the amalgamation of three apartments comprising the entire top level of the Washington House complex on Hunter Street.

“We’ve been in history-making mode for the entire 2017,” Mr Crawford said.

“The best gauge that I used is previous projects. I look at the rate of sale, how quickly we’ve been selling apartments, the price at which we’ve been selling similar apartments in terms of attributes ... then measure the growth in short periods of time.”

The majority of buyers have been local owner-occupiers and he predicted the surge to continue with more developments in the pipelines for several areas of the inner city.

“We’ve seen over 20 per cent growth this year, which is unprecedented,” he said.

“We’ve still got a lot of government spending and infrastructure to be built, completed and operational, that will see another strong upswing in growth.

“I can see the next three to five years being really strong in terms of residential, off-the-plan apartment growth in our market, which is exciting.”

The $27 million development Aero on Hunter Street, believed to be the city’s tallest residential building, reached completion this month but will soon be eclipsed by the twin towers of Verve on King Street set for completion in 2019.

Another $100 million in development applications went through Newcastle City Council as the end of year approached, including the first stage of a $125 million proposed redevelopment of the Wickham Woolstores.

But Mr Crawford said “demand and requirement far outstripped what is being delivered” throughout the city.

PRDnationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie director Mark Kentwell echoed the sentiments.

“In apartments, we’ve seen almost every development that’s been listed sell out and get to the construction threshold in record time, that goes for Newcastle and into Lake Macquarie,” Mr Kentwell said.

Wickham has experienced “an incredible surge with potential to go a lot further”.

Several projects are under construction there, including West End, Bishopsgate and The Millhorn, all within close proximity to the new interchange.

In Lake Macquarie this year, plans for the city’s tallest residential development were unveiled in Highpoint at Charlestown, Waterview in Belmont reached completion and the release of Water’s Edge in Warners Bay was met with success.