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¿ PROPERTY PRICE UPLIFT
Major transport projects are good news for
a number of reasons – principally, there
are obvious improvements to getting
around and a reduction in car traffic in
urban areas. On top, there’s usually an
uplift in property prices.
Damian Collins is the managing director
of Momentum Wealth and believes there
will be a number of reasons for additional
growth in median values in inner Perth.
“For one, public transport in Perth
is well below the standard you’d get
in other capital cities. The trains are
always crowded, the roads are busy...
we’re a rapidly growing and fairly spread
out city so infrastructure like this will
As people increasingly desire to live
near transport facilities, demand for
local housing will grow. A new influx of
residents in areas MAX services will drive
gentrification. On top of that, experts
agree that light rail will be the impetus
for new development, urban renewal and
“Higher density living tends to attract
more restaurants, cafés, shops and other
businesses, making for more vibrant
neighbourhoods,” the government says.
Ray Haeren is a director with Urbis and
says this sort of increased development
and density needs to be aided by
“The notion you can just plonk in
the infrastructure and everything else
happens is naïve. There’s a key challenge
for government to introduce systems
and certainty in the planning process to
deliver the renewal that’s needed.”
Experiences from the US shows there’s
often a lag between the delivery of new
transport infrastructure and the creation
of new urban forms, Haeren says.
“Things like light rail drive transit-
oriented development and Perth has been
quite successful in the delivery of some
of these, particularly in Subiaco. With the
right systems in place, Perth can produce
even greater opportunities.”
A spokesperson for the Department of
Transport says a number of areas could
benefit from new development, including
the CBD, North Perth, East Perth, Dianella
“A MAX planning framework is being
developed in conjunction with local
authorities and State Government
agencies to establish a cohesive and
consistent planning approach across the
Collins agrees those areas will see
benefits and adds Mount Lawley to the list.
And that’s just stage one – the branches
to the east and west will drive a whole
new focus on areas that haven’t always
been on investors’ radars, Gavin Hegney
from Hegney Property Group says.
“For suburbs (to the east and west), I’d
watch them closely and wait until work on
that stage of the project has begun.”
Collins thinks properties within 700 to
800 metres of a light rail stop will see price
growth. Anywhere in walking distance
will be “re-rated by the market”, he says.
“My expectation is that areas in
close proximity to stations will also
see zoning changes and that opens up
development prospects and more price
When it comes to the sort of impact the
light rail project could have on values,
Collins thinks it’ll be strong.
“Based on my experience, I’d expect
properties within close proximity to a light
rail stop could see prices spike by 10 to 15
per cent in total above the regular median
increase. It won’t happen all at once
and that figure is my pick for the total
As for when things will start to move,
that’s harder to pick. Funding uncertainty
could cause construction delays, so
investors and developers may not get
active until work begins.
“Once construction starts, you’ll see the
start of price movement,” Collins says.
“I don’t think it’s until it comes into play
and people can physically see the end
product that you’ll see a large chunk of
“There’s no big rush to get in, but that
said I think now is still a good time to buy
anyway because these areas are generally
¿ ANOTHER PROJECT OF INTEREST
Another project to get the go-ahead
is what’s dubbed the Perth-Darwin
Highway, which will redirect trucks from
the Swan Valley on Perth’s outskirts.
The State Government committed to
begin works, allocating $196 million to
complete necessary land acquisitions and
get construction started.
“The existing route through the Swan
Valley, the Great Northern Highway, is the
only road transport link to the state’s north
and is under significant and increasing
pressure from trucks and heavy vehicle
movement,” Premier Colin Barnett says.
“It’s a two-lane road catering for more
than 18,000 vehicles per day.”
The link will run 37 kilometres north of
the Tonkin Highway termination to join
the Great Northern in Muchea.
Works at the northern end of the
alignment are expected to begin in 2016
and Collins thinks the outer suburb of
Ellenbrook will benefit somewhat.
“It’ll make the journey into the city area
much more accessible,” he says.
Haeren agrees and says the impact of a
“change in perception” of the area can’t
“Ellenbrook at the moment is seen as
being out the back box of nowhere but
I think connection into the highway
network will make the whole corridor
from a perception
people will see
says there’s a
of long-term supply
in that region,
which will negate
much of the
to flow from the
Not too long ago, it was said that you were
only ever a 10-minute drive from anywhere
in Perth. It was a capital city with a country
town vibe and the journey to work, play or
home was mostly hassle-free.
Those days are definitely over.
The West Australian capital is growing
at a rapid rate, thanks in large part to its
booming resources sector.
The city’s population is set to hit 2.65
million by 2031 and that influx of new
residents will place additional pressure
on an already stretched transport system
and road network.
Public transport patronage demand
across the city is growing at a significant
rate. Total annual trips rose 32 per cent
between 2008 and 2012.
The estimated economic cost of traffic
congestion in Perth was nearly $1 billion
in 2009. That figure is expected to rise to
more than $2.1 billion by 2020.
An additional 50,000 cars are added to
the roads in greater Perth each year.
The State Government says its focus is
on delivering new transport infrastructure
such as the Metro Area Express light rail
project, due for completion in 2019.
Perth’s big traffic challenges
PERTH LIGHT RAIL \\ INFRASTRUCTURE HOTSPOT
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