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hub, its significance for commerce will be
reduced by the time it’s complete.
“There’s already a significant pressure
on the western suburbs for housing
through the Parramatta/Blacktown/
Penrith area. I can’t see how this project
will make a big enough difference
to what’s already a potentially good
outcome. I see no real effect on property
prices (due to WestConnex), which are
already gaining momentum for many
other more important reasons.”
¿ SOUTH STEERING NORTH
It’s not just the west getting all the
attention – Sydney’s south could also have
the accelerator put on capital growth.
Once widening of the M4 is completed,
attention will turn towards duplicating the
M5 East. There will be a Sydney Airport
access link between the St Peters area
and the M5 East portals, with links to
The M5 East duplication would result
in four lanes in each direction between
King Georges Road and the Sydney
Airport area, by widening the existing
surface road west of Bexley Road and
constructing two new lane tunnels to
Lomas warns it won’t drastically make
suburbs near the airport boom.
“There’s an upside to western
commuters needing to get to the airport,
which may impact on some professional
workers living in the western suburbs.
“But in the meantime, there will more
than likely be a second airport announced,
which will have more of an impact.”
On the other hand, PRDnationwide
agent Frank Mazzotta says the M5 is
currently a huge deterrent for homebuyers
and investors, but upgrades to the road
will definitely bring more people south.
“People are constantly complaining
about how bogged up the M5 is. A lot
of them are coming from the inner west.
They’re finding more for their dollar.”
A road to growth
Every time Vince Audino travels to Sydney’s
CBD, he avoids Parramatta Road like the
plague and instead opts for the M2.
“I can get from Castle Hill to the Harbour
Bridge in half an hour, with no traffic,”
“On Parramatta Road, I’d be looking at 45
to 50 minutes.”
The fruit shop worker is excited about
WestConnex and the plans to upgrade
Parramatta Road, but he says there are
already many other growth drivers in the
area to be excited about.
In his view Parramatta is “virtually
the centre of Sydney now” and more
people choose to live and work there for
“People that come to the area are people
that want to live here for the schools and
for a nice environment for kids to grow up
in,” he says.
Vince has always lived and worked in
Sydney’s west and is confident prices will
continue to increase.
He and his wife Vittoria just bought a
two-bedroom house on a 500-square-
metre corner block on Windsor Road in
Northmead. It hasn’t settled yet but it’s
already a done deal, because Vince didn’t
even ask for a cooling off period when he
signed the contract.
“I drove past on Sunday, I had put a
deposit on it by Tuesday,” he says.
“It had offers of over $520,000. They
didn’t take it to auction, which surprised
me. It was an inheritance, so they probably
Vince paid $540,000 for the property and
expects it to rent for between $450 and
$500 per week. It has duplex potential and
also a lane at the back, making it easy to
drive in and out of.
Vince says other properties are selling
for mid-$600,000s to $700,000s but this
one was more affordable. He decided to
buy a residential investment property after
selling an industrial unit last year, which
had disappointing capital growth.
“We held it for 10 years, in the Baulkham
Hills area,” he says.
“We bought it for under $200,000 and
sold it for $210,000. So compared to
a house 10 years ago, the resale value
wasn’t good. Ever since then I’ve been
looking for a house but it’s now hard to find
something price wise and something pretty
He advises homebuyers to “forget about
a car” if they plan to buy in the Parramatta
area and commute to Sydney each day.
“You can jump on a bus from Castle Hill
in peak hour traffic and be in the city in one
hour,” he says.
Names: Vince and Vittoria Audino
Live: Castle Hill
Strategy: Buy and hold
He gives the example of a two-bedroom
semi in Croydon Park that just sold for
$900,000. Homebuyers would get a
freestanding house with land in Bexley or
Kingsgrove for the same price.
“There’s more value for money and
you find a lot of people are also moving
out of townhouses or villas and upsizing
to something they can still afford. They
might look in the inner west, they can’t
afford it. They come this way and it’s
accessible to the north, east and south.”
However, prices are on the rise and
Mazzotta admits some buyers might get
burnt. They’re already starting to spend
too much through fear of missing out. But
he points out agents aren’t holding “a gun
to their heads” and once an auction starts
in the current sellers’ market, anything
“We sold a property in Bexley North
for $1,020,000. Within two months,
prices increased by 20 per cent. We sold
another one a couple of months later
in the same street, they were similar
properties with similar land. It sold for
$1,220,000 and the reserve was only
$980,000. It’s a combination of reasons;
low interest rates, bidding at auction and
¿ HOW CAN YOU BENEFIT?
Think back to the days before the Eastern
Distributor – can you remember how hard
it was to get to Surry Hills?
O’Farrell says WestConnex will do for the
west what the Eastern Distributor did for
Surry Hills and parts of Redfern. He says
25,000 new homes and 25,000 new jobs
will be created along Parramatta Road
over the next 20 years.
“WestConnex will allow suburbs to come
alive with new investment, housing,
cafés, restaurants and businesses.”
Borger points out prices are already
going crazy in the Parramatta area and
the road upgrades will only help the area
become more connected to Sydney’s CBD.
“Parramatta has really been going off as
a residential investment location for the
last five years,” he says.
“The Church Street dining precinct
has really boomed, it’s now one of
our strongest night time economies
He points out some off-the-plan two-
bedroom units in Parramatta are selling
for up to $700,000 – a price that would’ve
been unheard of a few years ago.
However, Propertybuyer managing
director Rich Harvey says despite the
rising prices, those who decide to sit on
the fence might miss out altogether.
THE STATES // NSW
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