Expert opinions differ on how exactly the city-wide property market will behave in 2018, but one thing is certain: these five Sydney locations are all about to undergo major changes.
Don't be surprised if the housing stock in these areas generates significant chatter in the coming months.
1. Badgerys Creek
Directions to Badgerys Creek. Photo: Rob Homer
The Turnbull government's May 2017 announcement that it would fully fund the construction of an international airport at Badgerys Creek sent a jolt of electricity through Sydney's rapidly growing south-western suburbs. Now, the impending commencement of earthworks at the site - scheduled for next month - is creating feverish excitement.
Already, the NSW government has announced the creation of a brand-new suburb, South Creek West, which will accommodate 30,000 homes on the southern fringe of the airport. Farther south, in rural Menangle Park, the state government has announced a 958-hectare land release to make way for 3000 new homes and a town centre.
Existing suburbs close to the airport site have already surged in value. The median house price in the town of Silverdale, just west of Badgerys Creek, has grown 20 per cent in the past six months, and it recently joined the "million-dollar club", the collection of Sydney suburbs with a median house price above $1 million. About 15 minutes' drive east of the airport, in Liverpool, there's a new office for the Western Sydney Airport Corporation which will soon house hundreds of fresh-faced workers. The residential suburbs between Liverpool and Badgerys Creek are also worth watching.
What the agent says: "Cecil Hills, Elizabeth Hills and Abbotsbury [each about 10km east of Badgerys Creek] are the area's best-regarded suburbs. There's never been a decrease in value or yields in those three areas." - Sam Ruisi, Raine & Horne Wetherill Park
One of the new developments, Kindred, that will be built in Marrickville. Photo: Artist's impression
This year, expect plenty of sales and development activity in Marrickville as scores of apartment complexes complete off-the-plan sales and construction gets underway, including the 220-apartment Marrick & Co complex(on the old Marrickville Hospital site), the 39-apartment Kindred complex, the 38-apartment Aperture complex and the 22-apartment NeaZoi complex.
And that's just the beginning: a proposal by Mirvac currently under consideration by the Inner West Council could result in 2600 new units in a series of high-rises along Carrington Road. Elsewhere, much of Marrickville's industrial land has recently been re-zoned or is currently under consideration for re-zoning, which could lead to further changes this year.
What the agent says: "The new development is a bone of contention with long-time residents. It remains to be seen whether we can find a balance between the new housing and the old. I've been a resident here for 21 years and I'm certainly hopeful that the developers can find that balance." - Kate Webster, The Property Sellers
3. Edmondson Park
Edmondson Park. Photo: Supplied
It's not the only master-planned community that's sprung up recently in Sydney's south west, but Edmondson Park has one big advantage over its neighbours: a brand-new railway station, which began operating in 2015 and connects residents with Liverpool via the South West Rail Link (then onwards to the Sydney CBD).
According to Landcom, Edmondson Park will soon offer 150 hectares of landscaped parkland plus a "town centre" with 120 shops, a cinema and schools. And, unlike much of south-west Sydney, the suburb should appeal to buyers who'd rather not rely on cars.
There's plenty of optimism about Edmondson Park's prospects: all the residential land has now been sold to an assortment of developers and private individuals. Those looking to buy into the suburb in 2018 can choose from a small number of already-completed homes or a variety of off-the-plan apartments and houses, many of which will be constructed before the end of the year. Completed large family homes are currently selling for between $1 million and $1.2 million.
What the agent says:"There's still decent supply at Edmondson Park, so investors can afford to wait and see how the suburb develops. But owner-occupiers may want to purchase sooner rather than later." - Chris Philp, Richardson & Wrench Narellan
4. Frenchs Forest
The new Northern Beaches Hospital at Frenchs Forest is set to open in late 2018.Photo: Craig Willoughby
With the massive Northern Beaches Hospital on track to open in late 2018, the state government is now preparing to announce the rezoning of large swathes of sleepy Frenchs Forest to make way for an estimated 5000 apartments and a large town centre. And if the Beaches Link Tunnel, which will connect the hospital with the Lower North Shore, is approved by the state government, the Northern Beaches Council has indicated that the total number of apartments could increase to 10,000.
Quite who will populate the new-and-improved Frenchs Forest remains to be seen, but Healthscope, the private company which will operates the hospital, says it will need 1300 staff for its facility alone. Once the rezoning announcement is made, residents with houses close to the hospital may see their land become highly sought after by developers. Already, groups of residents have banded together in efforts to collectively sell their properties for big bucks.
What the agent says: "Currently, the most sought-after pocket of Frenchs Forest is "The Golden Triangle" east of the Wakehurst Parkway. It's a no-through road, so you only go there if you live there, and behind it are views [overlooking a valley and rural land] that can never be built out. You also have great access to Waringah Road and the Parkway." - Michael Buckley, First National Frenchs Forest
5) St Ives Chase
Catchment zone: St. Ives Shopping Village in St. Ives Chase. Photo: Will Sullivan
Last year, Domain reported on the growing appeal of low-key St Ives Chase on Sydney's Upper North Shore. The reason for the buzz was St Ives North Primary, one of NSW's best-ranked schools, which had recently shrunk its catchment zone to exclude surrounding suburbs such as St Ives. Since our report, St Ives Chase has become even hotter - the median house price has risen 9.9 per cent over the past 12 months to September, compared to the Sydney-wide rise of 8.2 per cent and agents and residents say the driving force continues to be the school's stellar reputation.
St Ives Chase was one of just a handful of suburbs in Sydney where not a single property was left on the market over Christmas, indicating just how tightly-held the area is becoming. Meanwhile, schools across the North Shore remain chronically over-crowded, making schools such as St Ives North Primary, which limit student numbers through small catchment zones, even more appealing.
What the agent says: "St Ives Chase was always the cheapest part of St Ives, but that's actually been reversed: it's now becoming the most expensive area." - Daniel Cook, Richardson & Wrench St Ives / Turramurra