Home-owners on the outskirts of the proposed new jail at Kembla Grange could see their property values take a hit if the plan goes ahead, agents suggest.
Corrective Services NSW has begun investigating the suitability of a 237-hectare parcel of land at Kembla Grange for a correctional facility and is in the early stages of community consultation over its plan.
The site is bordered by land set to become home to hundreds of houses and some of the new village centres of West Dapto, which will include shops, businesses and a primary school.
Trever Molenaar, Real Estate Institute Illawarra chairman weighed in on the matter.
“If it did happen, certainly on the outskirts of the jail itself it would affect prices,” he told the Mercury.
“If you’re on the outskirts it will affect you.
“It’s really hard to say (to what extent), but if you think, if you had a view of rolling hills and the next week you’ve got a jail there, you’d have to think it would affect the price.
“On the flipside, it will also generate jobs for erecting it and maintaining it, so there’s pros and cons of it coming in.
“The cons include what effects it has on the infrastucture of the area, the prices of housing in the area and even how busy the area will be, and how traffic flow will change.
“The common phrase that I’m getting from locals in the area is a jail’s fine, but just not on my doorstep.”
Agent Mike T from Mike T Real Estate, who also lives in the West Dapto/Horsley region believed the jail would affect house prices in the West Dapto area.
“It could be anywhere between five to ten per cent of what they’re currently worth,” he said.
“It’s the stigma behind it. People are going to move away from that suburb – who wants to live next to a prison?”
The agent claims that a client withdrew from the sale of a property at Wongawilli following the jail proposal announcement.
“A buyer that I had looked at a property for a couple of months, and within the past two weeks wanted a copy of the contract, rang me up and negotiated, gave me an offer, we then negotiated and got an agreed offer,” he said.
“Two days later, once that news came out, they pulled out of the sale.
“And I’ve got another potential buyer that’s given me an offer below what it is (worth) because of the uncertainty if there’s a jail going there... If the jail wasn’t going there, she told me she’d put in a higher offer.”