Sydney suburbs surge despite sluggish market

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Demand is ramping up in Sydney's North West thanks to growing infrastructure in the area, according to a new report.

PRDnationwide revealed that the Hills district - consisting of Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill and Oatlands - has performed strongly following a rise in education and job opportunities in the region.

Oatlands achieved the highest growth, with the median house price increasing from $570,000 in December 2002 to $755,000 in December 2007 - a growth of 5.8% according to PRDnationwide. The latest RP Data showed that unit values climbed by 10.1% to $480,000 over the 12 months to May, while houses saw similar strong performance, with the median house price increasing to $752,500 in the same period - growth of 7.2%.

Matthew Tiller, research analyst at PRDnationwide, said the most popular suburb within the Baulkham Hills LGA was that of Castle Hill, which saw 149 house sales transacted during July to December 2007. Over the past 12 months to May 2008, there were 508 houses changing hands in the suburb. "Baulkham Hills LGA has experienced consistent price growth and strong sales volumes," said Tiller.

During the past 12 months to May, there has been a slight upswing in the median house price, increasing to $650,000 - 3.1% growth, according to RP Data. "The main property type within the region is detached houses, making up 89% of the total dwellings in the area," Tiller said.

The past 10 years have seen an increase in the number of medium to high density residential developments in the region, with apartments and townhouses now making up 11% of total dwellings. Over the past year, the number of unit sales has increased by 16.6% from 2006 to 2007, according to Tiller. RP Data's May 2008 figures showed unit prices rising by 5.7% year-on-year to $430,000. Demand was high, with 277 units sold in the same period.

The Baulkham Hills land market achieved a median price growth of 9.1% pa over the past five years.
"During the past year the median land price has remained steady, increasing slightly from $390,000 in December 2006 to $447,500 in December 2007, with 120 vacant urban land sales occurring during July to December 2007," Tiller said.

The Baulkham Hills LGA covers 380km2 and is commonly known as 'The Garden Shire'. The Hills District is located approximately 25km north-west of Sydney's CBD. Two-thirds of the council area is used for rural and farming purposes, as well as other agricultural industries.

Tiller said the Baulkham Hills LGA is a very family orientated community, with 71% of total households living in a 'nuclear family'.

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