Greenfields | Why you need to know about it!

Greenfields | Why you need to know about it!

Unless you are a budding Property Developer or Town Planner, chances are the term ‘Greenfields’ is foreign to you. But it is very important you do know about it, before it’s too late!

To put it simply, ‘Greenfield Land’, or ‘Zones’, is undeveloped land, often in rural, sub-rural or even city zones. At the present time, they are often farms, or vacant, but carry properties that are considered favourable for urban development.

This is important to know, and important to know where these zones or lands are located. In 2036, Sydney’s population is expected to reach over 6.1 million people – the bulk of the difference will be housed in these Greenfield Areas.

Chances are, you know where these places are, but don’t realise. Sydney currently has significant stock of greenfield land earmarked for further residential development. The majority, located in Sydney’s North West, South West, West, and pockets in Pittwater,  and Wyong.

The current Greenfields in Sydney are occurring mostly in the North-West at this moment in time, with enormous amounts of redevelopment currently undergoing in the ‘North West Growth Centres’, which are in the Blacktown Council and The Hills Council LGA.

If we look into the legislation closely, (State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Region Growth Centres) 2006 for the curious), the bulk of developments in the North West and South West Growth Centres will be depleted by 2036. This leaves only a few opportunities in Liverpool, Camden left.

What do these numbers mean though? The large trend of buying land in enormous land release zones that Sydney-siders have always had available at their doorstep simply won’t last and keep going. Urban sprawl will have to stop.

Why? Well the Nepean River and Hawkesbury River to the North and West, Geological constraints to the South and Illawarra, and National Parks in the North, South, East and West. There will eventually be a cap. Transport to the CBD becomes far longer, access to major infrastructure and jobs becomes poorer.

2036 may seem like a long way, but it’s worth nothing down. The Land you can buy in this day and age, as well as any property with land in Sydney, will soon become far more valuable.

The reasons? It will become harder to find for one, land will not be as plentiful, our population will continue to grow (around 800k over the next 10 years), and developers will need to start building up in the Sydney Basin.

What do you need to do? Nothing really. But it’s always worth keeping in the back of your minds. Many people discount the Growth Centres and Greenfield areas because of factors that are incredibly irrelevant to you as an investor, or a narrow minded focus on the short-term as opposed to long term.

Put it this way, the guys and girls who bought in the ‘Castle Hill’ Release zone, or the ‘Parsonage Estate’ in Baulkham Hills 50 odd years ago were buying in what was relatively rural, the back side of Sydney, and almost laughed at for their living choices.

Today, those Hills Suburbs are selling for $1,000,000 (Baulkham Hills), or $2,000,000 (Castle Hill).

40 years ago was a long time I’m sure, but look at The Ponds in NSW too. Land bought for between $150,000 to $300,000 in the first releases. Cheap as chips, throw a house on their for $200,000-$350,000. (Based on the first few Landcom releases).

These same homes (considering the same range of $350,000-650,000 for house and land combined), will sell for today $1,050,000 to $1,400,000 (based on recent sales in The Ponds on blocks consistent with the first releases in the suburb).

That’s a handy little profit I can assure you.

Morale of the story, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Look around, learn about some of these areas. You’ll never know where the next goldmine will be.

Author

Michael Turner is a Property Development and Analytics Specialist operating in Sydney's Growth Centres and corridors. He is a Director of YPI, along with several roles at property development firms and agencies. He can often be heard on various radio mediums talking about Football and Property. You can find him on Twitter @mturnerypi or email him directly at m.turner@youngpropertyinvestor.com

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