The 30 minute city isn't ever going to happen in Sydney

The 30 minute city isn't ever going to happen in Sydney
The 30 minute city isn't ever going to happen in Sydney

The 30 minute city is a worthy town planning concept of connectiveness but isn't ever going to happen in Sydney.

Buyers on the fringe must simply cop the consequences of distance.

The valuers Herron Todd White suggested recently just because fringe localities are cheap, doesn’t mean they can’t be savvy buys too.

They offer the chance of property at a fraction of the cost compared to city hub. Badlands no more.

The major worry from a price growth perspective is that supply can rise suddenly on the fringe.

Suburban addresses on the circumference of any city are abutted by greenfield sites.

"While you can see solid value performance, it doesn’t take much for competition to kick in," HTW noted.

If big parcels of housing land nearby gain development approval, there’s suddenly a whole new option for potential buyers.

Nowadays developers effectively create mega-suburbs through multi-stage projects extending over decades that include major community spaces, schools, universities, even hospitals as well as the mandatory shopping centre.

The aim is that families can effectively live within the boundary of these new communities and want for very little. 

The inner suburbs of Sydney hold most of the buyer attention, but the sought after cafe lifestyle pursuit exist beyond the hipster belt in suburbs 25 kilometres away the CBD. 

And also on the outskirts of NSW's major regional cities too.

Take the Illawarra, where fringe areas tend not to be too far from the main centres of Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama.

HTW suggests these include Cringila, Port Kembla, Unanderra, Dapto, Barrack Heights and Lake Illawarra.

Prices below $400,000 are now rare, generally for 1960s brick or fibro dwellings without major updates.

Cringila, close to the steelworks, is priced under $350,000, with capital growth pegged back due to location, HTW advise.

The Shoalhaven fringe are the small coastal towns based around Nowra, including Shoalhaven Heads, Culburra and Callala Beaches.

While all have local shops and services, they don't have departments stores and good public transport.

Most of all they lack a deep job pool, HTW warns.

Their real estate prices reflect this but can be buoyed by buyers seeking that holiday house dream.

Prices in Shoalhaven start around Nowra at $250,000 for a 50 year old three bedroom fibro.

As Australia’s seventh largest city, Newcastle has many fringe options including Fletcher and Cameron Park.

A contemporary four bedroom in Fletcher costs around $550,000, compared to $800,000 plus closer in.

Apparently traffic in Newcastle is rarely problematic, allowing fringe commuters 20 minute access to CBD based careers, services and social activities.

On the Central Coast, close to the Gosford CBD are the fringe options of Niagara Park, Narara and Wyoming.

Lacking the popularity enjoyed by the beachside suburbs, HTW suggests as gentrification occurs they may well prove a smart buy.

Further north, Chain Valley Bay, Gwandalan and Summerland Point have been popular with retirees and a constrained budget, but have seen a recent rising market.

The Southern Highlands has experienced increased investors in its fringe options, which are the villages away from the three major towns of Bowral, Mittagong and Moss Vale. Prices have increased 10 percent since 2014, but this is now expected to slow.

The Southern Tablelands region has been steady with HTW anticipating Goulburn to plateau or even soften.

Goulburn is sometimes viewed as a fringe suburb of Canberra, suggesting rather than the 30 minute city outcome, we rather might all merge into one huge metropolis.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

Sydney Residential Market

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