Leppington and Austral were among the top 10 highest value growth suburbs in the 12 months to May, growing more than 25 per cent each to $1,161,343 and $945,013, respectively, according to CoreLogic’s latest Home Value Index.
Prior to the pandemic, these suburbs were the last bastions of affordability, as developers shored up land to subdivide and release as house and land packages, according to Eric Zeng of Rewards Group.
“Before the pandemic the price in Leppington was quite affordable. Land plus building two years ago was roughly between $750,000 to $850,000,” Zeng said.
But once the pandemic hit and the HomeBuilder scheme was rolled out, Zeng said buyers were hard-pressed to find anything under $950,000 due to sheer demand for homes in the area.
He said while most of the large land holdings in the two suburbs have been acquired by developers, the select few that do come to market attract a range of buyers.
“Most of these big farmlands were owned by owners for generations before all these big infrastructure plans were released. If they want to sell, they want a good price for it, and it’s very, very competitive.”
LJ Hooker Camden and Bringelly’s George Bobb said the area has only picked up in demand because of the changes to zoning since the airport was confirmed.
“If there were no upgrades or changes in the community, there would be no demand. We know now that the airport is a catalyst for everything. Properties surrounding the airport up to 10 kilometres are all going up in demand,” Bobb said.
He said he has seen commercial groups, companies, individual investors including local doctors, and families make speculative purchases over the years.
“They see it as a once-in-a-lifetime event … there is huge demand. As soon as they come up they’ve got to be basically ready to go,” Bobb said.
He said families and a consortium of investors were buying acreages that were priced up to $6 million, but once it goes higher “then you’re talking to different people”.
“The bottom line is: the market is changing quite a bit, but this won’t affect the acreage market. It’s a different beast. Unless the airport stopped going ahead, that would stop the acreage demand.”