Residential land sales increased by 72.14 percent in September quarter

The recently released Housing Industry Association (HIA) CoreLogic Residential Land Report shows that demand for residential land across the Central Coast and Hunter regions jumped strongly in the September 2020 quarter.

HIA Hunter Executive Director, Craig Jennion, said that compared to the June quarter, residential land sales increased by 72.14 percent on the Central Coast, 24.24 percent in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and 88.8 percent in the Hunter Valley.

“This data reflects the surge in demand for land following the announcement of the HomeBuilder program in June and demonstrates that there continues to be a clear preference for coastal areas near capital cities and an ongoing trend for sea and tree change locations,” Jennion said.

The median lot price on the Central Coast in September was $332,500 which is a 9.49 percent price increase over September 2019.

Similarly, the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie median price was $330,000, a 10.18 percent increase over September 2019.

This placed these neighbouring regions fourth and fifth on the list of the most expensive regional markets, Jennion said.

The Hunter Valley median of $225,000 was a 7.65 percent increase over September 2019.

“The median lot prices, however, do not account for differences in the characteristics of the lots being traded, such as their size,” Jennion said.

“As a result, a more appropriate approach is to use price per square metre to track land value.”

The median price per square metre for the Central Coast was $707, a fall of 1.1 percent from the June quarter.

“Despite this slight fall, land prices per square metre on the Central Coast are a higher price than Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart and are the sixth highest of any regional market,” Jennion said.

The median price per square metre for Newcastle and Lake Macquarie was $569, a fall of 1.2 percent from the June quarter, while the Hunter Valley increased by 1.69 percent to $361 per square metre.

Both locations remain affordable in comparison to Sydney, the most expensive capital city in the country, which recorded a median square metre price of $1,165.

The report also found that the Central Coast has the ninth smallest median lot size of regional areas at 494sqm during the September quarter.

In contrast, the median block size coming to market in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie was 600sqm and 615sqm in the Hunter Valley.

“The high demand for residential land is not just occurring on the Central Coast and the Hunter,” Jennion said.

He said that across the country, regional areas had benefitted from government stimulus and support, with the volume of residential land sales outside of the capital cities rising by 56.2 percent in the September quarter.

“This is likely due to the newfound capability to work from home which has enabled homebuyers to look at locations that would previously have been considered too far from their workplace, resulting in a growth in demand for land outside of metropolitan cities.

“As a consequence, a sudden increase in demand for land will likely result in prices increasing in 2021,” Jennion said.

Media release, Feb 5
Craig Jennion, HIA Executive Director – Hunter