South-west a hub for growth
Stockland's $1 billion Willowdale development at Leppington in Sydney's south-west is expected to trigger further projects in the region, tipped by the state and federal governments as the strongest growth corridor in the country.
The region was heavily promoted during the federal election campaign and the new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has made transport and infrastructure in the area a high priority. As a result, developers are moving into the district to garner a foothold before prices escalate and all available stock is snapped up.
A range of residential, retail and industrial projects are slated for development in the coming years, with investors from real estate investment trusts and super funds, and high-net-worth individuals.
The demand for offices and shopping malls is also expected to reach overseas, with cashed-up Asian and European investors visiting the area. Internet giants such as Amazon and transport and delivery companies are likely to be attracted to the fast-growing region.
Craig Trimbole, of CBRE Rural & Englobo Land Holdings, said developers such as Stockland had made an early push into the suburb, which is earmarked to accommodate more than 180,000 new dwellings and a population of 300,000.
Under the NSW government's Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036, Leppington is also slated to accommodate about 70 hectares of business park land and 120,000 square metres of retail space.
"Leppington is earmarked to the centrepiece of Sydney's south-west, but many developers still don't grasp the scale of what is proposed and the scope of the opportunities," Mr Trimbole said.
"This is one of the most significant new land releases in Australia, and the NSW government has thrown its support behind linking appropriate infrastructure with new housing supply given Leppington's ideal position in the south-west Sydney growth corridor."
The Stockland scheme comprises about 3000 dwellings, a primary school, shops, sports fields and open spaces about 1.5 kilometres from the new Leppington train station.
Mr Trimbole said the real game changer for Leppington would be the completion of the suburb's $2.1 billion station. Forming part of Sydney's new South West Rail Link, it is due to be completed by late 2014, with the first passengers expected to use the facility in January 2015.
"What's beginning to focus attention on Leppington is the fact that the train station will be completed within 18 months and yet no development has started," he said. That could soon change with the pending sale of a major town-centre site at 1495 Camden Valley Way, which is earmarked for a mixed-use development of more than 500 residential units, neighbourhood shops and a child care centre.