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CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

NSW land values rise again to $1.5 trillion

NSW land values soar

Will Rogers probably didn't have Sydney's inner west in mind when he famously said "don't wait to buy land; buy land and wait", but it would have been an apt observation if this has been the case. 

The New South Wales Valuer General reported that total land values had risen yet again by 11.3 per cent in the 2016 financial year to $1.5 trillion.

The value of the state's land is up by more than 57 per cent in only four financial years.

Unsurprisingly the gains were driven by residential land values which rose by 11.1 per cent to $1.2 trillion.

Inner west land pressures

Caution should always be exercised when interpreting residential land value figures, which were calculated from a sample of more than 38,000 sales in the 2016 financial year. 

This is particularly so at the Local Government Area (LGA) level, where median values can be skewed higher by sites with development potential, particularly at this advanced stage in the cycle.

As usual the most valuable residential land was the in the leafy LGAs of Mosman to the north ($1.84 million median) and Woollahra to the east ($1.82 million) which remain very much the domain of the wealthy, but most of the serious gains have been seen in the inner west of Sydney.

No fewer than 16 LGAs now have a median residential land value of more than $1 million, which will result in hefty land tax levies. 

Not everywhere saw large gains in land values, with often only moderate changes in regional and coastal New South Wales, and the Blue Mountains, for example. 

There were declines too in mining locations. 

Broken Hill and the mining areas of the Hunter (the LGAs of Muswellbrook, Singleton, and the Upper Hunter) recorded drops in land values ranging from around 8 per cent to 15 per cent.

On the other hand, the greatest gains in the financial year were seen in Burwood, with land values up by no less than 37.5 per cent, a location which saw the sale of a number of development sites in both the centre of the suburb and along Parramatta Road. 

Over the past four financial years there have been crunching gains in half a dozen or more LGAs located to the west of the Sydney Central Business District.

We live in a nominal world, as the saying goes, and when looking at the greatest dollar value increase in median residential land values, top of the pile was Strathfield which has recorded an astronomical increase of $723,000 since FY2012.

I can't think of anything pithy to say about these numbers, so I'll leave the last word to Will Rogers:

"Find out where the people are going and buy the land before they get there."