TIP: growth corridor prices shoot up, housing props up retail, fourth Sydney defect apartment block

...and with a click of a button, money gets cheaper.


As NAB became the last of the big four banks yesterday to drop its interest rate threshold in the wake of removal of APRA's serviceability buffer (to 5.5 per cent), fresh CoreLogic mapping of Sydney's property prices has shown growing parts of the city are experiencing against-trend spikes in values.


No surprises for guessing that median house prices around Badgery's Creek, site of Sydney's planned second airport, have more than doubled since 2014. What's interesting is how other parts of Sydney's growing outer belt are following suit; existing property values in Theresa Park, Greendale, Cattai (near Box Hill), Maraylya and Glenorie are showing similar growth patterns.


What's really interesting though, is how quickly some of Australia's largest property developers are performing the double pivot back to residential property, after telling the market they were shifting away from it only a few months ago. Today, AMP Capital, Scentre Group and Vicinity Centres are all planning residential components to their new retail development projects, as they hedge their bets against an ailing retail sector.


More bloody battles over defect apartments


There's blood in the water now. Today's SMH is reporting on another defect apartment block, this time in Alexandria. In this case, the building was constructed with apparent non-compliance issues - and a certifier has been censured by City of Sydney for letting residents back in with remedial work yet to be conducted.


This coincides with widespread reporting today on findings of a parliamentary inquiry into NSW apartment building defects. The situations described are a horror story of unsafe and disgusting living conditions, caused by shoddy workmanship and materials. We've also got the Tele upping the ante on naming-and-shaming problem buildings related to the combustible cladding issue; this story has an interactive map identifying buildings by LGA. And who would want to be Toplace Construction director, Jean Nassif right now?


City Futures Research Centre professor, Bill Randolph has an opinion piece on the subject in today's Herald. It's a handy helicopter-view assessment of the complexity of this issue and how difficult it will be for government to address, particularly as demand for housing in a city growing as rapidly as Sydney continues to increase.


It seems perverse that while this is all going on, News Corp is running its fanciful series of fictional articles on what parts of Sydney may look like by 2040 - ignoring planning rules and even the laws of gravity in some cases. Clearly the artists haven't tried to get a development height revision permit through a NIMBY-influenced Council planning panel in the past 20 years.

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