The Lower Hunter is fast becoming one of the regions to gain from a growing desire of city-slickers to find a lifestyle they still crave.
Cheaper real estate, spacious blocks, less traffic and a more relaxed way of life remain a drawcard for townships in and around Maitland; including Chisholm, Lochinvar and Farley.
First home buyers can also still secure a home for less than $500,000 – a far cry from Newcastle’s new median house price of $700,000.
Ren Property real estate agent David Podmore says adequately preparing for the influx of expected ‘tree-changers’ was imperative.
“Land at the moment, as most residential real estate, is in short supply,” he said.
“We commenced marketing large level lots in Lochinvar Downs in October 2019 as we were aware of a shortage of this particular product in the marketplace.”
Buyers have since come from far afield, the experienced agent admits.
“Initially [it was] local buyers, then Newcastle owner occupiers, followed by Sydney buyers, both owner occupier and investor groups,” he said.
“We have 105 sales to date in six stages, prices increasing with each stage.
“Early buyers were particularly fortunate as the market has moved considerably,” he said.
Infrastructure, Mr Podmore warns, needs to keep up.
“Building a brand new dream home is just that, a dream,” he said.
“Lochinvar Downs has schooling nearby and parks adjacent, [it’s] not too far to simply everything at Rutherford and it won’t be too long before there is a local mini shopping centre in Lochinvar Downs itself.”
The Maitland local government area covers almost 400 square kilometres from Woodberry in the east, to Lochinvar in the west.
The city is half-an-hour drive to Newcastle beaches, the same to Hunter valley vineyards and a three hour train ride from Sydney’s Central Station.
A new hospital is also due to open early 2022.
In its Local Strategic Planning Statement 2040 released in 2020, Maitland City Council estimated its population would increase to 44,300 by 2040.
Providing for the additional 12,600 residents has been at the forefront of council planning.
“Maitland City Council has been providing a large proportion of greenfield land in the Lower Hunter for a number of years,” a spokesperson said.
“The ongoing release of this land aims to keep track with the demand for new land for family houses.
“We have consistently aimed to have a 15 year forward supply of land available to be developed for residential purposes.
“This will continue, underpinned by the recent rezoning of the Anambah Urban Release Area, which will see approximately 3,500 residential lots released over the next 20 years, development in existing Urban Release Areas including Lochinvar and Farley, as well as current rezonings in Gillieston Heights South.”