443 Hunter Street 2300 Newcastle , NSW
Phone: 02 4974 8900
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443 Hunter Street 2300 Newcastle , NSW
Phone: 02 4974 8900

Kids Don’t Fly – Changes to Window Safety Locks

Property Management Tips – Ask Susan

Each year, around 50 children fall from windows or balconies. Many suffer serious injuries and some result in deaths. Most of these tragedies occur in children’s own home to address this issue in NSW.

New legislation becomes effective by 13/3/18 states the law applies to openable windows where the internal floor is more than 2m above the ground surface outside, and within a child’s reach (less than 1.7m above the floor inside). To prevent children falling from windows, all strata buildings in NSW must be fitted with devices that enable the maximum window openings to be less than 12.5cm.

Alternatives to locks are security screens, such as bars or grills on windows, so long as they have gaps less than 12.5cm. Fly screens do not comply unless they are the reinforced security type and capable of resisting the very strong outward pressure that would prevent a child from falling through.

Susan Saetta a property manager with over 24 years experiance, recommends that it would be prudent for any investment property owners whether they own a strata premises or not, to review their current window and balcony lock safety measures.

For more information: Ask Susan Saetta at Walkom Real Estate Email susan.saetta@walkom.com.au Phone 0249748900

For detailed information, helpful booklets and checklists visit: Kids Don’t Fly

Department of Fair Trading

Scott Walkom

Newcastle Residential Prices – Forecast 2020

The future looks bright for the Newcastle property market. With Newcastle’s median house price forecast set to increase by 9% to $635,000 by June 2020. (Compare with a 4% decline in Sydney). Source BIS Oxford Economics December 17 Update.

Positive Factors driving the market are;
* The ‘revitalisation’ of Newcastle, a NSW government program has had a positive impact
* New infrastructure has been built and is underway eg The Light Rail System and the Wickham Transport Interchange
* An environment attracting migration into the region – stimulating demand for new homes
* Prices under $750,000 enable more Newcastle buyers to benefit from the FHOG stamp duty exemptions
* Generally more affordable homes prices

Not to mention the great lifestyle. World class beaches with great surf, easy to access harbour foreshore, great bike tracks, excellent education facilities, Tafe, Newcastle Uni, affordable Private and Public Schools coupled with excellent employment opportunities.
If you need a place to eat and think about buying a property in Newcastle, head to Scratchleys on the Wharf, Neil will look after you.

Scott Walkom

First Home Buyers

What the new first home buyer concessions mean for the Newcastle property market

As has been widely reported, July 1 marked the first day of the NSW Government’s increase to support packages for first home buyers. Designed to bring some much- need relief for first home buyers entering the market – who often face stiff competition from investors – the Government’s updated package includes the introduction of the following measures:

  • Abolish stamp duty on all homes up to $650,000
  • Give stamp duty relief for homes up to $800,000
  • Provide a $10,000 grant for builders of new homes up to $750,000 and purchasers of new homes up to $600,000
  • Abolish insurance duty on lenders’ mortgage insurance
  • Ensure foreign investors pay higher duties and land taxes
  • No longer allow investors to defer paying stamp duty on off-the-plan purchases.So what does this mean for first home buyers in Newcastle?While obviously this is welcome news for First Home Buyers across the country, in Newcastle specifically it means the barrier to entering the market has been lowered significantly. With this comes the fact that the scope of properties available to first home buyers has also now widened greatly. Whereas prior to the legislation most first home buyers were limited to outer suburbs, now they can also consider inner-city areas.

    And apart from the lifestyle appeal and conveniences associated with inner-city living is the additional benefit of financial security. Most inner-city properties, such as apartments, terraces, townhouses and the like have a track record in steadily increasing in value over time and at the very minimum retaining it.

And how does this affect the greater Newcastle property market?

As most Novocastrians will be well aware, the Newcastle property market has been seeing significant steady growth. In fact, recent figures from BIS Oxford Economics indicate that the Newcastle market is expected to experience growth of 11.4% in 2017 and 5.4% in 20181.

Reasons for this vary but include:

  • ‘Revitalisation’ of the Newcastle CBD – positive impact from new infrastructure the light rail, transport interchange at Wickham and the $95M University ‘New Space’ Building – now operational. The New Space – inner city campus building is bringing 3000 students into the CBD.
  • Increased role of Newcastle as a logistic hub
  • Strong employment growth in construction and tourism. Unemployment 5.5% March 17.
  • Increased home affordability compared to Sydney leading the increased migration to the area.

Well and truly gone are the days in Newcastle’s not-so-recent past following the closure of the steel works, where the city was suffering from an identity crisis that saw most store fronts on Hunter St empty and a lack of certainty dictating house prices. With growth and confidence in the city now in abundance there has never been a better time to own property in Newcastle.

When the heart of the city is strong it resonates outward. And the city is now booming, which means home owners and investors can also enjoy the long-term benefits, which come from that certainty and stability.

So all in all, the new first home buyer policies are good news for first-home buyers, current home owners and the Newcastle property market and city alike. Click here for more information on Newcastle’s residential and commercial property market.

1 BIS Oxford Economics Residential Prospects 2017-2020

Scott Walkom

Newcastle – Last 12 Months – 2016-2017

The median house price in Newcastle reached $554,100 in March 17. Growing 8.6% for the year.  Newcastle’s median price is just under half of Sydney’s median house price, making Newcastle property attractive for buyers priced out of the Sydney market.

Newcastle – Residential Price Forecast 2018

Newcastle’s median house price is expected to grow by 5.4% in 2018.

The main drivers for the local property market are;

  • ‘Revitalisation’ of the Newcastle CBD – positive impact from new infrastructure the light rail, transport interchange at Wickham and the $95M University ‘New Space’ Building – now operational. The New Space – inner city campus building is bringing 3000 students into the CBD.
  • Increased role of Newcastle as a logistic hub
  • Strong employment growth in construction and tourism. Unemployment 5.5% March 17.
  • Increased home affordability compared to Sydney leading the increased migration to the area.

Overall Market Conditions

  • Interest Rates – Expected to remain at current low levels.
  • Finance for investment loans is more difficult to obtain, slowing investor demand.
  • First home buyer scheme changes, reducing stamp duty, will support buyer demand.
  • Population growth in NSW of 111,300 persons, exceeding previous highs. Strong growth in overseas students.
  • Property Vacancy rates – Newcastle June 201, 2.9%  (July 16, 2.4%)  ( Sydney 2017, 1.8%)
  • Rental Yields –  indicative rental yields for houses in Sydney are just 2.1% and Melbourne 2.3%. Lowest on record. Other capital cities are around 3.7%. Yields are expected to remain low for a few years to come.



Source :  BIS Oxford Economics – Residential Property Prospects 2017-2020
& Hunter Research Foundation Centre – Economic Indicators –
Hunter Region March 2017.


Scott Walkom

‘Centrale’ and the rebirth of Broadmeadow

Brunker Road Broadmeadow is set to undergo further redevelopment with the recent DA approval for a boutique apartment complex. Known as ‘Centrale’, the project is being spearheaded by GWH Property Development in conjunction with Walkom Real Estate.

Featuring 39 architecturally designed apartments, courtesy of EJE Architects, Centrale signifies a turning point for both Broadmeadow real estate and the suburb in general. With Newcastle City Council already underway in their plans to renew the Brunker Road corridor, Centrale will further solidify Broadmeadow as the next destination suburb to live.

With its close proximity to Newcastle CBD and beaches along with Westfield Kotara, Broadmeadow Train Station, Newcastle Entertainment Centre, McDonald Jones Stadium, John Hunter Hospital, Calvary Mater Hospital plus an abundance of good quality schools, Centrale has all of life’s conveniences at its fingertips.

Since its release in April 2017, close to thirty-five per cent of the apartments within Centrale are already sold, including all three bedroom apartments. Only one and two bedroom apartments currently remain.

Scott Walkom, Principal at Walkom Real Estate comments, “Centrale represents a real game changer for Broadmeadow and one that extends from the significant changes being felt right across Newcastle.

“As the city undergoes tremendous change, so do the suburbs located within close proximity to it, such as Broadmeadow. It is a suburb in metamorphosis and the savvy buyers – be them investors or owner/occupiers – are well aware of this, which is clearly why the apartments are selling so fast.

“Centrale will not only continue to add to the upscaling of the suburb, but it will also pave the way for further developments in the area that will result in a full reinvigoration of Broadmeadow.”

Centrale is also bound to appeal to first home buyers with the introduction of the NSW State Government’s stamp duty relief package, which comes into effect July 1. Stamp duty concession will now be available for properties valued between $650,000 to $800,000.

“Centrale will be ideal for a wide variety of buyers including those entering the market for the first time,” continued Scott. “Thanks to the Government’s new policies, the savings for first home buyers on properties like Centrale are considerable. For example, on new and off the plan dwellings valued up to $650,000 first home buyers will now save a whopping $26,857, making living somewhere like Centrale a reality, where it may have been previously just out of reach.”

All Centrale apartments feature well-appointed finishes, open plan living that flows out to a private balcony or courtyard, air conditioning, stone bench tops and stainless-steel appliances, with upgrade packages also available.

The Centrale apartment complex is located at 65 Brunker Road, Broadmeadow, with a display suite also located on 128 Beaumont St, Hamilton.

For more information on Centrale and the Newcastle property market, contact Walkom Real Estate.