Connectivity turbo charges growth opportunities
Australia has notched up 103 successive quarters of economic growth. It’s 26 years since we had a recession, making us a global leader in terms of growth.
Growth is important for any business, and it’s the lifeblood of the property sector.
There have always been two key pillars of property growth; the population itself and proximity — to potential employment, schools, education, hospitals and general amenity. They are now being turbo-charged by connectivity.
Sydney has, over almost 230 years, spread from its harbour heart in all directions. Some suburbs have always been popular, close to schools and the CBD.
Latterly though the city has spread west to the Blue Mountains, South West to Campbelltown and beyond, and now to the burgeoning North West bounded by Bella Vista, Rouse Hill and Kellyville. But these have been corridors of development largely starved of connectivity.
Today however infrastructure investment in the national broadband network, in roads, T‑way buses, light rail – and the promise of a new airport at Badgerys Creek — is connecting those corridors, streamlining access to jobs, schools, hospitals, universities. Connectivity is having a growth multiplier effect on proximity and population.
Sydney’s population is tipped to rise to more than 6.4 million within 20 years, and NSW’s to almost 10 million in a similar period, so there’s a fundamental numbers game at play.
Connectivity vastly expands the opportunities implied by that population growth as the previous constraints around where affordable housing, or business parks, or retail outlets can be located are eroded by improved connections, be they physical in the form of land transport, or virtual in the form of fast broadband.
Consider the cumulative effects. Say a developer builds affordable housing close to a new business park in Sydney’s West, and there are good schools close by. The businesses that take up residence will be able to access local talent which will likely prove loyal and stable workers if they have their children in local schools, but enhanced connectivity means that the adults in the house can still choose to work in the CBD assured of a faster commute – and good internet connections on the days they telecommute.
With mum and dad in work, and a financially stable home-life, those children are far more likely to complete their schooling to Year 12. They in turn will seek out work or move onto higher education and contribute to the overall growth potential of the State.
Now, say those 18-year olds decide to go to university — because there is good access to public transport they can continue to live with their family, get to university easily, and still hold down a part time job close to home. The more entrepreneurial of these young people may return from their studies and start small businesses, attracted by affordable rents and access to talent.
In the older more established areas meanwhile better public transport and roads across the State, along with fast broadband, spur urban regeneration and create further opportunities for the property sector.
And all the time the NSW population continues to grow, adding to the supply of workers, property buyers, business owners, and infrastructure users. It’s a growth cycle.
A word of caution though – it’s folly to believe all growth is good. To promote benign, sustainable, healthy growth it’s critical that organisations carefully analyse all the issues before they invest.
Good growth needs development to be well planned, well considered, well delivered. Smart developers weigh the pros, identify the cons, seek out good commercial advice and then they act, assured that they have done everything possible to ensure good and sustained growth.