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3 ways Canberra will benefit from urban renewal

By Ben Faulks

There has been a big focus on urban renewal in Canberra in the last couple of years. From implementation in the Belconnen Town Centre master plan to the development of the Northbourne Gateway to central Canberra, urban renewal is becoming a byword for property development in Canberra.

It is unsurprising then that the theme continues in 2016. Research from the Property Council of Australia has revealed that confidence levels in Canberra property remain high, having had the second highest growth in the country over the last 12 months.

However, the report also described that in order for these confidence levels to continue soaring, the ACT government has to remain focused on urban renewal to improve economic activity. But just how does this affect the average Canberran property buyer? What does it mean for those with real estate in Belconnen?

Urban renewal could mean big changes for Canberra properties.

1. Better public housing boosts value of private residences

As the city improves its public housing and spaces, the more attractive it will become to visitors and outside investors.

A major part of the urban renewal plans put forth for Canberra include the revitalisation of a huge number of public housing domiciles. A minimum of 1,288 residences are intended to be built in order to replace the out-of-date public housing present across areas such as Northbourne Avenue.

This improved real estate will not only mean better living for tenants, but also help boost the value of the city as a whole. As the city improves its public housing and spaces, the more attractive it will become to visitors and outside investors.

"We tell people Canberrans are well educated, sophisticated, socially concerned, green, lifestyle oriented and interested in the public good," said Robyn Hendry, CEO of the Canberra Business Centre on January 18 in the Canberra Times.

Urban renewal helps promote this desired reputation, as it demonstrates that Canberra is forward-thinking and dynamic, as well as presenting a welcoming perspective for potential residents and businesses in Canberra. The better the overall look of the city, the better prices current residents will be offered.

2. A boost for a slowing property market

Additional capital in property could be the answer to ensure that the slowdown does not turn into a fall.

There are signs that after such an excellent few years, the national capital city property market may be slowing down. With CoreLogic RP Data reporting a drop in dwelling values in Canberra of 1.1 per cent in the final month of the year, the creation of jobs and additional capital in property could be the answer to ensure that the slowdown does not turn into a fall.

For locals, the average unit (such as a Belconnen apartment) price according to Realestate.com.au has not changed significantly since October 2015 to January 2016. This new focus on urban renewal in the city could have a knock-on effect for property prices in the suburbs, meaning that these stagnated gains could begin to return to their previous climbs in the beginning of 2015.

3. More amenities for a more inclusive Canberra

Chief Minister Andrew Barr described how he wants to turn Canberra into the "coolest little capital in the world", and urban renewal is how it will be achieved. 

"Urban Renewal is how we will use our existing infrastructure [and] increased investment to create new markets for new businesses to service new facilities and new residents," said Mr Barr.

"It is about shaping the natural and built environment to improve social interaction and improve our community's quality of life."

A greater quality of life means more amenities for real estate in Gungahlin to Campbell, as well as in the city. This creates greater interest from people who are after a more lively and economically vibrant urban scene. 

Urban renewal is of benefit to everybody, from residents of public housing to private investors in Belconnen real estate. For more information on the Canberra property market, speak to the experts at Ray White Belconnen.

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