How gentrification can unlock capital growth

How does the process of gentrification impact property values? We speak with John Zheng, managing director of LJ Hooker at Pyrmont, to find out.

What is gentrification?

John-Zeng

Zheng: I think it’s the transformation of a deteriorated area into a more developing and urban suburb, and I think there are a number of processes that any area has to go through for this to occur. For example, you need to identify the need, the benefit of this transformation, and the need for infrastructure. I think infrastructure is the key to this process.

As far as I understand, for the infrastructure to take place, it needs both public and private investment into the area to happen. If infrastructure is underway, if the private sector is involved in the development, then it requires public awareness through some sort of promotion to the area so people know that this particular area is undergoing gentrification.

I think the government needs to promote the area first, because the government needs to provide information to the public about what the trend will be for those areas. I think government infrastructure needs to be accomplished first to attract attention and investment into real estate.

What factors contribute to gentrification?

Zheng: An increase in the population. That’s why there’s a need for the area to be improved and there are other factors that come with that. For example, in terms of work commitment, young people are working long hours and don’t want a long commute, so they need to live somewhere close to the city. That’s why some of the city fringe areas that are run down or deteriorated have potential for gentrification, because those areas will attract working class people.

The other factor that contributes to gentrification is associated with geographic location. For those public and private sector investments, it needs to be in a geographic location that will benefit all the community.Gentrification-apartment

What are the main benefits of investing in areas undergoing gentrification?

Zheng: The main benefit is improvement in lifestyle. That’s why I’ve seen a number of suburbs go through this process. People want to improve their lifestyle. They don’t want to drive one or two hours to get into the city for work. They want to have more time to do things they like to do.

For investors, the potential capital growth in an area is definitely one of the key things to look for. Also, the area going through this process could be an emerging suburb, and we can see that the suburb will continue to grow.

How can gentrification increase property prices?

Zheng: Over time, gentrification will increase both demand for rental and demand for property, which will increase property prices.

What areas will benefit from gentrification?

Zheng: In Sydney, I think areas like Waterloo, Chippendale, Green Square, Water Creek near the airport will benefit from gentrification. These areas I can see are about to go into this process.

Green Square is one example. A few years ago,the Green Square station was built, and it's an area near the airport and the CBD. It’s not far away from the CBD, and that area has a lot of potential because it used to be a lot of warehouses and a lot of old terrace houses. Now, developers can come in and redevelop the whole area, and people can easily commute to the city because its only two stops to get to Central Station.

Gentrification Green Square

Green Square Station

Do you think gentrification is something that both owner-occupiers and investors should consider before investing in an area?

Zheng: Definitely. I think the major benefit goes to the investor, because you can see capital growth in those areas in the medium-long term.

There is also benefit to owner-occupiers, but it depends what stage of the process the area is going through. If it's at the beginning of this process, then the owner-occupier can hopefully get more capital growth. Or maybe it's been through this process a few years ago and it's just about to be completed, in which case the area is good for owner-occupiers because the infrastructure is already there. However, they’re not going to get as much capital growth as those who go there in the early stages of the process.

If people are able to identify that an area is about to go through this process, then I would recommend people to invest in the area because you’ll get the most of the capital growth. As long as they think this process is definitely going to go through, and the government has the funds and the urban planning in place, it's an area that people should watch.

Are there any risks to investing in an area experiencing gentrification?

Zheng: It all has to do with risk and benefit. Where there is the potential to benefit, there is also some risk. It depends how long this process will be. If you’re investing at the beginning of the process, then you need to have some idea of how long the process will be, such as whether you’re able to wait 5-10 years for it to be completed. So people need to understand the process and how long the process will take.

One of the risks for owner-occupiers is if the owner is going to buy in an area at the beginning of gentrification. The facilities and infrastructure may not be ready at that point in time, so that’s an inconvenience when buying property in the early stages of the process.

Waterloo is halfway through the process, but the infrastructure hasn’t been able to catch up with demand or the needs for the area. For example, public transport there is an issue. There has been a lot of development and lots of apartments being built, but public transport has been left behind, so it could create a lot of inconvenience for the community to get to the city.

How does ‘cafe culture’ impact a suburb’s value?

Zheng: The reason people want to move to emerging suburbs, or those undergoing urban renewal, is they want to improve their lifestyle, so anything that facilities improvement of lifestyle will improve the area, and cafe culture is one of the things that will attract them to that area. As long as there are restaurants, pubs and bars, those facilities will attract younger generations to those emerging suburbs.

Compare home loans to buy in a gentrified suburb

Rates last updated September 21st, 2018
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Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
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Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
3.59%
3.59%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Enjoy flexible repayments, a redraw facility and the ability to split your loan. Plus, pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.64%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a low interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Plus you can make extra repayments and free redraw online. Available with just a 10% deposit.
3.64%
3.65%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a very low interest rate and pay fewer fees. Enjoy a fast online application process and add a 100% offset account for $10 a month.
3.64%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A simple mortgage with a competitive interest rate and no application or monthly fees. Borrow up to $2 million from a convenient online lender.
3.68%
3.82%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Get double Velocity Frequent Flyer Points with this mortgage to spend on flights and more (for a limited time, subject to eligibility requirements). Redraw facility available on this variable rate home loan. Competitive interest rate.
3.65%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Competitive interest rate and low fees. Available with a 10% deposit. Partial offset account attached (offset up to $15,000).
3.54%
3.57%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable interest rate product aimed at refinancers looking to switch to a lower rate.
3.79%
3.80%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get one free online redraw per month and pay no ongoing fees. Application fees are waived for loans above $150,000.
3.49%
4.57%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Loans over $150k get a discount off an already low fixed rate. Available for NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.64%
3.78%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Earn double Velocity Frequent Flyer Points on your mortgage for a limited time (subject to eligibility requirements). Plus, access a 100% offset account to save on interest.
3.69%
4.12%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Unlock a range of savings with this competitive package home loan offer. Offset account and redraw facility included.
3.75%
3.75%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get a flexible loan with the ability to split up to 6 times.
3.79%
3.82%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A variable investor mortgage with a high borrowing amount so you can fund a large purchase.
3.74%
4.13%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
Get a sharp rate plus package discounts and a 100% offset account.
3.64%
3.65%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Fast, 100% online application process. Very limited fees. Optional offset account (with fee).
3.77%
3.81%
$695
$0 p.a.
95%
A simplified mortgage with a low interest rate and a redraw facility.
3.54%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a competitive rate, save on fees and access a 100% offset account plus redraw facility. $900 cashback offer.
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A low interest rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees.
3.80%
3.80%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Earn tens of thousands of Qantas Points or more with this variable owner occupier mortgage. Requires a 30% deposit.
3.79%
3.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Access an offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this special variable rate for owner-occupiers.
3.71%
3.71%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A variable rate home loan that has a lot of flexible features. This loan has a 100% offset account.
3.88%
3.89%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Save on interest with a free 100% offset account and buy your property with just a 10% deposit.
3.72%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Save on interest by taking advantage of a 100% offset account along with no ongoing fees or application fees.
3.85%
3.85%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application and ongoing fees with Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan. Split and redraw facilities included.
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A basic variable home loan that offers a competitive interest rate with no application fees and no ongoing fees.
3.83%
4.89%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
A flexible 3 year fixed rate loan you can use to buy your own home.
3.84%
3.84%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get access to a free redraw facility with this innovative online lender.
3.87%
3.91%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
Get Velocity Frequent Flyer Points at settlement, monthly and every three years, plus the option to make up to $10,000 a year in extra repayments.
3.70%
3.90%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Enjoy all the benefits of the Basic Home Loan and take advantage of an offset account.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic owner-occupier home loan with a low variable rate that requires a 20% deposit.
3.72%
4.10%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
New borrowers or refinancers can get a discounted rate with this package loan. Bonus $1,500 cashback for refinancers.
3.59%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Apply online and get fast approval for this fixed rate, low-fee loan with redraw facilities. Add a 100% offset account for a small fee.
3.99%
4.13%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
A competitive variable rate home loan with no application fee.
3.59%
4.19%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
Get a low discounted rate for 2 years plus a 100% offset account. And you can get the loan with a 10% deposit.
3.62%
3.62%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A low deposit mortgage with a competitive rate and plenty of flexibility. QLD residents only. Eligible borrowers can get a 15% discount on home and contents insurance for the life of their loan.
3.84%
3.82%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A fixed rate loan with free redraws, few ongoing fees. Apply online with a fast approval process.
3.89%
3.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fee and borrow up to 80% LVR.
3.73%
3.87%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Borrow up to $500000 and earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points (terms and conditions apply).
3.75%
4.00%
$0
$248 p.a.
70%
Borrowers with a 30% deposit can get this competitive rate.
3.59%
4.74%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Enjoy a competitive rate with no application fee for this package loan.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
Pay no deposit or LMI and get a discounted rate with this family pledge loan. Requires a family member to act as guarantor. NSW, Qld and ACT only.
3.76%
4.15%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A high maximum LVR home loan with redraw facility and additional payments. Get this mortgage with a 10% deposit.
3.67%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Family guarantee option available. Enjoy flexible repayments and a low minimum loan amount.
3.81%
3.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A home loan with a competitive rate and plenty of handy features. This product comes with a 100% offset account.
4.04%
4.07%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
For a limited time, pay no application or settlement fees. You can also take advantage of a free redraw facility.
3.97%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Package your owner occupied loan with investment loan and receive a discounted investment rate. 100% offset account included.
3.69%
4.08%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
Package your loan with other AMP products and save on rates and fees.
3.93%
3.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low-fee line of credit loan from an online lender. Unlock the equity in your home and make interest-only repayments with a competitive rate.
3.89%
3.91%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This variable rate loan keeps the features simple and fees low. This loan is offered by a 100% online lender.
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Investors with a 30% deposit can get this low rate loan to fund their property portfolio.
3.89%
3.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Borrow up to 90% of the value of the property you're buying, and pay no application fee.
4.13%
4.14%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Access a fee-free offset account and a special interest rate for investors.
4.18%
4.18%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors get a 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this loan from an innovative online lender.
3.72%
3.72%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
New customers can get a discounted variable rate and a fee-free redraw facility. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.59%
4.14%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A one year fixed rate offer with no ongoing bank fees.
3.89%
4.94%
$595
$0 p.a.
90%
Borrow up to 90% of the value of the property you're buying and pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.74%
4.01%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive fixed interest rate product with no ongoing bank fees.
3.70%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Get a discount for keeping your LVR at 70% or below with this innovative online lender.
3.99%
4.86%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Access a fee-free 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.99%
4.62%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender.
3.69%
4.54%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A fixed rate loan with a 100% offset account and the option to make additional repayments. Loans over $150k receive a discounted rate. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a discounted, low-fee investor loan from a convenient online lender. 20% deposit required.
4.29%
4.26%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive 3-year fixed rate loan with a high max insured LVR.

Compare up to 4 providers

Belinda Punshon

Belinda is a journalist here at finder.com.au. Specialising in the home loans and property sections, she is passionate about helping Australians improve their financial wellbeing.

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