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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 June 25th, 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
3.69%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get $1,000 cash into a USaver account when you apply for a loan of $200,000 or more (new or refinance). Terms and conditions apply. 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.
80%
Pay no ongoing fees and enjoy a flexible repayment schedule, including the ability to make unlimited additional repayments without penalty.
3.69%
3.69%
$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.
3.69%
4.11%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Save on interest with a 100% offset account and save on other ME products with this package loan.
3.64%
3.67%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This loan offers a competitive variable rate and a 100% offset account to help save you on interest repayments.
3.52%
3.53%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Go from application to approval in as little as 20 minutes with a variable rate loan from this innovative online lender. Add a 100% offset account for $10 a month.
3.49%
4.49%
$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.
3.89%
4.88%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Low deposit package loan with a range of discounts. Earn up to 500,000 Velocity Points to spend on flights, hotels and more.
3.69%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Package your loan and get an interest rate discount, a 100% offset account and help from an HSBC relationship manager.
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.
3.73%
3.76%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This basic loan offers discounts for higher borrowing amounts and carries no ongoing fees.
3.64%
3.67%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A mortgage with a competitive variable rate, limited fees and plenty of flexibility.
3.79%
3.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application and ongoing fees with Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan.
3.84%
3.87%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Save on interest with a free 100% offset account and buy your property with just a 10% deposit.
3.49%
3.52%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
This mortgage combines a very sharp interest rate with a 100% offset account and it's available with a 5% deposit.
3.54%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Eligible borrowers can get $900 cashback on this loan with a 100% offset account and a redraw facility.
3.99%
4.85%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Competitive fixed rate package loan. For a limited time you can earn Velocity Points to spend on hotels and flights.
3.65%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This special rate mortgage has no ongoing fees and offers flexible repayments. Save $595 in establishment fees before 30 June.
3.68%
3.83%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Get a 100% offset account to save on interest charges, and pay no application fee.
3.68%
4.00%
$0
$299 p.a.
80%
Get a 100% offset account and rate discounts for higher borrowing amounts.
3.64%
3.69%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable rate for borrowers with a 20% deposit or more. Guarantor option available.
3.69%
3.74%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
A low rate variable home loan offer with no monthly fees or application fee charge.
3.62%
3.62%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A low deposit mortgage with a competitive rate and plenty of flexibility. QLD residents only.
3.62%
3.62%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get access to a redraw facility and flexible repayment schedule. Get $1,000 cash into a USaver account when you apply for a loan of $200,000 or more. Terms and conditions apply.
3.64%
3.84%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Enjoy all the benefits of the Basic Home Loan and take advantage of an offset account.
3.96%
3.98%
$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.
3.68%
4.00%
$0
$299 p.a.
80%
Get a 100% offset account and rate discounts for higher borrowing amounts.
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.
3.73%
3.76%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This basic loan offers discounts for higher borrowing amounts and carries no ongoing fees.
3.70%
4.13%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Package your loan with an eligible credit card for discounts on rates and fees, and get a 100% offset account.
3.64%
4.03%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
Package your loan with other AMP products and save on rates and fees.
3.77%
3.81%
$200
$0 p.a.
95%
A simplified mortgage with a low interest rate and a 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.
3.64%
3.96%
$0
$299 p.a.
80%
Get a fully-featured loan with a 100% offset account and discounts for higher borrowing amounts.
3.68%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
This variable rate loan offers flexible repayments and a redraw facility. Available with a 5% deposit.
3.69%
3.94%
$0
$248 p.a.
70%
Get a sharp rate and a 100% offset account. Borrowers must have a 30% deposit.
3.59%
3.99%
$600
$395 p.a.
95%
Get interest rate discounts and waived fees on this package loan with a 100% offset account.
3.68%
3.69%
$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.
3.87%
3.87%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
Get Virgin Velocity Points at settlement, monthly and every three years, plus the option to make up to $10,000 a year in extra repayments.
4.09%
4.11%
$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.
3.69%
4.04%
$0
$350 p.a.
95%
A competitive rate with no application fee.
3.83%
4.49%
$0
$299 p.a.
95%
Owner-occupiers can enjoy a discounted fixed rate, a rate lock feature and the ability to make additional repayments.
3.99%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
2 years fixed interest terms with no application fee or ongoing fees, loans.com.au has won a range of awards for their home loans.
3.79%
3.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this special variable rate for owner-occupiers.
3.89%
3.92%
$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.
3.79%
3.83%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
A low interest rate loan with limited fees and a redraw facility. Principal and interest repayments only.
4.09%
4.12%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Access a fee-free offset account and a special interest rate for investors.
3.78%
3.78%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get access to a free redraw facility with this innovative online lender.
3.89%
3.89%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Investors with a 30% deposit can get this low rate loan to fund their property portfolio.
3.99%
5.17%
$600
$0 p.a.
90%
Competitive rates for fixed for 3 years with redraw facility.
3.90%
4.78%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive fixed rate mortgage with split facilities and extra repayments. You can get this loan with a 5% deposit.
3.74%
3.74%
$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.
4.09%
4.12%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Buy a home with just a 5% deposit and get flexible repayment options and a redraw facility.
3.59%
4.14%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A one year fixed rate offer with no ongoing bank fees.
4.14%
4.14%
$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.
3.99%
4.62%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering 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.
3.74%
4.01%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive 3 year fixed rate with no ongoing bank fees.
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Get a discount for keeping your LVR at 70% or below with this innovative online lender.
3.85%
4.05%
$0
$350 p.a.
95%
This high LVR fixed rate loan allows you to borrow up to 95% of the value of the property you're buying.
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a discounted, low-fee investor loan from a convenient online lender. 20% deposit required. Get $1,000 cash into a USaver account when you apply for a loan of $200,000 or more (new or refinance). Terms and conditions apply.
3.69%
4.47%
$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.
3.85%
4.82%
$600
$35 monthly ($420 p.a.)
90%
Make up to $10,000 in extra repayments per year and take advantage of a flexible repayment schedule.
3.69%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Keep your LVR at 70% or below and enjoy a special discounted rate. Also, pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.99%
4.03%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Buy a home with just a 5% deposit and pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.89%
4.96%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Switch to this loan and can get $1,500 cashback. Conditions apply. Package your home loan with a Qantas rewards earning Amplify credit card.
3.89%
4.97%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Get discounts on a range of Commonwealth Bank products and enjoy the option of fee-free extra repayments during the fixed term.
3.64%
3.65%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
Family pledge option available. Get a special discount off Bank of Melbourne's basic variable rate.

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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