Overall residential land values in the Hunter increased nine per cent in a year, according to a report released by the NSW Valuer General.
Residential land values increased to $131.1 billion as of July 1, 2018, up from $120.2 billion on July 1, 2017.
The growth varied from slight increases in the Singleton (3.8 per cent) and Upper Hunter (4.0 per cent) local government areas, to strong increases in the Mid-Coast (13.0 per cent) and Central Coast (12.1 per cent) local government areas.
Newcastle increased 6.7 per cent and Lake Macquarie 5.8 per cent.
Muswellbrook (with its 0.4 per cent increase) was the only area to record steady residential land values.
There were 367,672 residential properties in the Hunter, making the average land value of a residential property in the region $327,148.
The NSW Valuer General’s report recognised the region as the Central Coast, Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter council areas.
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It shows growth across all property types, as total land value, increased by more than eight per cent in a year for the entire region to more than $162 billion.
Industrial land recorded the most growth in the year, increasing 11.6 per cent to $3.15 billion for 5604 properties in 2018, up from $2.82 billion a year earlier.
Commercial land values in Newcastle rose 10.7 per cent.
The report said there was “increased demand” for commercial land “as a result of government infrastructure spending to improve roads and construction of the light rail in Newcastle”.
Overall commercial land values in the Hunter increased by 8.7 per cent, rising to $5.35 billion in 2018 from $4.29 billion the year before.
The report attributed the rise to a number of factors.
It said the improvement was “related to the flow-on from strong residential demand and low interest rates, improved returns and rents, and government infrastructure spending [on] roads, light rail and capital works”.
Rural land values in the region increased 7.3 per cent, up to $13.68 billion from $12.75 billion, despite difficult conditions due to the drought.
There were 36,406 rural properties in the region.
“The rural increases occurred against the backdrop of drier than normal seasonal conditions, however the rural-residential and hobby farm markets which dominate the Hunter Region were less impacted by seasonal conditions and driven more by demand, affordability and accessibility,” the Valuer General’s report said.
The report’s land values were prepared by private contract valuers.