Rail property price boost

Written By miftah nugraha on Minggu, 14 April 2013 | 19.55

A LIGHT rail link for Hobart's northern suburbs could increase local property values between 10 per cent and 20 per cent, research suggests.

Research led by Curtin University's James McIntosh analyses the effect of passenger rail on other cities, using Perth and Melbourne as case studies.

A survey of academic work on property values in rail catchment areas indicates that proximity to rail services generally increases property values across residential and commercial sales.

It also increases leases between 5 and 25 per cent.

Hobart-based Mr McIntosh found the case study of Perth provided compelling evidence of the well-established link between rail access and increased land value.

A link between Hobart and Glenorchy using the existing railway line has support from all sides of politics, however, funding for the $100 million project has not been committed.

Real Estate Institute of Tasmania president Adrian Kelly said the northern suburbs were one of Hobart's biggest growth areas.

Mr Kelly said public transport was a big consideration for the increasing number of city professionals buying homes in the northern suburbs.

"I have no doubt that light rail would improve property values. It certainly would make those suburbs more attractive for people to buy in, it would make them far more desirable places to live," Mr Kelly said.

While Sustainable Transport Minister Nick McKim is advocating a Hobart-Glenorchy link, a light rail lobby group wants it to go all the way to Brighton.

A report on Hobart's urban growth corridor through the northern suburbs by Hobart architects Paul Johnston and Wesley Hindmarch also predicts the benefits that come with light rail.

The researchers from transFORM urban design say the light rail project would increase the number of potential sites for affordable housing development and create a string of high-value communities and economic activity along the length of the rail corridor.

Hobart Northern Suburbs Rail Action Group president Ben Johnston said the new research added to the mounting body of expert opinion in support of light rail.

Independent Denison MP Andrew Wilkie said the research showing the potential benefits of light rail was exciting and further strengthened the case for light rail link to be funded.

"Around the world vibrant commercial and urban hubs have sprung up in rail catchment areas with all the jobs and economic opportunities that increased commercial and social activity brings," Mr Wilkie said.

"Hobart could experience real urban renewal as a result of the light rail project."

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