From the 1950’s to the 1980’s Sydney’s growth was focused to the west, today it’s the South West and North West, both are major growth centres attracting very significant development activity.

The South West region has 18 precincts spread over approximately 17,000 hectares with projected capacity for around 110,000 new dwellings for 300,000 people. The North West Growth area comprises 16 precincts, and is approximately 10,000 hectares with plans for 70,000 new dwellings for 200,000 people.

Recently I acted in a transaction (17th January 2012) between Stockland and Winten Property Group. Stockland purchased (with deferred terms) a 163-hectare site in Marsden Park, for $165 million. The landmark site in the North West is located on Richmond Road, it has the potential to deliver about 2,300 new homes. Stockland also secured the first right of refusal from Winten Property Group over an adjacent parcel of land, which has the potential for a further 2,200 homes.

This sale follows the recent State Government land release (October 2011) of the Blacktown section of Rouse Hill, known as Area 20, where that land will be rezoned for 2,500 homes.

I think it is of key importance to note that the Stockland/Winten transaction and the Area 20 land release are currently both underscored by transport connections. Thankfully Area 20 includes part of the proposed route for the North West Rail Link while the Stockland purchase will access the Riverstone railway station and be within 15 minutes of the Norwest Business Park where new stations are planned.

Last year Stockland also acquired land for approximately 3,000 new homes at Leppington in Sydney’s South West and here again rail access via the South West Rail Link is a key advantage. The South West Rail Link is already well under construction from Glenfield through the Edmondson Park release area to Leppington and will soon cross over the Hume Highway.

It is clear that along with future residents in both the South & North West regions the industries eyes will remain on big improvements to Sydney’s rail network.