Prospects for commercial property values and future developments along Sydney’s Metro lines are receiving considerable uptick thanks to the new rapid transit system. While the entire project is not due for completion until 2030, its positive impacts are already being felt.

Capital values in suburbs along the four Sydney Metro lines have experienced a lift in capital values of almost 50% compared to an average of 5% in their surrounding suburbs shows data compiled by CBRE.

Key drivers are shorter commutes and gentrification as infrastructure around new Metro stations is developed. By 2030 the completed Sydney Metro will possess the ability to run a metro train every two minutes in each direction under the city, placing the network on a par with its international counterparts by lifting the number of passengers transported per hour closer to 40,000 compared to the current average of 24,000.

Convenience plus

Young buyers have been largely responsible for the value lift, snapping up properties close to Metro station sites for the convenience as well as vibrant modern lifestyle opportunities presented by fresh retail, hospitality and residential developments.

The Metro’s high frequency driverless trains will slash travel time for thousands. For instance, travelling by rail from Macquarie Park to Barangaroo will fall from 53 minutes to 18 minutes, and from 80 minutes to 30 minutes between the CBD’s Pitt Street to Bankstown in far south-western Sydney, data shows.

The project

The Sydney Metro rapid-transit system is currently the country’s largest infrastructure project that when complete will service much of Sydney’s most densely populated and fastest growing areas via four new lines.

The Metro North West Line was the first section completed when it opened in May 2019. It is currently being extended from the north shore hub of Chatswood through to Bankstown as part of the City & Southwest project. Tracks will run beneath Sydney Harbour and the CBD to form the first direct public transport link between the two hubs.

The Sydney Metro West connects the CBD to Westmead and Parramatta, and is scheduled for completion in 2030. The farthest line west, referred to as Western Sydney Airport, is due to open in 2026. It will run north-south, servicing 6 stations between the new Aerotropolis at Badgerys Creek as well as the Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport, also under construction.

Progress pays off

Shorter commute times will not only transform the lives of workers. They will also be of significant benefit to a commercial office sector still grappling with the effects of falling occupancy and work-from-home policies said CBRE’s Pacific Head of Research Sameer Chopra.

“For commercial offices, the Metro will enable staff to have a shorter commute into the CBD, North Sydney and Parramatta,” Mr Chopra said.

“This should drive occupiers to consider taking space in these locations – in effect a centralisation of office into these Metro connected hubs. Also, shorter commute should help with higher daily occupancy and drive-up utilisation of desk space.

“The Metro also offers retailers new options for offerings at the over station developments, particularly for restaurants and smaller format grocery shopping.”

Some of the more marked examples of what CBRE dubs ‘metro-fication’ have occurred in suburbs like Crows Nest where a new Metro station is due to open in 2024. Capital values have risen 79% in the lower north shore suburb compared to 62% for its neighbour Cammeray which is closer to the CBD.

In Castle Hill on the already completed Metro North West line, capital values have grown 72% compared to just under 50% for nearby Baulkham Hills.

Commercial developments such as Carrington Place, a 771-apartment complex approved opposite The Hills Showground Metro Station, are the sort of projects that put the icing on the cake for residents in Metro suburbs. “Sydneysiders using the Metro can reclaim an extra hour in their day,” Mr Chopra said. “We see huge social and health benefits.”