Tree changers push up NSW land value by $400 billion

"Tree changers" are among those pushing the price of land in NSW to a record-high peak.

"Tree changers" are among those pushing the price of land in NSW to a record-high peak. Photo: AAP

“Ski changers” and “tree changers” are being blamed for pushing the price of land in New South Wales to a record-high peak.

Land in the state was valued at $2.2 trillion in the 12 months to July 2021, up from $1.8 trillion – an uptick of 24.8 per cent.

The biggest growth was recorded in the Hunter Valley coast, where overall values were up 38.1 per cent.

The rise in land prices was due to buyers looking for affordability and “preferred lifestyle options”, NSW Valuer General David Parker said.

“(The) green change, tree change, sea change and ski change has been exacerbated by greater employer flexibility,” Dr Parker said.

Commercial land value also grew in 2021, becoming 14.9 per cent more valuable in the 12 months to July 1, 2021.

Western Sydney reported a 30.3 per cent growth and the Hunter coast increased 29.4 per cent.

Rural land values also rose in value by 26 per cent over the same period.

In the Murray region, values increased well above the average to 43.1 per cent.

The increase in price is being driven by a sustained demand for quality farming and grazing lands, Dr Parker said.

The price of industrial land also increased by 22.8 per cent overall, with prices in central Sydney growing 35 per cent.

Growth there was stimulated by a lack of supply and an e-commerce boom over the Delta lockdown.

The Property Council says more needs to be done to improve the situation for people trying to buy.

“First-home buyers and upsizers may be surprised to learn that only one of 35 local councils in Greater Sydney are on track to meet their own housing targets,” said Luke Achterstraat, the Property Council of Australia’s NSW executive director.

“According to the government’s own data, NSW is 54,000 homes short of where we should be with the supply deficit growing out further in 2021.”

The council says demand could be eased by the release of undeveloped land by the government in Sydney and enhancing the value of newly built transport networks with medium-density housing.

It comes after the Australian Bureau of Statistics last year found the value of the nation’s housing market had passed $9 trillion.

The average cost of a home was $863,700 at the end of 2021, up from $821,700 in the June quarter.

Prices rose 21.7 per over the year, which was the strongest performance since 2003.

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