PROPERTY industry and city leaders have declared the Gold Coast light rail a success, with new research showing land values along the tram route have spiked by around $300 million.
The city’s $1.2 billion tram system, from Broadbeach to Griffith University, has been operational for more than two years and a stage two extension is under way.
University of Queensland economist Dr. Cameron Murray said the system was a success.
Passengers are voting with their feet and getting on the trams while the property prices around the route are going up. Picture by Scott Fletcher
Writing for independent online website
The Conversation, Dr Murray said his research had focused on changes in land values on the Gold Coast since July, 2014.
“My research on the
Gold Coast light rail provides the figures to demonstrate the size of the gains to nearby land values, which were around 25 per cent of the $1.2 billion capital cost in stage one of the project,” he said.
“I found that land within 400m of the stations increased in value by seven per cent more than land between 400m and 2km from the stations, in the year after the light rail began operation.
dr Murray said he has then used the price deviation to the total land value in those areas – a little over $4.2 billion in 2015 – to estimate the absolute change in land value was $300 million.
As crowds continue to use the light rail, land values are also expected to continue increasing. Picture by Scott Fletcher
“This is the one-off gain to the owners of the 1324 plots of land within 400m of the light rail stations, as a result of this transport investment,” he said.
Work is well under way on stage two of the tram system, with the route being cleared between Griffith University and Helensvale.
The 7.3km extension is expected to begin operating in early 2018 and it is already tipped to
boost land prices in the city’s north.
Gold Coast City Council planning and development boss, Cr Cameron Caldwell, said spikes in land values around major rail routes was a worldwide trend.
Cr Cameron Caldwell says trams around the world have an impact on property values around their routes. Picture: Richard Gosling
“The light rail network provides lifestyle enhancement that is attractive to many people,” he said.
“Lots of people want to proactively not rely on motor vehicles as their primary form of transport and made choices to live on the light rail.
“No doubt, with the existing success of stage 1, we will see similar opportunities present themselves as further stages are built.”
Tenders will be called in November to begin route planing and design for the proposed third stage to run along the coastal strip from Broadbeach to Gold Coast Airport, through Burleigh and Palm Beach.
The council is funding the $1.4 million study but no funds have yet been committed by the state or federal governments.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland Gold Coast chairman John Newland said there was no doubt the light rail’s long-held promise was being realised.
“I do not doubt this is the case and it makes some of the streets it connects more accessible than they had been when they lacked ready public transport,’ he said.
REIQ’s John Newlands. Picture Glenn Hampson
“We are starting to see the tram’s promise come to fruition as prices go up and people make choices about whether they want to live on the route.
“The proximity also has the added benefit on traffic of, in some cases, reducing the need for a second car in the driveway.”
Original article published at www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au by ANDREW POTTS 26/9/16