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What does Stage 2 of the Gold Coast Light Rail project mean for the region?

By Andrew Bell

We all know that improving infrastructure is key to the growth of any region. Whether this is essential services or construction projects like bridges or tunnels, all can make a difference to the desirability of an area. Of course, this can have a substantial impact on the property market, so staying ahead of the curve and being aware of what's going on can be key to making smart investments.

One of the most important parts of urban infrastructure is public transport, which can be a make or break factor when it comes to the popularity of certain suburbs. Creating a good public transport system is easier said than done though, and requires significant investment in order to achieve good results. In an ideal world, every large city would have a system that was easy to use, affordable and safe, but in many cases the Southern Hemisphere lags behind the well-established transport services offered in Europe and North America.

It doesn't have to be this way though, and over the last few years, the Gold Coast has seen its largest ever infrastructural development attempt to tackle the problem and make the region more connected. This project is the Gold Coast Light Rail (GCLR) network, and its run-on effects are set to have a tremendous impact on the property market in Surfers Paradise and the surrounding area. Read on to find out more.

The Gold Coast Light Rail network

The rail network opened in July 2014, with the G:Link service quickly becoming an important part of the region's transport system. The route itself covers some 13kilometres, stopping at 16 stations along the way between Broadbeach and the Gold Coast University Hospital. Overall, the project has proved itself to be a remarkable success, with more than 6.5million trips taken in the first year of operation. This coincided with an overall increase in public transport use of 25 per cent, underlining the fact that if the service is there, people will use it.

One of the most interesting effects of the new rail line has been the ramifications felt by the property market, especially in suburbs near or overlooking the route. Across the board, the value of these areas have gone up as more and more people want to live within walking distance of the stations. This all ties in with the greater population density that tends to spring up around infrastructural hubs.

Taking just one suburb, Southport, as an example, the average home value has jumped from $423,000 in 2013 to $515,000 in 2015. Those who bought property in Southport prior to the development have therefore seen their investment significantly jump in value, and there's no reason that suburbs surrounding Stage 2 of the project won't see the same sort of results.

Stage 2 of the GCLR

With Stage 1 having been such a success, it's understandable that a lot of people are looking expectantly at the next area of development, which is set to commence later this year. Stage 2 will add an additional 7.2kilometres of rail, from Parkwood to Helensvale, and will also connect with the heavy rail network for easy journeys from the Gold Coast to Brisbane.

For the property market, this means that buyers should be looking very carefully at houses along this route, with Arundel in particular being an area of great interest. In fact, data from shows that demand in this market has greatly increased – with 381 visits per property compared to the Queensland average of 240. Whether you're looking to buy or sell in Arundel, this is great news, with higher demand and the potential for fast growth.

For more information about areas along the Gold Coast Light Rail line, get in touch with the team at Ray White Surfers Paradise today.

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