22 January 2023

Wind turbines add to perfect property storm for Goulburn

| John Thistleton
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farm property

Hillview Park at Woodhouselee, which included a wind farm tenure, changed hands for more than $8 million last year. Photo: Elders Real Estate.

In the eye of a perfect property storm, rural land values across the Goulburn Mulwaree Local Government area rose 63.6 per cent in 2022, according to the latest NSW Valuer General’s report.

The increase is attributed to demand for grazing land, abundant rain, strong livestock prices and tree changers from the city acquiring rural acres – and rental income from wind farms.

Elders Goulburn principal Ray Croker cites the sale last year of ”Hillview Park”, a 2200-acre (890-hectare) property at Woodhouselee, north-west of Goulburn, which included a wind farm tenure.

“It’s a very interesting one subject to wind farm tenure, (the turbines) are now under construction,” Mr Croker said. “That (sale) achieved over $8 million, influenced by the tenure of the wind farm over the next 30 years and the cattle farm side of the business.

“Two years back, without a wind farm/agribusiness tenure, you are probably talking half that amount.”

While renewable energy generation had added a new dynamic to the market, it was no sure thing for a sale.

“Be that as it may, you have certain investors and buyers in that market that see a wind farm and they run a mile. They don’t like it,” Mr Croker said.

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In the lead-up to the sale, Hillview Park’s wind turbine rental income was advertised at $230,000 a year.

Renewable energy aside, anything with agribusiness attributes from 500 to 5000 acres (200 to 2023ha) experienced price growth over the past two years, Mr Croker said. Lifestyle properties (hobby farms) ranging from 25 acres (10ha) to 200 acres (80ha), particularly with dwellings and infrastructure on them, had gone “gangbusters” in the same period, he said.

Demand for grazing properties was outstripping supply and while commodity prices remained sound, values would remain stable. But the lifestyle market was due to soften because of interest rates rising, he said.

Consultants Opteon Property Group, which provided the analysis for the Valuer General, said the Goulburn Mulwaree local government area was experiencing a local boom based on building, land subdivision, infrastructure works and affordable housing drawing people to town.

The analysis showed residential land values increased by 26.8 per cent; commercial land 31.7 per cent; and industrial 26 per cent.

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Goulburn’s proximity to Sydney and the ACT, more flexible working arrangements, an increased focus on lifestyle, and a short distance to major regional centres increased the demand for properties from local and out-of-town buyers.

This strong increase in land values has been supported by the residential properties in the northern part of Crookwell and Brooklands areas, along with the villages of Grabben Gullen, Dalton and Jerrawa, which have been in high demand due to their affordability and proximity to major regional centres.

Crookwell residential properties with future subdivision potential experienced a strong increase in value.

The village of Breadalbane remained steady, while the village of Tuena experienced a slight increase due to its remote locality and little demand. Binda and Bigga experienced strong increases due to high demand from buyers’ desire to live in a more rural setting. The village of Gunning has been in strong demand due to its proximity to Goulburn, Yass and the ACT.

The villages of Lake Bathurst and Tarago also experienced very strong increases. Village properties have been in high demand from local and out-of-town buyers looking to relocate to a more rural area, and for their affordability.

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