Units near some city train stations are only affordable to those earning more than $200,000. Picture: Jack Breed
HOUSING costs along Sydney’s major railway corridors will remain at “grossly unaffordable” levels until infrastructure can catch up with runaway population growth, housing experts warn.
It comes as new sales analysis provided exclusively to The Daily Telegraph showed home seekers needed to earn more than $200,000 a year to afford units near train stations in some suburbs.
Households which earned about $80,000, meanwhile, would only be able to afford an average-priced apartment near just 13 city train stations.
This was if they wanted to avoid mortgage stress, or spending more than 30 per cent of their income on housing repayments, a factor banks often considered when deciding whether to issue a loan.
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The cheapest train stations to live near were nearly all more than 15km outside of the CBD and at least a 30-minute train ride from Town Hall Station, according to the analysis of CoreLogic data.
Jess (left) and Mel Staehli bought a unit in Lewisham, the cheapest suburb with a train station within 10km of the CBD.
They included Carramar and Lakemba stations on the Bankstown Line, and Canley Vale and Fairfield stations on the Inner West and Leppington Line.
Further up the inner west line, Lewisham, Ashfield, Newtown and Stanmore stations were the most affordable to live near among stations within a 10km radius of the CBD.
Milsons Point on the lower north shore was Sydney’s most expensive station to live near — buying a home at the median apartment price of $1.37 million would require an annual income of at least $230,000.
Buying close to nearby Waverton station required earnings of about $205,000, while buying units in neighbouring Wollstonecraft required $186,000.
Further up the north shore, buyers of typical apartments in Chatswood and Lindfield required earnings of about $172,000-$175,000.
The analysis excluded stations in the Sydney CBD.
Master Builders Australia chief economist Shane Garrett said decades of poor infrastructure planning meant the commute from Sydney’s further-flung areas to the CBD was too long for most buyers.
A worker lays track at Norwest train station.
This caused on overconcentration of home buying activity in the city’s well-connected suburbs, driving prices to unaffordable levels.
“Governments have tended to be too conservative in their estimates of future population growth and infrastructure needs,” Mr Garrett said.
“It means far-flung areas are not attractive to many home buyers. If they were more accessible, it would spread demand and bring down prices.”
A Transport for NSW spokesperson responded by saying the state was seeking to improve city travel through a $51.2 billion investment in roads and public transport.
The new look trains that will service Sydney’s northwest.
But Real Estate Institute of NSW president Leanne Pilkington said it would take years before transport upgrades made any meaningful impact on prices.
“It’s not just the amount of infrastructure. It needs to be faster and more efficient,” she said.
CoreLogic valuations expert Kevin Brogan said the upside was that those who owned homes in existing public transport hubs would see stronger value growth on their properties.
“There’s a sweet spot, where if you’re about 200-300m of a major train station your home will be well-sought after and usually worth more,” he said.
The Agency’s Shad Hassen said investors usually capitalise on the higher value potential, which further increased demand.
Recent apartment buyers Mel and Jess Staehli said transport was a critical factor in their decision to buy in Lewisham. “We were definitely looking to try to shave down that commute time,” Mel Staehli said. “I can’t think of anything worse than more 30 minutes on public transport.”
CHEAPEST STATIONS TO BUY A UNIT NEAR
Carramar, Fairfield, Canley Vale, Lakemba, Leumeah, Cabramatta, Mount Druitt, Werrington, Minto, Macquarie Park, Liverpool, Campbelltown
CHEAPEST STATIONS 10KM FROM CBD
Lewisham, Ashfield, Newtown, Arncliffe, Stanmore