Penrith vs Castle Hill

I had the pleasure of being invited by one of Castle Hills top agents Trisha Saiani from Belle Properties Castle Hill to attend an in room auction night they were having at Castle Hill RSL Club last Thursday night. They had planned to put 8 properties up, but 3 sold prior, so 5 properties were auctioned on the night.

Approximately 250 people attended the night with around 100 registered bidders for the 5 properties to be auctioned. One by one I watched as the throng of hopeful buyers did their best to be the last buyer with their card held aloft as one of Sydney’s best auctioneers Charles Baynie brought the hammer down. Red brick 4 bedda 1 garage $975k, approximately 50 year old rendered brick veneer 4 beds double garage $1.11 million, the next one almost made me choke on my mentos (kindly supplied by Belle Properties Castle Hill) wait for it.. 3 bed townhouse double garage and ensuite, my guess about 15-20 years old in Castle Hill $865,000! WOW! (The exact property in Derby st Penrith $410,000) The last property of the night was a knockdown on 695sqm of land on Windsor Rd Baulkham Hills, with the final crash of the hammer for the night falling at a whopping $845,000.

As I stood back and admired the mass of disappointed under bidders leave the room, I frantically tried to come up with a way to gather them together and have them follow me on the 35 minute drive along the M7 & M4 back to Penrith. Why? Well beside from the potential commissions available from 95 cashed up buyers. Surely if these buyers could see what we had to offer in Penrith, and that they could buy the same 3 bed townhouse for low 400’s rather than the high 800’s, or the same Rendered Brick veneer renovated 4 bedda that just sold for $1.1 million in Castle Hill, in South Penrith for $550,000, or maybe they spend that $1.1 million and buy a 40sqm mansion overlooking the majestic Nepean River, or even an acre in Orchard Hills, Cranebrook or Mulgoa. Of Course I couldn’t convince the 95 under bidders to follow me, to be honest, I didn’t even try (Logistical nightmare lol)

So what is it? What makes a buyer pay at least double for a property in Castle Hill, then what they could pay for the same property in Penrith? Is it the travel, my understanding is it’s about a 45 min trip from Castle Hill to Parramatta in Peak hour, Penrith – Parramatta in Peak hour (about an hour), Penrith to the Sydney CBD hour and a half, it would be a minimum hour from Castle Hill at the same time. Fast train from Penrith to Central, 1 hour! You still can’t catch a train from Castle Hill to the City. Is it lifestyle? I’ve lived in Penrith my whole life, so maybe I’m biased, or ignorant, but it can’t be twice as good living in Castle Hill then it is in Penrith, Sure Castle Towers would probably have our Westfield’s covered, and they do have Gold Class cinemas, but really?

We live on the Nepean River, at the foot of the world heritage listed Blue Mountains, we have great schools that cater for all abilities and budgets, Plenty of open space, parks, mountain bike tracks, Rowing courses, rafting courses, Our own National Rugby League team, restaurants, cafes, quality golf courses, Panthers entertainment precinct, an abundance of shopping options and the list goes on….. All this within a 1 hour train ride to the Sydney CBD.

So what’s this mean for the Penrith Real Estate market? The greater Penrith area, like most of Sydney is currently going through a boom, house prices are up about 10% on this time last year, and I keep getting asked the same question, How long will this hot market last? Well based on what I seen on Thursday night, we’ve still got a way to go yet. Property in Castle Hill can’t be worth double that of a comparable property in Penrith, and although I didn’t manage to bring any of those 95 buyers that missed out on Thursday night back to Penrith, it can only be a matter of time before they and the rest of Sydney realise that Penrith is no longer in the sticks. The centre of Sydney is getting closer to Penrith every day and with the current rate of Population growth, and the government recently giving Badgerys creek airport the green light, I can see a time when Penrith could be competing with Parramatta as Sydney’s number 2 City.

So when will the boom come to an end? Not in the foreseeable future!


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