If you’re looking for growth in Sydney – look west

June 29, 2015 / By

Since winning re-election in March 2015, the New South Wales (NSW) Liberal led government has pursued its pre-election policies to unlock growth in Western Sydney. The City of Parramatta is the cornerstone of this strategy.

Widely recognised as ‘Sydney’s second CBD’, Parramatta has recently been making the headlines with the commencement of the first stage of Parramatta Square and the proposed Aspire tower – designed to be the tallest residential tower in NSW. Sydney’s second CBD is an uninspiring marketing slogan for Parramatta – Parramatta is the capital of the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) region.

So what is the make-up of GWS?

GWS comprises 14 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and is estimated to be home to 2.2 million people in 2016 – accounting for 29% of NSW’s population. To put this into context, GWS’ population is approximately the same size as the combined population of South Australia, Australian Capital Territory, and Northern Territory.

The NSW Department of Planning & Environment produces long-term population projections for NSW – seven of the top 10 LGAs by population growth are located in GWS. As a result, the population of GWS is forecast to increase to 2.9 million people by 2031. Furthermore, GWS has positive demographics and the working age population is projected to increase from approximately 1.5 million to 1.8 million during the same time period.[1]


Source: JLL Research, NSW Department of Planning & Environment

So what does this mean for the Parramatta office market?

A high proportion of Parramatta’s white collar workforce resides in GWS. Parramatta is a well-established hub for the State Government and in the 2014 budget the NSW government announced it planned to relocate a further 1,000 workers to Parramatta. Professional services firms such as Deloitte and KPMG are expanding their occupational footprint in Parramatta to meet the requirements of public and private sector clients. As an illustration, KPMG announced in late 2014 that it plans to create more than 200 jobs in the region within three years.

New infrastructure will improve connectivity within GWS and the rest of NSW. The AUD 8.3 billion Sydney Metro North West will connect the residential growth centres of Castle Hill and Rouse Hill to Macquarie Park which is considered a key commercial precinct in Sydney’s North West. Furthermore, the AUD 1.5 billion Parramatta Light Rail project will allow travel between Parramatta, Castle Hill and Macquarie Park, and provide an interchange to the Sydney Metro North West.

Significant investment has occurred in the Parramatta Square precinct, including:

  • The development of the University of Western Sydney City Campus (27,774 sqm) at One Parramatta Square;
  • The proposed development of a further 145,000 sqm of office space.

We believe that positive demographic trends provide a bright future for GWS. The Parramatta office market will be one beneficiary as it will grow in size and relevance over the next decade.

[1] The working age population is defined as people aged 15 to 64 years of age.


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