Central Maitland’s affordable housing project will put the precinct back on the real estate map.
Tony Cant Real Estate general manager Peter Hogan said the market in central Maitland had never been huge and it was difficult to convince locals to make the move because of the old flood zoning since the 1955 flood.
But despite some locals ignoring the area, the precinct has attracted a wide price range. The cheapest rental properties start in the high $200s and increase quickly to about $400 a week.
Houses sell between the low $200,000 mark and $500,000 and $600,000.
Mr Hogan said people need to walk around the area and see the old-fashioned architecture of many of the homes in central Maitland.
“People don’t take the time to look around central Maitland,” he said.
“It’s not about looking at a shift in real estate, it’s about changing public perception. The hardest thing is to get the locals into the area; people have to start making the move.”
Mr Hogan said the 1300 affordable homes that would be built in the area would be a strong attraction.
The development will be kickstarted by road upgrades to be done with an $11.3 million federal government grant announced earlier this week.
“Central Maitland is beautiful with its old buildings and river, and this is going to reflect positively on the CBD and Maitland Heritage Mall,” he said.
“It’s an important step because the population is supposed to double by 2030, which isn’t a long time away – it’s only 18 years – and there’s a lot of infrastructure that’s needed in that time.”
Mr Hogan said the government’s investment would give potential developers the confidence to invest in the precinct.