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According to the NSW Valuer General, land values in the Hunter have skyrocketed.

A land valuation does not include the value of any structures or homes built on the land.

It may sound good that the land on which homes and businesses are built is rising in value, but it can also come with a double-edged sword. Higher land values mean higher land tax and council rates, which means owners will be spending more in the months to come.

From $32.9 billion to $54.6 billion, the total land value across the regional local government areas of Cessnock, Dungog, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Singleton and Upper Hunter doubled between July 1 2022 and July 1 2021.

As a result of attractive lifestyle options, relative affordability and proximity to Newcastle and Sydney, residential land values grew 57.6% more than commercial and industrial land values.

There appears to be a strong demand for property in more remote areas of these LGAs, with rural land values showing a 72.2% increase as demand for lifestyle properties with remote working options and city center links increased. Primary production properties have also gained in value due to favorable seasonal conditions and commodity prices.

As consumer confidence returned to both sectors, commercial and industrial land values increased by 51.3% and 42%, respectively. Another major driver was the limited availability of commercial property due to the boom in new residential estates. Industrial land values also influenced the coal mining industry.

Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, and the Central Coast also experienced an increase in total land value, but not to the same extent, growing 18.5% from $171 billion to $202.6 billion between July 1 2022 and July 1 2021.

There was a 48.8% increase in industrial land values in these areas, keeping pace with the rest of the region. There was a general shortage of quality industrial stock available to the market, as well as continued growth in e-commerce and logistics. These factors were combined with relative affordability and proximity to Sydney.

Overall, the value of commercial land only rose 24.2% thanks to rebounding consumer confidence and limited supply.

Residential land values increased 16.7% overall as coastal amenity and lifestyle demand, relative affordability, and easy access to Sydney contributed to the growth.

Similar to the regional areas, rural land values in coastal LGAs increased by 33.6% overall, driven by relative affordability and strong demand for properties with remote working options and city centre proximity.