Investment in the city’s health facilities has created a narrow corridor of golden prices and demand for homes near the hospital, industry leaders say.
A “hotbed” of property activity, which evolved around the multi-million dollar Wagga Base Hospital redevelopment and the new Riverina Day Surgery, has stunned onlookers, valuer Chris Egan said.
Property records show the highpoint was towards the end of 2013 when 10 Docker Street – a two-bedroom home – sold for a record $1.1 million.
More recent growth was recorded at 44 Docker Street which sold for $570,000 in October last year, well up on the $260,000 paid just months earlier in March.
“They’d never have gotten that in a million years if it wasn’t for the hospital and that medical push," Mr Egan said. “If you had the hindsight to invest in those places then you would be making a good return.”
Mr Egan said medical services were “feeding off” the hospital and the Riverina Day Surgery as a means to attract patient referrals.
He said homes surrounding the hubs were zoned for residential use, but zoning was largely unaffected by commercial medical use.
“We've seen a number of services such as physiotherapists move into those houses and turn them into a medical facility. They can be really easily adapted ... all you really need is a few bedrooms and space for a reception desk,” Mr Egan said.
Wagga City Council's latest economic snapshot shows the city's medical catchment area extends wide into the Riverina to an estimated 297,000 people.
With the most accessible medical services based in the Docker Street area, Richard Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatricks Real Estate said agents effectively classed sales in the vicinity as commercial transactions.
However, Mr Fitzpatrick said there was a "limited pocket" of geography where prospective sellers could cash in on medical investment.
"It's bounded by Chaston, Docker and Hardy (streets),” he said. “It’s a limited pocket. A home that is just 200 metres away won't attract that sort of money.”
Mr Fitzpatrick also said demand came in surges and was dependent on development application approval rates.
“There could be other pockets open up,” he said.
“I don’t believe we’ve necessarily seen the end of it. It seems to me the medical catchment growing.”