Infrastructure spend boosts Sydney’s global ranking

Infrastructure spend boosts Sydney’s global ranking

6 October 2017

A new report from JLL has lifted Sydney’s ranking to join the world’s best performing cities, reports The Australian.

The report entitled The Universe of City Indices 2017: Decoding City Performance rates major cities around the world based on their quality of life, investment in infrastructure, business transparency, global reputation, and good governance, among other factors.

London took the crown of “the big seven” cities, followed by New York, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and new-comer Seoul.

Sydney placed ninth in the next tier of established world cities, with Los Angeles and the two alpha Chinese cities Shanghai and Beijing.

JLL Australia’s chief executive Stephen Conroy said transport infrastructure was transforming Sydney.

“The fact that Greater Sydney is in the middle of a huge transformation on the infrastructure front is great news in this regard,” he said.

“The CBD light rail, the first stage of the Sydney Metro and the WestConnex road system – all will begin to come online over the next five years, and all will have significant impacts on the movement of people across the metropolis.”

Mr Conroy noted increased competition meant it was necessary for global cities such as Sydney to ramp up efforts in “future-proofing” their infrastructure and economic base.

“Sydney is midway through major reform processes and has the challenge to ensure these arrangements are fit for purpose,” he said, adding that affordability was another major issue it needed to address.

Sydney also ranked among the top destinations for commercial real estate investment, taking 17th spot and attracting $US24 billion ($30.5 billion) in the year to June 30.

The top global city for investment was New York at $US149bn, followed by London at $US110 billion and Tokyo at $US66 billion.

Sydney was the second-most transparent real estate market in the world after London, and the city with the second-best brand after Melbourne, the report said.

The AFR reports that Sydney is second in the world for its transparency in the real estate market after London, and 17th for its level of direct commercial property investment, excluding infrastructure, totalling $US24 billion ($30.5 billion) in the three years to June 2017.

More than $62 billion is being pumped into the Sydney CBD’s government infrastructure, office, hotel and residential projects, recent research by Cushman and Wakefield found.

Transport infrastructure, including the Sydney Metro, Sydney Light Rail, the WestConnex and upgrades of the Circular Quay ferry wharves, accounted for $50 billion of that.

“Sydney is strengthening through its renewed focus on metropolitan governance and infrastructure, supporting an increasingly dynamic real estate sector,” the JLL report said.

But Sydney’s long commute times, congestion and low public transport usage and coverage penalised the city’s performance on the infrastructure front.

“Two clear messages to emerge from this analysis by JLL and The Business of Cities is that more cities are becoming competitive with the biggest and best cities; and that the leading cities have to future proof in terms of their infrastructure and economic base, said Mr Conroy.

JLL’s Director in Global Research, Jeremy Kelly told The Urban Developer: “These indices have a bearing on how we understand city dynamics and serve to guide investors, businesses and employees as they make location choices.”

“They point to which cities have the ingredients for future success and help steer the real estate industry in its response to the rapidly changing urban landscape.”