Credit: Visit Newcastle

Newcastle is being tipped as the next ‘residential and lifestyle hub’ for retirees with significant development going on in and around the city.

All signs of its former industrial image will soon be gone with major upgrades to the waterfront areas that were previously the heart of BHP’s local operations.

A new public transport system was launched for the city last month that integrates bus, ferry and light rail timetables in an Australian first, which is part of the city’s urban renewal plan.

There will be approximately 2500 new apartments coming onto the market in the next two to three years, compared to about 250 per year previously, all of which have already sold to owner-occupiers – mainly baby boomers, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review.

With median 2-bedroom apartment prices about $200,000 less than Sydney, nice beaches, good transport and public services it’s no surprise that growth of the city over the next three years is tipped to be 15 per cent, compared to two per cent in Sydney, says BIS Shrapnel managing director, Robert Mellor.

However, local providers are already experiencing the effects of the city’s boom, with more than 100 aged care jobs currently being advertised in the area, primarily for registered nurses, care workers, physiotherapists and OTs.

A staff member at Interactive Community Care, a local provider in Newcastle, said new direct care services providers are constantly launching in the area and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find suitably qualified community care staff.