SYDNEY, AAP – “Ski changers” and “tree changers” are being blamed for pushing the price of land in NSW to a record-high peak.

Land in the state was valued at $2.2 trillion in the 12 months to July 2021, up from $1.8 trillion – an uptick of 24.8 per cent.

The biggest growth was recorded in the Hunter Valley coast, where overall values were up 38.1 per cent.

The rise in land prices was due to buyers looking for affordability and “preferred lifestyle options”, NSW Valuer General David Parker said.

“(The) green change, tree change, sea change and ski change has been exacerbated by greater employer flexibility,” Dr Parker said.

Commercial land value also grew in 2021, becoming 14.9 per cent more valuable in the 12 months to July 1, 2021. Western Sydney reported a 30.3 per cent growth and the Hunter coast grew 29.4 per cent.

Rural land values also rose in value by 26 per cent over the same period. In the Murray region, values increased well above the average to 43.1 per cent. The increase in price is being driven by a sustained demand for quality farming and grazing lands, Dr Parker said.

The price of industrial land also increased by 22.8 per cent overall, with prices in central Sydney growing 35 per cent. Growth there was stimulated by a lack of supply and an e-commerce boom over the Delta lockdown.

It comes after the Australian Bureau of Statistics last year found the value of the nation’s housing market had passed $9 trillion.

The average cost of a home was $863,700 at the end of 2021, up from $821,700 in the June quarter.

Prices rose 21.7 per over the year, which was the strongest performance since 2003.