Rethink, Newcastle Financial Planning’s second “Night on the Couch” event was held last month. The event is designed to enhance their clients’ experience of financial planning by introducing them to the greater Newcastle Financial Planning community in a fun, relaxed and educational environment. The July ‘Night on the Couch’ event was a success, attracting more than 80 guests to a forum featuring property sector insights from several notable real estate identities.

Presentations from Wayne Stewart, Mark Kentwell and Ty Blanch gave attendees a chance to learn about the residential and commercial property sectors in both the Hunter Region and Central Coast.

Starting the evening, Wayne Stewart from Century 21 Newcastle explained some of the advantages and disadvantages to buying off the plan.

“Is buying off the plan cheaper than not? Often it can be. There are a number of other advantages to buying off the plan, including the opportunity to buy at today’s prices and settle at tomorrow’s,” Wayne said.

He finished by saying that there are disadvantages to buying off the plan. For example, some developments may not proceed.

“Some developments don’t go ahead. You could invest a lot of time and money, only for a development not to proceed,” Wayne said.

Mark Kentwell from PRDnationwide Newcastle and Lake Macquarie then gave his opinions on the residential market. Attendees were wise to head his advice – Mark has been ranked in the top 15 real estate professionals in Australia by Real Estate Business Magazine.

“Newcastle is poised for a very strong decade, underpinned by developments including the light rail network, the University of Newcastle New Space project, the NSW Government’s new courthouse development and the GPT/UrbanGrowth NSW project,” Mark said.

Following Mark, Ty Blanch from LJ Hooker Commercial Central Coast outlined a number of perspectives about the commercial, industrial and retail sectors, drawn from his observations in both Newcastle and the Central Coast.

“Just like the residential market, the most important thing in commercial is location. But the drivers are very different,” Ty said.

The presenters concluded the event with a panel discussion, facilitated by Newcastle Financial Planning’s Jessica Shuwalow.

During the panel discussion, Mark explained how the planned Newcastle CBD light rail network will have a positive impact on the market.

“There’s an overwhelming demand for community space – the light rail network, if designed correctly, will go a long way to satisfying that need for community space,” Mark said.

The next Newcastle Financial Planning ‘Night on the Couch’ client event is scheduled for October this year.

To view the individual video footage, see links below:


  • Our three speakers share breaking insights as they answer a series of questions on the local property market in a panel discussion, click here to view
  • Wayne Stewart talks about buying property of the plan, click here to view
  • Mark Kentwell talks about buying and selling traditional residential property, click here to view
  • Ty Blanch talks about buying and managing commercial property, click here to view



To view the photos from the evening click here.

Disclaimer: This editorial provides general information only. Before making any financial decisions, consult a financial planner to take into account your individual needs.

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