The month in review: Newcastle property market updates
By Herron Todd White
There’s always one suburb that seems to be the desirable postcode and high on the wish list of many people buying property. There’s just something about that spot that makes people desperately want to buy. As we have seen in previous years, some people have gone in over their heads financially just to secure these properties, sometimes with negative results.
But what is it that drives people to seek out these locations? It could be the proximity to beaches, lakes, shopping precincts, particular schooling options for the kids or just a case of simply keeping up with the Joneses. But when you find yourself totally priced out of the suburb, where do you head? In this month’s review, we’ve been asked to compare some suburbs within the Newcastle region based on champagne location on a beer budget. But what does that mean exactly? We know in the Newcastle region we have the Hunter Valley – where you can literally have a champagne location. Although due to copyright and branding regulations we must say “sparkling location” as we are technically not in the Champagne region in France. So basically, this month, we are looking for desirable suburb locations that don’t break the bank, which, given the sensitive lending regulations at present seems like a smart financial move.
Luckily for those living in the Newcastle area, we have beaches, lakes, wine regions, more beaches and even rural and tree change properties. No wonder Newcastle has had increases in Sydneysiders moving north to take advantage of our glorious region.
If you’re looking for lakeside living, Lake Macquarie has you covered. But the price tag and property types vary quite dramatically depending where you sit yourself on the lake. Look at Valentine (2280) on the gleaming eastern lake shores. It has enough retailers to get you the day to day, but further shopping options can be found in nearby Warners Bay or Belmont. Valentine is a hotspot for retirees and established family groups. The median price here is $755,000 (RP Data, 2019).
A recent example of what you get in Valentine is a two-storey brick home with five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a two car garage which sold for $860,000 in January 2019. This property also boasts a rather large swimming pool at the rear of the property.
Now jump over the lake to the western side of Lake Macquarie and you will find Coal Point (2283). Easily accessed by the M1, you’ll find yourself on the way to Sydney or the North Coast in no time. Here in Coal Point you will find a tight knit community with quiet streets and just as magnificent lake views. There’s a public school, plus you can find shopping and cafes in the nearby suburb of Toronto. There has previously been strong buyer demand for waterfront properties in Coal Point, despite its fairly limited availability. The median house price here is $736,000. According to RP Data the predominant age group is 60 to 69 year-olds.
A two-storey brick home on 959 square metres of land with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a two-car garage and sweeping views of the lake sold for $755,000 in August 2018.
When comparing Valentine and Coal Point, it could almost come down to which side of the lake you’d prefer to be on and how much you really want to spend for the postcode.
Let’s now say you want beachside living. There are so many suburbs to choose from when thinking of Newcastle. You may know of Merewether, Bar Beach and Newcastle East. We can comfortably say these are your more sparkling locations with highly desirable postcodes and certainly larger price tags that accompany these properties and rightly so. If you’re more interested in the beer budget style location, we present you with Stockton (2295). This long-overlooked suburb is making a roaring comeback. It feels like a country town that’s surrounded by water. Stockton has beach for days and is famous for its sand dunes. There’s general convenience shopping, a primary school and a convenient ferry which takes you directly across to the Newcastle CBD. Median prices are $720,000 and the predominant age group is 50 to 59 years (RP Data, 2019).
Stockton has come far from its original workingclass roots and previous levels of housing commission properties, but don’t hold that against it anymore. Where else in Newcastle can you buy a beachfront property for circa $2 million? This property sale was in February 2019 and has five bedrooms, four bathrooms and space for four cars. The previous owners extensively renovated this property and also included some large reclaimed timber beams, apparently from an old bridge in Wagga Wagga (country New South Wales).
Want something a little cheaper than $2 million? There has been a recent sale of an art deco style property on 525 square metres of land with three bedrooms, one bathroom and one car space. It needs a little TLC but has some good bones. But where else can you buy a property only blocks away from the ocean for just $800,000?
It has to be said, there are plenty of other options for cheaper properties in Stockton. Depending on your beer tastes, there’s almost something for everyone in this single suburb alone, ranging from your good ol’ Tooheys New right up to recent craft beer options complete with fancy branding labels. This is just a small sample of suburbs and property styles within the Newcastle region. It really becomes a matter of taste, sparkling wine or beer budget, and what you’re willing to comprise on in order to live in a more expensive suburb. Each individual is different with pros and cons, just like suburbs. (**Drink and buy properties responsibly)
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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.