By Herron Todd White
February 2020

2019 started in the doldrums and finished on a high with record sales across a number of suburbs. Records sales tend not to happen in a falling or subdued market.

16 Bar Beach Avenue, Bar Beach sold for $5.525 million towards the end of 2019 and set the record in Newcastle for a single residential holding. This eclipsed the $5.51 million paid at the beginning of 2019 for 40 Kilgour Avenue, Merewether.

21 Flowerdale Drive, Merewether Heights sold for $2.18 million with settlement due in the first quarter of 2020. This property saw strong interest after a significant media campaign and is a record for the Merewether Heights location.

So with the backdrop of a resurgent market and most agents reporting increased interest across the board, 2020 starts with a whiff of optimism (and at the time of writing, a fair waft of smoke). The same could not be said for Newcastle and the Hunter 12 months prior in January 2019. This time last year, pessimism abounded. How long this current resurgence lasts or whether it can be knocked off course easily is yet to be seen. Our prediction is that it can’t be as strong as the last uptick (2012 to 2017), which was unprecedented for the area with massive increases across the board in all property sectors.

“Part-time psychologist hat being reached for and placed on head at a jaunty angle” warning. If we were to hazard a guess, it would be fair to say that we are at an interesting juncture in the market. The recent boom is fresh in the minds of all property investors and professionals. When the boom finished, many who either missed the boat or didn’t fully capitalise will have made promises to themselves that next time the ship sets off, they would get up that gangplank sharpish (or whatever it is they board ships with these days; with our smarts, we have probably moved past planks). We suspect that the recent gains in the market locally are born from the fear of missing out a second time. That’s a powerful driver in any market.

2020 is set to be a pivotal year in our future with a number of events all converging to a point where something monumental is likely to happen. We have US elections winding up like a coiled spring, ever-growing awareness of and focus on climate action and China testing out sovereign nations’ resolve across the globe. Any of these have the ability to derail or boost the economy like nothing has for a decade or more. And Newcastle and the Hunter is like a bug hanging on for grim death to the windscreen, being buffeted by headwinds as speed quickly escalates, whilst simultaneously trying to avoid the jet of water shot fair up the caboose followed by the wiper of death. We are at the mercy of things bigger and more complex than us.

Speak with a Newcastle Mortgage Broker today.

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