By Herron Todd White
The first quarter of the 2019 Illawarra property market continued on-trend from the end of 2018, which saw the market continue to decline after the property boom experienced from 2013 to 2017. Unstable economic conditions, notably relating to employment growth and inflation, combined with the great uncertainty of the upcoming federal election in May contributed to the continuing declining property market in the Illawarra region. This decline was across all property sectors. At this time local agents were advising of longer selling periods, fewer buyers and decreasing sale prices.
Post the federal election in May, there was a renewed confidence in the Illawarra property market. This did not lead to drastic changes in the market, however, it did seem to at the very least halt the declining market and begin to stabilise certain property sectors. The result of the federal election played a key and unexpected role in the sudden shift in the state of the market. Also, a contributing factor to stabilising the Illawarra property market was the decision on 4 June by the Reserve Bank to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 percent. Midway through 2019, local agents were advising of stronger buyer activity and good sale results.
As we head towards the end of 2019, the Illawarra property market continued to stabilise and showed some signs of slight growth. Another cash rate cut by 25 basis points to 0.75 percent in October continued to bring first home buyers and investors back into the Illawarra property market. Valuers and agents alike are noting some strong sale prices and a decline in days on the market.
From the beginning of 2019 to now nearing the end of 2019, we have seen the Illawarra property market change from a declining market to stabilising mid-way through the year and now to more recently showing some signs of growth. This has been evident across most suburbs and property sectors. Uncertainty lingers about the new subdivisions in Calderwood, Tullimbar, Horsley, Wongawilli and Kembla Grange as well as new unit developments in and around the Wollongong CBD. Vacant land prices in these new subdivisions seem to have settled, however, supply still outweighs demand and with more new land releases planned, this could be the sector which does not follow the rest of the Illawarra market.
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