By Herron Todd White
June 2020

COVID monthly update

The month of May progressed steadily for the residential property market in the Illawarra. Sale prices appear to be holding with no obvious signs of any discounting happening. Notable sales include a $3.1 million sale in Surfers Parade, Thirroul and a duplex in Toxteth Avenue, Austinmer that sold for $2.35 million.

The number of transactions has decreased slightly with realestate.com.au recording 88 residential sales in the Wollongong LGA in the first 20 days of the month (4.4 sales per day). This is in comparison to 102 sales in the first 20 days of April (5.1 sales per day). For a point of reference, RP Data recorded 585 sales for the two month period of April and May 2019 (9.6 sales per day).

Open homes have recommenced and local agents are reporting that while there is less activity, it has not disappeared completely and all levels of the market have purchasers ready to complete sales.

Home renovations are a big part of owning a property. Reasons for renovating can be wide ranging. Flippers look to purchase an older, run down property, complete a full renovation and on sell the property, hopefully at a profit. They have experience with a trade themselves and have other local contacts they can call on to get the renovation completed as quickly as possible. Time is important as the longer they take to renovate the property, the longer they have to pay holding costs, therefore most flippers will not undertake any renovations that require DA approval, such as an extension. A quick internal and external facelift and the property goes back on the market.

Owner occupiers tend to renovate their properties at varying stages of their ownership of the property. First home buyers may not have a lot of spare cash to make too many updates initially but as the years go by they will look to spend their savings on renovations projects. Most upgraders tend to look to purchase a family home where all the work is already done. It might be a new house or one that has been recently renovated. Alternatively there are a few who will look to complete the renovation themselves and can therefore fit their own specific requirements into the project.

Full renovations or knock down and rebuilds are appearing in popular suburbs in the north or around the CBD which typically have older stock built during the migration boom of the 1960s. These areas are transitioning and it is common to drive down a street such as O’Brien Street in Bulli or Storey and Donald Street in Fairy Meadow and see a real mix of new, modern homes next door to older original houses.

The key to completing renovations of any scale during the current period is to find a builder who has proven experience and also availability. Most builders have been reporting a decent pipeline of work with new quotes still being prepared. Recent economic issues seemingly have not put a dampener on renovation dreams.

Speak with a Wollongong Mortgage Broker today.

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