Wollongong May 2018

The month in review: Wollongong

By Herron Todd White
May 2018

The definition of prestige property in the Illawarra residential real estate market has been re-calibrated after five years of strong growth. Sales of property over $1.5 million were once rare, however are now more mainstream.

Accordingly the prestige market in our opinion cuts in from $2.5 million.

Prestige properties tend to have three categories. The first is contemporary dwellings on the coast with direct ocean access or unobstructed views. Locations on the northern beaches (Coledale, Austinmer etc.), Kiama, Gerringong and Gerroa and South Coast townships such as Huskisson, Vincentia and Hyams Beach feature heavily in this market. The second is the prestige unit market. This is centred around North Wollongong, Cliff Road and other Wollongong CBD modern developments.

The third category is the rural lifestyle properties. Geography and land availability limit the number of acreage properties in the north of the region although there is always a sprinkling of sales in the escarpment around Wombarra, Thirroul and Bulli.

The vast majority of prestige rural lifestyle properties in the region can be found in areas around Jamberoo and Berry. In the past six months there have been signs that the strong growth in the market has slowed down.

Sale volumes have dropped and selling periods are on the rise.

That said, properties are still selling, even in the prestige market. Notable recent sales from the past six months include: $3.35 million for a Paterson Road, Coalcliff property which is beachfront and has extensive beach, ocean and cliff views; $3.3 million for a Cliff Road, Wollongong sub-penthouse in the Esplanade complex; and $4.75 million for a substantial lifestyle residence on Coomonderry Ridge in Berry set on 20 hectares.

The prestige market throughout the region is strongly influenced by proximity to Sydney. When the Sydney property market and economy is strong, we find Sydney based buyers are often the purchasers of prestige property in the Illawarra.

This can be as a second home where they split their time, or as a holiday or weekender home. We expect most of the prestige market to hold its own and to follow the rest of the property market. That said, history shows us that any significant economic shift in the state, nation or globally can impact the upper end of the coastal holiday market the most.

Of most concern are beachfront properties in the South Coast coastal townships as past events have shown that demand and prices in these locations can be hit the hardest.

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