The Smartline Report – May Edition

The month in review: Wollongong

By Herron Todd White
May 2015

Within the Illawarra, oceanfront is the dominating feature when it comes to the top end of the residential market. Whether a property has direct access to it, is situated on a cliff above it or has extensive views of it, it will be accompanied by a price tag in the upper end of the market. Prestige is considered in many punters’ eyes as over $1.5 million these days.

Suburbs on the northern beaches from Stanwell Park down to Woonona often provide sales at the top end of the Illawarra market. A great example of this is the sale in Stanwell Park in the past month of an architect designed multi level contemporary residence for $3.69 million. With the beach as part of its land, close to Sydney and in the most sought after pocket in the north of the Illawarra, this truly represents the upper level, and indeed is the highest price paid in the suburb.

In Wollongong itself, Cliff Road continues to be an enviable address with houses and units enjoying ocean views and the close proximity to northern and city beaches, the Belmore Basin harbour and the CBD. Units on Cliff Road regularly top the $1 million price point and the number of transactions has been buoyed in the past 12 to 18 months by new developments and a reassuring low interest rate environment. Stand alone houses are very rarely traded on this strip.

Further south of Wollongong and the criteria for premium property is the same. Suburbs and towns such as Shellharbour, Barrack Point, Kiama and Gerroa/Gerringong continue to provide the highest level of sale prices for properties that feature the ocean as a backdrop.

Further south, the rural hinterland pockets are often sought after, mainly as a retreat market within two hours of Sydney and we are again beginning to see some activity at the higher end here, albeit thinly traded.

However instead of direct ocean views, these properties tend to be rural acreage sites featuring quality dwellings. Areas such as Berry, Jamberoo, Knights Hill and Avondale all offer properties towards the top end of the market.

Overall, demand in the top end of the market has slowly strengthened over the past two years and properties over the $1.5 million mark are experiencing some greater interest due to higher confidence and a favourable interest rate climate. There is still a large influence on this upper end from cashed up Sydney buyers due to easy accessibility and relative affordability. This is true in all sectors of the upper end of the market. However we have seen it evaporate reasonably quickly in past times when the economy tightens due to increasing interest rates, declining confidence and higher unemployment.



Please note that information in this publication is subject to change without notice. Smartline assumes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or mistakes in this document. © Smartline Home Loans P/L 1999 – 2015. Australian Credit Licence Number 385325


Share on:

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.