Wollongong September 2017

The month in review: Wollongong

By Herron Todd White
September 2017

Home ownership continues to be an aspiration in the Illawarra. The 2016 census reports that 67.7% of occupied private dwellings are owner-occupied with the remainder either rented (28.6%) or unclassified (3.6%). This is a slightly higher proportion than that of NSW (64.5%) and Australia (65.5%). Local agents are reporting owner-occupiers are very active in the market.

We find there can be three categories of owneroccupier: first home owners, families; and empty nesters. Each of these types of buyer will have their own personal criteria for their home with style, location and budget being the main factors. Broadly speaking first home buyers will be purchasing a strata title property or an older style single dwelling at the lower end of the market. Families look to upgrade to a 3- or 4-bedroom suburban home and this can include an established dwelling or construction in a new land estate. Empty nesters will often downgrade in size however may increase in price point.

It is first home buyers who face the most competition for property from investors as they are typically looking for similar property attributes such as convenient locations and affordability. Both first home buyers and investors are particularly active in the unit market in the Illawarra.

As it stands, all areas of the Illawarra residential property market have experienced significant growth recently. At this stage the Illawarra is still affordable to many owner-occupiers, especially when compared to Sydney. In fact part of the driving force behind the strong market is Sydney buyers who are priced out of their local market looking further south.

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