Sydney property boom travels to South Coast

The South Coast has recorded modest growth in house values during 2013 and agents expect it could get better as the Sydney property boom travels to the surf.

The property market has stagnated on the coast for a number of years and the local industry flagged an improvement at the start of the year.

House values have increased in Eurobodalla (4.4 per cent), Shoalhaven (2.6 per cent) and Bega Valley (0.7 per cent).

RP Data senior research analyst Cameron Kusher said generally speaking the market on the South Coast had started to see low levels of value growth – predominately in houses not units.

He said the time on the market had fallen and sales volumes increased, which could lead to more growth.

“The fact that listings are also lower than last year is reflective of properties selling quicker but also a greater level of competition in the market which is potentially conducive to further value growth,” Mr Kusher said.

Data provided by the company to the end of November shows the areas were all on track to record a higher number of sales than in 2012.

However some coastal towns performed better than others and overall houses generally had stronger results than units.

LJ Hooker Batemans Bay principal Michael Skuse said while the market had been pretty tough in 2013 things seemed to be improving.

“We had this view that a change of government would change everything but that wasn't the case,” he said.

“The Canberra buyers were really quite lacking in confidence for most of last year.”

Mr Skuse said about 60-70 per cent of buyers in the bay were from the ACT, which had dropped about 10 per cent during the two decades he'd been in the business.

He was optimistic the Sydney boom would flow down to the bay and thought it was having an effect already.

Mr Skuse said he had shown 80 groups of people through six open inspections last weekend – the highest number since 2005.

It was a booming year in Shoalhaven according to Raine and Horne Mollymook/Milton principal Ben Pryde who said it was the best year for the area since 2003.

He said over the year it had turned from a buyers to a sellers market as more and more properties were sold and competition increased.

Mr Pryde said while the area did not record anywhere near the growth of Sydney the take up of properties – including some high end homes on the market for two or three years – demonstrated the market had moved along with the NSW capital.

Stunning million dollar homes remaining on the South Coast market include a private beachfront residence at 15 Shipton Crescent in Mollymook and an architecturally designed masterpiece at 21 Highlands Avenue, Surf Beach.

Sails Real Estate sales agent Kim Poso said it had been a steady year for Merimbula though inquiries had been picking up recently from Canberrans and Victorians.

She said the lower end of the market had shifted well and there was a lot of interest in holiday investment properties.

Ms Poso said any housing booms from Sydney or Canberra generally took about six months to affect the more remote location.

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