Illawarra homes snapped up fast

The Illawarra's property market is robust but house prices have not soared to flashing red levels as seen in Sydney, according to one industry expert.

Simon Kersten, managing director of Colliers International Wollongong, said there had been strong price rises for residential property yet he was reluctant to use the term "boom".

"We've got confidence with getting good results but it's nowhere near as heated as the Sydney market," he said.

Mr Kersten said properties were being scooped up very quickly by buyers largely because the dwelling stock in play was quite restricted.

"Prices are going up, but the turnover hasn't increased and because there is no stock and it's a very tight market," he said.

"We are finding that when stock hits the market it sells very quickly because for people who want to buy there is limited choice."

Mr Kersten said there were projects in the pipeline for Wollongong's CBD, including the new Oxford on Crown residential development, transformation of the old Dwyers site into a residential and commercial development and plans to revitalise vacant land in Auburn St.

"In those three projects, there are more than 500 apartments," he said.

"To put that in context, the Vantage Gladstone Ave project, which is nearly completed, has 250 apartments so it's just like having two of those."

The limited amount of housing stock was a serious and ongoing issue in the Illawarra, he said.

"Projects like the Calderwood Land release and the new apartments are very much needed in the market. We [Colliers International Wollongong] sell Haywards Bay and Brooks Terrace at Kanahooka and both of those projects are selling as quickly as we can supply the land.

"Haywards Bay has sold out for the next 12 months of construction, so we are selling land now that we can't deliver for another year and people are still buying it."

Mr Kersten said there was also renewed confidence from developers.

"The developers have done nothing for a long time but in the past 12 months they have been buying stock and getting ready to build projects, which is very important because it means there is stock coming," he said.

"For the first time in four or five years we've got builders and developers out there doing things."

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