The Illawarra enters the highly-anticipated spring selling season with momentum, an economist believes.
Dr Andrew J. Wilson, chief economist at The Domain Group said their data indicated Wollongong’s house price growth was up 18.8 per cent over the year ending at the June quarter, “and had quite a strong median of $760,000”. He also noted that Shellharbour was up 17.3 per cent over the past year.
“These types of results can’t be maintained, as we’ve seen in Sydney, particularly with interest rates being on hold for the past 12 months, but it’s pretty good prospects… You’d be pretty comfortable if you were wanting to sell a property in those areas at the moment,” he said.
“I think it’s a question of when this head of steam dissipates, and that will occur. We don’t have the lower interest rate energy that’s driven Sydney, and these regional markets always lag the big city market anyway.
“This is one of the strongest markets we’ve ever had in the region. Plenty of momentum, prices are growing faster than they did at the peak of the Sydney market.
“This will dissipate, but at the moment certainly there’s more upside that downside to these markets going into spring.”
Dr Wilson said a lot of Sydney buyers were looking for a “green change property”, which areas such as Shellharbour and the Shoalhaven provided.
“There’s plenty of momentum in that Wollongong market, the Southern Highlands market at the moment, right through the Illawarra… Not just the coastal market and the big sitting market of Wollongong, but also further inland as well,” he said.
Dr Wilson said the “end of the year focus” made the spring season a peak selling time.
“The middle of the year tends to be a bit more discretionary in terms of buying and selling decisions.
“People are looking to complete their transactions, buying or selling, by the end of the year, and that creates its own momentum. More properties come onto the market and more people get interested.
“Early spring’s usually a better time for sellers, and late spring’s a better time for buyers.”
Trever Molenaar is chairman of the Real Estate Institute Illawarra.
Speaking earlier this week, he said potential sellers have the next month to be on the market in order to be sold and settled by the December 15 shutdown.
Mr Molenaar said the listing volumes for the region were still relatively low for this time of year.
“You will find that the traditional spring period is coming into play right now,” he said. “We’ve been finding that we've been very tight in listings but we're going to come up to a very rampant year as far as more listings coming on the market.”
Mr Molenaar said traditionally a lot of properties came onto the market in this period, and was the peak selling time for many owners.
“I think everyone feels their home looks better in spring, and in a lot of cases it does,” he said.
“However, the prices actually don't change, so you'll find that even in winter we're getting the same prices.”