Recent reports have indicated that the Illawarra housing market has defied Sydney’s falling trend in housing values.
One Agency Denison-Pender Property principal Vanessa Denison-Pender suggested this was particularly apparent in the region’s northern suburbs.
She said a migrating population from Sydney definitely keeps demand for Illawarra property high, particularly from “cashed-up Baby Boomers looking for beachfront property at an affordable price that they can’t get in Sydney”.
Among Ms Denison-Pender’s current listings is 4 Dorrigo Avenue, Woonona.
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom, contemporary-style beach house has a price guide of $1.8 million.
“In Sydney’s beachside suburbs it would be double that price plus to live that close to the beach,” she said.
“I had 24 groups through on a Saturday recently, so there’s no slump here, especially for quality homes this close to the beach.”
Ms Denison-Pender said this beachfront address had been tightly held for the past 30 years.
She said interest in this property has come from older couples looking to retire by the beach, young families moving out of Sydney and buyers looking for a family weekender.
It’s set to be auctioned on Saturday, August 25.
According to The Domain Group, the average age of Woonona residents is 40 to 59, with 50 per cent families and 50 per cent singles.
Also, 35 per cent fully own their own home, 35 per cent have a mortgage and 30 per cent are renting.
The most common occupations include health care/social (14 per cent), education and training (12 per cent) and public sector/safety (nine per cent).
Domain figures also reveal that the median price for a three-bedroom house in Woonona is $835,000, with 74 sold this year, spending an average of 39 days on the market and having an auction clearance rate of 50 per cent.
Among Ray White Thirroul principal Tony Dribbus’ current listings is 13 Railway Parade, Woonona.
The three-bedroom cottage is on the market for the first time in 60 years, and has a price guide of $800,000 to $850,000.
Mr Dribbus has been selling properties in the suburb for more than 30 years.
He said about 50 per cent of his market in the northern suburbs nowadays was from Sydney-siders, and buyers from there typically saw “a little more value” in Woonona and nearby suburbs.
He said its close proximity to Sydney was another incentive for city buyers.
“A lot of people that grew up in Woonona, unless they’re doing pretty well in life, they’re all buying further south because they can’t afford Woonona, just because of the way prices have moved so quickly,” he said.
“It makes it hard for local people, especially those just starting out… Young people coming through just getting married, they might have to start with a unit or a townhouse before they can leap into a house.”
However, he believed in a “changing market, prices will cool and come back a little”.