Giving up a view could be the key for those looking to buy in some of the Illawarra's "champagne locations on a beer budget".
Property valuation and advisory company Herron Todd White's latest report includes a study on whether it's possible to buy reasonably-priced property in Illawarra suburbs that typically have a higher price tag.
"The easiest thing to give up is a view," Chris McKenna, residential director of South East NSW said.
"If you want to be a part of the action but don't need to look at it, this can save a significant amount of money.
"Houses in Stanwell Park can still be purchased for less than $1 million. Or if $750,000 is more your idea of affordability, then there are plenty of villas and townhouses still within 500 metres of the beach that sell for around this mark in Thirroul and Austinmer.
"The market has even weakened enough for a sale of a house in Hyams Beach to drop under $1 million in October, but don't think you'll be able to see the water from your living area."
The report says the Illawarra's best residential locations still appear to be in sync with the rest of the market.
"Recent weakening conditions have also hit these locations and affordability is starting to return. The prospects moving forward are estimated to be similar on a broader scale, (with) expectations that the market will bottom out and stabilise for a decent period prior to starting the growth phase of the cycle again in the future."
Mr McKenna said the Illawarra's northern coastal suburbs are the most popular with cashed-up buyers.
"Ocean front properties and those with significant views can be tightly held, but can command prices upwards of $3 million when and if they hit the market," he said,
Mr McKenna said Lower Coast Road in Stanwell Park is an example, with two sales over $3 million since 2013.
Paterson Road in Coalcliff is another location, having achieved two $3 million-plus sales over the past two-and-a-half years.
"Sandon Point in Bulli is a high-profile modern subdivision and home to many contemporary substantial dwellings," he said.
"Three properties have sold for over $3 million in past years, the most recent being 6 Garaban Court for $3.2 million in January.
"Cliff Road and North Wollongong are where the high-end medium-density developments are located in the Illawarra region.
"A $3.35 million sale of a unit on Blackett Street, North Wollongong in July 2018 is an example and a 2018 off-market sale at $4 million of an oversized podium level unit in Rockpool on Cliff Road are examples."