The top end of the region's property market is still showing signs of strength, with a Wollongong harbourside home sold under the hammer for more than $3 million.
The home at 3 Harbour Street, Wollongong sits on 512sqm.
The circa 1927 bungalow features two bedrooms and one bathroom.
It also enjoys a dual street frontage with potential for redevelopment (subject to council approval).
Last week's auction attracted 11 registered bidders.
Drawing a total of 54 bids, it sold under the hammer to an Illawarra family for $3,025,000.
Selling agent, AM Rutty Coastal principal Rolf Lokker said despite having worked in the real estate industry for 30 years, he likely hadn't seen a property attract such a high level of inquiry.
The home, which had a price guide of above $2.7 million, was for sale for the first time in 22 years.
"It's a really tightly held enclave which isn't going to happen again, so that ensured we had inquiries through the roof," he said.
"You're on probably the best block of dirt in Wollongong, which can't be built out.
"It has rear lane access, and just offered a lot of opportunities for the incoming buyer."
The cottage's features include high ornate ceilings, sunroom, two generous bedrooms, formal lounge and dining, galley kitchen, family room and bathroom with claw foot bath.
Mr Lokker said the top end of the Illawarra's market remained strong, partially due to "Sydney buyers finally starting to realise how good Wollongong is, and how good its lifestyle is".
"We had inquiries from overseas buyers, Sydney buyers," he said.
"I think a lot of Sydney people initially for the past 10-15 years always thought you've got to live in Thirroul or Austinmer.
"Now I think they realise that if you live in Wollongong, your lifestyle is as good if not better, and you can zip up Ousley just as quickly as you're going to go up Bulli Pass or the coast road."
Regional sales activity
The latest CoreLogic Quarterly Regional Market Update (June 2019), which tracks sales volumes and dwelling values across 11 of Australia's regional hubs, shows that sales activity has fallen across all regions over the past 12 months.
CoreLogic's findings included that in NSW, sales activity fell across all three regions analysed, with the Illawarra region recording the largest drop in sales volumes (-20 per cent) year on year.
The Illawarra region also experienced the largest fall in house values (-11.9 per cent), while unit values declined the most in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie (-9.5 per cent).
CoreLogic's findings also indicated that in NSW, it has become more expensive to rent in the Richmond-Tweed region, with rental rates increasing by 4.0 per cent over the past year for houses and 2.4 per cent for units - the highest of the three NSW regions.
In comparison, rental rates remained static In the Illawarra region, where the average rental is $500 per week for houses and $420 per week for units.