Although there's still currently a healthy pipeline of construction in Wollongong, in the long-term the region needs to "get building" in order to help meet future population growth and housing demands.
That's the view of a leading property economist when discussing the property outlook for the Illawarra during a visit to Wollongong.
The Illawarra branch of the Property Council of Australia recently hosted Daniel Gradwell, associate director of the property division at ANZ.
According to the Property Council, the property industry is currently facing constant change and movement, with financial, political and regulatory factors all impacting the industry across NSW.
The event sought to determine what this means for the Illawarra, and how these factors are impacting the region's property industry.
Mr Gradwell discussed the construction industry, and told the Mercury that in the long-term, the region needed to "get building" and "invest in Wollongong".
"We've seen a strong demand for property out there on the back of rate cuts and APRA's changes (regarding lending conditions)," he said.
"But the supply side is more of a challenge. We've seen that building approvals have been falling for some time now.
"That's true for the capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne, but it's also true for the local area here in Wollongong as well."
Mr Gradwell said a key issue was although there was still a good pipeline of construction in Wollongong right now, when that gets completed it's looking increasingly like there won't be enough new building coming through in a couple of years' time.
"So that's not great from the construction industry point of view, but then the problem is you've also got strong population growth at the moment.
"(The year of) 2018 was one of the strongest growth years for population that we've got on record for Wollongong.
"So when you've got strong population growth and a potential lack of supply because building approvals have been so weak, that really just adds to your price pressures."
Regarding house prices in the Illawarra, Mr Gradwell said for almost every property cycle, the region's prices tend to follow "pretty closely" what happens in the Sydney market.
"(In Sydney) we've seen a pretty substantial rebound in the past couple of months on the back of three rate cuts, APRA's changes and then the election result, where we got the certainty around the lack of tax changes to negative gearing and capital gains," he said.
"If we're thinking about Sydney prices now, they fell 15 per cent, but they're already up about four or five per cent in the past couple of months.
"So that's a pretty material turnaround.
"For the Illawarra, prices haven't rebounded that much yet, because there's always a little bit of a lag.
"But they have increased a little over the past couple of months.
"If we're looking forward, I think they'll continue to follow the trend that we're seeing in Sydney."