Stamp duty, the bane of many a homebuyer's journey to settlement, is on the way out - and not before time in the eyes of many in the property industry.
Tuesday's state Budget revealed the often-reviled lump sum tax paid on home purchases would be phased out. But the news is not all good - it will be replaced by a smaller, but annual, land tax.
Nonetheless, it was a development welcomed by Real Estate Institute Illawarra chairman Trevor Molenaar, who said older homebuyers were particularly disadvantaged.
"Any tax that is being abolished is always a good thing," he said.
"The fact that it's a property tax is always good for the market, for the industry. As long as they don't introduce another tax to support that as well. Don't just abolish a tax and put another one in its place."
While there will be a new land tax, Mr Molenaar said it would be fairer.
"What the tax will do to abolish stamp duty is basically make it fairer across the board," he said.
"It's [tax is] heavily weighted towards the property industry so if something falls apart ... they need it to be not so heavily weighted to this industry."
There is speculation sales times might shorten without stamp duty, and home prices may rise. Mr Molenaar estimated a different outcome, saying older property buyers who might want to "downsize" had been disadvantaged by the stamp duty payment.
"Think about the people who are little old ladies in their large homes - the government would like them to not take up as much space, sell that to families, get something much smaller, but what's stopping scenarios like that is stamp duty.
"First home buyers have a stamp duty exemption at the moment ... but these exemptions ebb and flow, they're not there all the time."
While pandemic lockdowns had led people to move out of Sydney to work from home in the Illawarra of Central Coast, resulting in a boom in family-sized home sales, Mr Molenaar said this may eventually dry up, and scrapping stamp duty would contribute to keeping the market buoyant.
Luxury pickings popping up in the north
Another prominent property has come on the market in one of the northern Illawarra's best beach-access streets, with a five-bedroom entertainer's palace up for grabs in Austinmer.
With an 8m-high ceiling in the prominent entertaining area - which comes equipped with a bar - the house at 10 Yuruga St is described by agent David Hyslop from The Agency Illawarra as having been "customised for five-star family comfort".
With two of the five bedrooms having ensuites, and a "child-friendly backyard", these digs wouldn't be complete without a powder room and a spa in the master bedroom.
If that's not enough entertainment, the Headlands Hotel is just across the road while Little Austinmer Beach is a stone's throw away. Expect seven figures and then some.
Further north now and while the house may not be of the type seen in Yuruga St, the 2700sqm property at 305 Lawrence Hargrave Drive Clifton offers ocean frontage which won't be built out. The long block stretches between the main road and the cliff, beyond which only the Tasman Sea awaits your eyes.
It's selling through Matt Dignam at Dignam's Real Estate at Bulli.
Down south, interest was strong in the latest release of the Waterfront at Shell Cove, with Frasers Property development director Simone Dyer saying seven of the 18 lots sold last week were to buyers from Sydney as the COVID seachange narrative continues to strengthen.
"COVID-19 has taught us that working from home is not only possible but efficient and many businesses plan to adopt it on a permanent or semi-permanent basis," she said.
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.