A falling supply of housing stock, strong demand across multiple buyer demographics and an expanding local economy means the Illawarra property market looks set for a "very solid 2021", one expert says.
Simon Pressley, head of research at national property market researcher Propertyology said having produced house price growth of circa five per cent during the 2020 calendar year, Illawarra real estate defied the opinions of many who predicted COVID-19 to trigger a big national property market downturn.
"In spite of the unprecedented disruptions caused by COVID-19, the volume of jobs advertised in the Wollongong region in mid-December was 19 per cent more than last February, directly before the restrictions to battle the germ," he said.
"That's far superior to the Sydney and Melbourne's reduction in job ads of 33 and 26 per cent, respectively."
Mr Pressley said the Illawarra region's property market started to tighten in the fourth quarter of 2019.
"The 5235 total dwellings advertised for sale at the end of November 2020 was 30 per cent lower than two-year earlier when property prices were softening," he said.
"It's a fantastic time to be transacting in real estate. Banks have a positive attitude towards supporting the aspirations of responsible borrowers and credit is dirt cheap.
"There's incentives for first home buyers, plenty of existing owner-occupiers are trading up, others are relocating out of Sydney and Melbourne to minimise future lifestyle disruptions from COVID, and the work-from-home phenomenon is very real."
Mr Pressley said while investor activity was "very low" throughout the past two years, he anticipated this demographic will "get very busy this year as more people realise that a property boom is unfolding in many parts of Australia and rents are also rising".
"With supply so tight, buyer activity very buoyant and all-time record high government investment in economic activities, Propertyology expects that upward pressure on real estate will intensify significantly," he said.
Meanwhile, Australia's housing market finished the year on a strong footing, according to CoreLogic.
According to CoreLogic, Australian home values finished the year three per cent higher with regional housing values rising by 6.9 per cent, a rate of capital gain that was more than three times higher than the combined capitals, where home values were up two per cent over the year.
CoreLogic's research director Tim Lawless said asremote working opportunities became more prevalent and demand for lifestyle properties and lower density housing options became more popular, regional areas of Australia saw housing market conditions surge.
"Regional housing markets had generally underperformed relative to the capital city regions over the past decade, but 2020 saw regional housing values surge as demand outweighed supply," Mr Lawless said.
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