Future of Peninsula real estate given mixed assessment

Mr Ian Willis

Woy Woy Rotarians have been given a mixed assessment of the future of real estate and property development on the Peninsula when they were addressed by a Woy Woy real estate agent.

Wilson Real Estate partner Mr Ian Willis welcomed the recent multi-unit residential development approvals, but was less enthusiastic about the rise of granny flats, according to Rotary club publicity officer Mr Vic Deeble who reported the talk in the club newsletter.

Mr Willis said the rental market for granny flats was over-supplied and had moved away from the intention of providing affordable housing.
Granny flats were warping both the property and rental markets, according to Mr Deeble’s report.

They had increased population density, leading to traffic congestion, parking difficulties and a change in demographics. Mr Deeble said Mr Willis started his presentation by listing some developments currently in progress around the Peninsula.

“The first was the site in Ocean Beach Rd, that now has a service station approval to replace the one that was there in the past,” said Mr Deeble.
“The next he mentioned was the site at the corner of Farnell Rd and Blackwall Rd that has approval for some 36 three-storey units and townhouses.

“Another he mentioned was in West St, Umina, on the corner of Oscar St, which has approval for 20 residential units with commercial space underneath. “Another in Ocean View Rd in Ettalong has approval for 25 units with commercial space underneath.

“In addition, the Atlantis building was approved and built last year.
“So clearly there is a big demand for this type of accommodation in our local area,” Mr Deeble said.

“Behind the Everglades Club on Hillview St there is construction taking place of an aged care, or seniors living facility of 160 rooms.
“There are significant environmental controls imposed on this development and as a result it may be almost invisible from the street with bushes and trees retained at the front.

“This is another type of construction where there is a considerable demand,” he added. Mr Wilis then spoke to the Rotarians about the rise of granny flats. “Granny flats were in Ian’s early view a good idea under the Affordable Housing Scheme.

“Now he is seeing them used as investment properties because the rents obtained make them a good investment opportunity.
“This application was not the one for which they were originally intended and the extra density of habitation can cause traffic congestion and parking issues.

“People are buying houses now to rent out the house and the granny flat.
“This is changing the demographics of the area. “The ongoing development of the area is resulting in extra traffic and intersections are being upgraded, such as the one at the junction of McMasters and Blackwall Rd, which is being changed to a divided road with restricted turning directions.

“Average prices are increasing due to demand and in the Woy Woy area the average price of a house is in the order of $595,000 and for units is just over $500,000. “In Umina the corresponding figures are $650,000 and $550,000.
“For upmarket apartments people are paying upwards of $1M and these may not be waterfront,” Mr Deeble said.

“Demographics have changed over Ian’s time in real estate.
“When he started, units were being sold to retirement couples but today there are a large number of sales to young couples who are unable to afford buying in Sydney.

“Ian forecasts that development will continue with three-storey properties becoming more common in close proximity to the town centres.
“What has happened in Gosford over the past few years is now overflowing onto the Peninsula.

“The property cycle peaked in 2017 and then fell until the election last year but has been slowly recovering since then. “People were very cautious about property purchase before the election, but since last May about two thirds of the fall has been recovered.

“People are attracted to the Peninsula area by the convenience of the train station for access to Sydney, for what’s available for their money, plus the shops and of course the local environment.

“Jobs are another factor that has resulted from the movement of government departments to Gosford and the development of the teaching hospital.

“Questions were asked about the burnt-out shopping mall in Ocean Beach Rd and the development of the Woy Woy Town Centre.”

Newsletter, 18 Feb 2020
Vic Deeble, Rotary Club of Woy Woy