$700,000 now an entry price for many suburbs

2/112 Elsiemer St, Toowoon Bay

A sale price of $700,000 used to be labelled the upgrader market on the Central Coast but it is now the entry price for housing in many suburbs according to the Herron Todd White July Month in Review.

Authors and valuers Todd Beckman, Julia Miller and Jemma Briscoe say the Central Coast still has plenty to offer but if the strong market continues – and it’s approaching peak of the market – many more properties will become out of reach unless buyers readjust their checklist.

The report says that the Central Coast is seen by many as an affordable neighbour to the Sydney metropolitan area and out-of-area buyers have always been participants in the local market, whether as first home buyers or investors.

“No matter the buyer, there’s variety wherever you look,” the valuers say.

“Residents who have lived in the region for a long time remember only a short time ago that the $700,000 price point for many suburbs used to be labelled the upgrader market.

“Now, as a result of the swiftly moving property market post COVID-19, $700,000 is seen as an entry point into suburbs, and for some beachside and rural residential areas property at this price point is non-existent.”

Many beachside locations are now becoming out of reach for discerning buyers with a budget up to $700,000.

It was outlined in the Herron Todd White 2020 review that Wadalba and The Entrance were two areas where a buyer could invest $700,000 and while this is still true, the options could be more limited in 2021.

Last year, buyers in Wadalba and the surrounding newer suburbs of Hamlyn Terrace and Woongarrah would have found a brand new four-bedroom, two-bathroom house for $700,000, however, in 2021 this would be more difficult.

A property at 2 Poppy Rd, Hamlyn Terrace built in 2010, for example, with four bedrooms and two bathrooms sold in April this year for $678,000. (Source: RP Data)

“Unless you’re looking at a smaller block of land, you can probably forget about a brand-new house,” the report says.

“If you go a little further east, Toukley and Gorokan will provide more options in the sub-$700,000 price range.

“While 12 months ago you would have had more options, in 2021 you will generally be limited to older three-bedroom dwellings, such as 60 Dalnott Rd, Gorokan, an original three-bedroom, one-bathroom house with a pool which went for $650,000 in April 2021.

“If you happened to purchase in these suburbs in 2020, you may have already seen some growth on your investment since the shift in the market in 2021.”

Owner-occupiers and investors with a $700,000 price budget could most likely get entry-level units in beachside suburbs such as Blue Bay and Bateau Bay while those wanting a freestanding dwelling should look at Springfield, Wyoming, Narara, Ourimbah, Niagara Park, Berkeley Vale, Glenning Valley, Chittaway Bay and Killarney Vale.

Properties in these suburbs are considered entry-level buying thus they are being snapped up quickly in short one-to-four-week marketing campaigns.

Demand for rental properties in these areas is enticing investors to the market with favourable rental yields and low vacancy rates.

Down south at Avoca Beach and Copacabana, no known properties have sold this year below $700,000, according to CoreLogic RP Data records.

Terrigal provides more choice with unit-style living readily selling between $600,000 and $700,000.

This can be a result of higher stock levels with affordable living alternatives in older unit complexes and villa and townhouses located in the back streets of Terrigal.

Further south again, suburbs such as Woy Woy, Umina Beach and Ettalong Beach offer a diverse choice of property with freestanding dwellings, villas and townhouses making up most of the supply.

It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to secure a freestanding dwelling sub-$600,000 with properties typically advertised as knockdown and rebuild sites.

It gets marginally better if your budget can be extended to between $600,000 and $700,000 for generally older-style fibro cottages and brick and tile dwellings comprising two to three bedrooms, however, this is heavily dependent on the location of the property.

“New residential low-rise unit complexes are beginning to be an attractive alternative for developers in the area over the bread-and-butter villa and townhouses development sites.”

These unit complexes can be found on the fringes of local neighbourhood shopping hubs with convenience to daily shopping and easy accessibility to public transport front of mind for owner-occupiers and investors alike.

A new unit complex currently under construction and nearing completion at 211-213 West St, Umina Beach, is a four-level, mixed use complex with retail and office suites available on the ground floor and residential units above.

Depending on the floor level and aspect of the unit, the price range is $655,000 to $705,000.

Sue Murray