Real estate agents say the current property boom on the NSW northern beaches is unprecedented, with homes selling for constantly-increasing prices, often without being released to market. And often to out-of-area buyers - especially from Sydney's inner west and eastern suburbs - keen on the lifestyle.
Amid stagnant wage growth, Sydney's median house price grew by 20 per cent over the 2020/21 financial year, according to CoreLogic, from a median house price of $1.01 million last year to the current $1.22 million. Apartment prices increased 5.3 per cent for the year. The median northern beaches house price is now $2.21 million, up $290,000 in six months.
Almost two-thirds of the leading property experts and economists polled in a recent Finder survey predicted that the market would peak by the end of the year. But northern beaches agents say this is unlikely, at least on their turf.
Georgi Bates from Cunninghams said she had never seen anything like the current market. "The northern beaches is the one area that is certainly not cooling down, because of the lifestyle," she said.
She recently sold a three-bedroom deceased estate at 62 Griffiths Street, Fairlight for $4.001 million - almost $1 million above the price guide - to a developer from Sydney's inner west. With more than two decades in the industry, even she was "gobsmacked" by the result. "You needed to completely re-gut it, the owner hadn't done anything in 60 years," she said.
"It's a game-changer for Fairlight. I now have to completely rethink where we are."
Their biggest issue is finding stock to sell, with buyers outnumbering sellers across the board.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Jake Rowe, Principal at Rowe Partners said he was not seeing the market pull back "in the slightest", with low interest rates and stock levels fuelling high buyer levels and prices. "Most are selling before or on market date," he said, noting another interesting trend: a significant increase in the numbers of buyers agents working the market. Prestige homes were especially robust, he said, with several recent sales well above price guide.
James Eyden from Clarke & Humel was also seeing large growth in this market. "We've been inundated with inquiries for prestige homes above the $5 million mark, with many coming from the eastern suburbs, Mosman and the inner west," he said. "People would rather be near the ocean if they need to work from home. And even if they eventually return to the office, they are only going to do that a couple of days a week."
The success of the past six months has Whitehouse Real Estate's Angus White planning to open their second office, in Freshwater, in October.
"The craziness has come out of the market a little bit but that's because the stock is just not there; buyer demand is still there," he said, adding that Covid restrictions had helped to tighten the market, leading to more efficient sales with motivated buyers. A recent open house for 4/208 Pittwater Road, Manly had 18 inspections over three hours in back-to-back 10-minute bookings. "You're not getting the nosy neighbours, the sticky beaks, we're just dealing with genuine buyers."
Mr White said the northern beaches was seen as a safe bet in these pandemic times. "You want to be somewhere safe, clean, secure and we have it all here," he said.