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18 October 2020 Posted by 


Coast attracts younger home buyers
THE Central Coast is enjoying a new rush of younger real estate buyers fleeing the city in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Coast has always drawn a strange combination of retirees and younger struggling home buyers who secure a property here but continue to commute to Sydney.
Now it is the tech-based buyers who are flooding the market for both property purchases and rentals. The imminent opening of the “game changing” Northconnex Tunnel linking the M1 with the M2 and M7 puts the Coast within easy reach of the City.
A life-long Central Coast resident and Chairman of the Ray White Central Coast Division Andrew Macdonald said the region was witnessing a major increase in interest from Sydney buyers.
Mr Macdonald is based at Ray White Pt Clare and has seen the Central Coast grow from a sleepy beachside holiday destination to a thriving commuter hub, that still retains its casual, coastal lifestyle appeal.
With more than 20 years in property and 1500 property sales, Mr Macdonald is an acknowledged expert in Coast property trends.
He said 7o% of buyers were from Sydney, predominantly the Northern beaches.
“Rental vacancy traditionally sits around 2.5 %, but is now 0.7% and many offices, including ours, have zero vacancy.”
“Rentals demand in Sydney has declined drastically, with remote workers discovering the Central Coast as an alternative,” he said.
“Sydney rents are down 12% while Central Coast rents are up 7.9%. Central Coast rental vacancies are at all-time low of just 0.7%, falling from 5.1% in December 2019.
“In fact, 95% of areas outside of Sydney have a rental vacancy below 1%,” Mr Macdonald said. “This is of course great news for investors, but not good news for tenants.
“In the sale market. Sydney auction clearance rate is healthy averaging 80% and the median price was down in September by -2%. However, year to date still showing a 9.8% increase.
He said the Central Coast sale market was also strong.
“With buyers bailing out of Sydney and heading to the Coast, however an interesting fact is that most buyers are coming from the Northern Beaches.
“First home buyers, both local and from Sydney are highly active, with historically low interest rates making more sense to buy than rent
“House prices on the Central Coast have increase an average of 5% so far in 2020.”
The coronavirus has brought a new customer to the sales and rental real estate market on the Coast - young urban professionals who can work at home and don't want to be doing that in a tiny Sydney flat.
Head of Research Australia at CoreLogic Eliza Owen said while parts of Australia's property sector had grappled with the impacts of COVID-19, prices in some regions like the Coast had flourished.
She said there had been a huge spike in interest from tenants in regional and coastal areas around Australia, while demand in city regions had dwindled.
"One explanation may be that outer-city suburbs have been less exposed to the factors driving declines in demand, such as overseas migration".
"Anecdotal reports assert that a drawcard for outer-city regions are relatively cheap rents and low density along with remote working lessening the hurdle of travel times from areas located further from the largest employment nodes. This may have increased rental prices through higher demand," she said.
The boom on the Coast means home renos are at an all-time high as Sydney buyers purchase older, cheaper stock and “do them up”.
Buyers are also snapping up expensive holiday homes in unique prestige locations.
There was a time when expensive designer rebuilds of Coast holiday homes were often regarded as just over-capitalisation in waiting. 
This has changed dramatically with recent spate of record high sales in key holiday-home markets
At Kilcare, the beachside residence previously owned by adman John Singleton before he sold it for a high of $4.5M in 2015, recently reset local records at $6.48M. Then, the home next door sold for $4.8m  after a recent contemporary redesign.
At Macmaster’s Beach, two homes sold for the record price of $4.5M including the architect Matt Thitchener-designed residence Courtyard House.
Belle Property’s Cathy Baker then set a $5.2M high in Forresters Beach when she sold a striking designer residence on beachfront reserve.
A recently completed residence in Pretty Beach then sold for $3M. Many of the homes were snapped up at good prices some years ago and major renovations undertaken.
An example was a two-storey house on waterfront reserve at Pretty Beach purchased in 2015 for $1.2M rebuilt at a cost of $2.3M into a three-level Hamptons-style residence with a central glass lift.
Ms Baker told a media outlet there was a surge of Sydney investors ploughing their holiday travel budget into real estate in the hopes of spending more of their flexible working hours at Pretty Beach.
“Better yet, the number of high-end builds creating homes in the $4M and $5M range means capital growth locally is expected to skyrocket in coming years.”


Michael Walls
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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Central Coast Business Access (CCBA) covers the business and community issues of the NSW Central Coast region. CCBA is a prime media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities.