While the last 12 months have seen a significant move toward lifestyle locations across Australia, the Central Coast has been particularly popular. But it is more than just the usual sea changers from Sydney that are now flooding the area. There is increased interest from both investors and new residents, and from up and down the Australian eastern seaboard.
This means that, if you are considering buying property on the Central Coast, you are not alone. You can expect plenty of competition for any high-quality properties and will need to come prepared to buy. You should also be wary of any potential bidding wars and have a clear buying strategy and budget in mind.
It is also worth understanding where this interest is coming from and what it means for the local property market. Here we explore exactly what is driving the increased demand for property in the NSW Central Coast area.
We also look at how this surge in interest is affecting those that are trying to buy in the area.
Striking the Work-life Balance
The events of the last year have significantly changed what most people’s daily life looks like. Due to ongoing restrictions on movement and public gatherings, working from home has become far more common. For many, this has reduced (or completely removed) the need to commute, making proximity to major business hubs less important.
How we live in our homes and what we expect from our property have also shifted. Most homes are now also an office, a school, a restaurant, and where we spend most of our downtime. This has increased the need for space and the desire for dedicated areas for certain activities (e.g. a home office).
All of this has made trading the convenience of the city for the comfort of a regional area more attractive. And areas like the Central Coast, which were already popular holiday destinations, are particularly appealing. These locations usually have good infrastructure and amenities, while still offering the slower pace of life many are after.
The Central Coast is also situated ideally for those planning to continue working for businesses based in the city. Most of the area is a relatively short drive from Sydney, making the occasional commute into the office very manageable. There are also good public transport links connecting most of the major towns with the center of the city.
Getting Better Value for Money
While Central Coast property prices have increased over the last 12 months, most areas are still more affordable than Sydney. In fact, in the June 2021 Quarter, Sydney’s median price reached $1,410,133 for houses and $786,175 for units. By contrast, the median price in Gosford, for example, was a more modest $835,000 for houses and $490,000 for units.
This makes the Central Coast an attractive option for those that have been priced out of the Sydney market. Instead of struggling to find an affordable place in the metro area, these people are looking up the coast for opportunities. And they are finding that they get much more bang for their buck when they move away from the city!
This is particularly appealing to those who are looking to upgrade to a larger home with more space. Such properties are far more common on the Central Coast and often come with all the features buyers are after. And, given the strength of the Sydney market, the proceeds of a city sale can go a long way on the coast.
It is also important to acknowledge that median prices do not always tell the whole story. For example, property by the water in Sydney will usually cost much more than the city’s median. While the same is true on the Central Coast, these areas will still be much more affordable than in Sydney.
Low Levels of Supply
While demand for properties on the Central Coast has skyrocketed, the supply of new listings has been quite limited. This is because, despite the record sale prices being achieved, most owners have decided to hold onto their properties. Some have chosen to relocate to the coast themselves and others have tapped into the lucrative short-term rental market.
Given the increased demand, the limited supply is having a major impact on both prices and general market activity. Specifically, it has meant that there has been significant competition for high-quality properties, with most attracting multiple offers. This, in turn, has driven up prices, as buyers are willing to strengthen themselves further to secure the property they love.
The shortage of quality properties is also impacting the rental market, with many tenants struggling to find a property. In fact, vacancy rates on the Central Coast have fallen to 0.7%, which is a record low for the area. As a result, most high-quality rental properties are attracting multiple applications with many being leased over their advertised rate.