The beach town where house prices have surged by 40% in ONE year and it isn't Byron Bay or Noosa

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The beach town where house prices have surged by 40% in ONE year and it isn't Byron Bay or Noosa

House sale prices in one beach town have surged by 40 per cent in just one year as more professionals fled the big city.Austinmer in Wollongong's c

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House sale prices in one beach town have surged by 40 per cent in just one year as more professionals fled the big city.

Austinmer in Wollongong’s coastal north was one of Australia’s best performing property markets in 2020 as working from home became more common.

In December 2019, before the Covid pandemic, the town south of Sydney near Royal National Park, had a median house price $1.16million but a year later, this surged to $1.6million, Digital Finance Analytics has revealed. 

That difference represented an increase of 40.1 per cent when house exchange settlement prices in December 2019 were compared with last month. 

Austinmer in Wollongong's coastal north was one of Australia's best performing property markets in 2020 as more people could work from home with median house exchange prices surging by 40.1 per cent in one year as more people could work from home

Austinmer in Wollongong’s coastal north was one of Australia’s best performing property markets in 2020 as more people could work from home with median house exchange prices surging by 40.1 per cent in one year as more people could work from home

Martin North, the principal of Digital Finance Analytics, said the Covid pandemic had seen more people from Sydney move to his local area in the Illawarra region, and not just baby boomers.

The big movers in house prices

Austinmer, NSW Illawarra: up 40.1 per cent from $1.16million to $1.6million based on houses being exchanged 

Byron Bay, NSW north coast: up 39.1 per cent from $1.348million to $1.875million

Sunrise Beach in Noosa on the Queensland Sunshine Coast: up 14.3 per cent from $1.75million to $2million 

Sources: Digital Finance Analytics analysis of land title exchange prices

‘We’re seeing huge demand from people coming out of Sydney and coming down the coast and up the coast as well,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Quite often, the properties are being bought by people looking to get out of the smoke.

‘It isn’t just baby boomers, it’s not just downsizers, down trading sea change people, there are quite a few people in their thirties and forties making the move.’  

The beach town is also on a train line direct to Sydney and near the Princes Highway, offering lifestyle and transport connections. 

‘The beauty of the area around here, of course, is we’re on the main train line between Wollongong and Sydney so if you need to get into the city, you can,’ Mr Mr North said.

In Sydney, Cronulla is the only beach suburb with a train station while on the other side of the city, Northern Beaches residents endure long traffic jams or a slow bus ride.

Mr North analysed settlement prices from the New South Wales Land Registry, noting how five sales of more than $2million had pushed up the mid-point price. 

In July, a house sold for $2.9million which followed a $3million settlement in January.

A separate calculation by real estate data group CoreLogic showed a 14.9 per cent annual increase in Austinmer’s median house prices, to a lesser $1.438million, with its numbers based on all houses in the suburb and not just the ones that sold recently.

When it came to just the houses that sold last year Byron Bay's median house price surged by 39.1 per cent, rising from $1.3million in December 2019 to $1.9million last month, Digital Finance Analytics calculations showed.

When it came to just the houses that sold last year Byron Bay’s median house price surged by 39.1 per cent, rising from $1.3million in December 2019 to $1.9million last month, Digital Finance Analytics calculations showed.

When it came to just the houses that sold last year Byron Bay’s median house price surged by 39.1 per cent, rising from $1.348million in December 2019 to $1.875million last month, Digital Finance Analytics calculations showed.

CoreLogic calculated a 16.1 per cent increase in median house prices in this patch of the New South Wales far north coast, to $1.862million, when the values of all detached homes in the area were factored in.

On Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Noosa’s Sunrise Beach enjoyed a 14.3 per cent surge in median house prices from $1.75million to $2million, based on the Digital Finance Analytics calculation of settlements.

In nearby Noosa Heads, CoreLogic calculated a 17.3 per cent rise in median house prices to $1.45million based on all detached homes in the suburb.

Apartment values there increased by 12.4 per cent to $999,810.

On Queensland's Sunshine Coast, Noosa's Sunrise Beach enjoyed a 14.3 per cent surge in median house prices from $1.75million to $2million, based on the Digital Finance Analytics calculation of settlements

On Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Noosa’s Sunrise Beach enjoyed a 14.3 per cent surge in median house prices from $1.75million to $2million, based on the Digital Finance Analytics calculation of settlements

Mr North said the popularity of coastal locations was likely to continue in 2021 even as coronavirus vaccines were rolled out but only for houses and not units. 

‘The longer the virus rattles around and pops up both in Sydney and Melbourne, there’s more people thinking, “This is too hard, I’m going to places in the country where things are a little less severe”,’ he said.

‘Over the next few months, we’re going to continue see this trend.’ 

Like the early 1990s recession, house prices are surging on Queensland’s Gold and Sunshine coasts as Melburnians flee Victoria’s cold weather.

‘Effectively, you can go north, get better weather, you can buy a bigger place for less money so you have the lifestyle, you have the space, so there is a supreme logic to it,’ Mr North said. 

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