Great Time to Buy a Coastal Bargain

You have no doubt heard the old adage that it makes sense to buy the cheapest house in the best street. A recent stay at Blacksmiths just north of Swansea in the Port Macquarie area made me realise the meaning of this fundamental statement of Real Estate wisdom.

What is the best street in Australia? Is it the “street” which runs up the east coast with very close proximity to our beautiful beaches? Did you know that you can still buy property in this “street” at first home buyer prices? It is still possible to buy in Blacksmiths at amazing low $400,000’s prices – just minutes walk to the beautiful beach.

A retired ex employee who now lives in Crescent Head, near Kempsey, called in this last week and told me that he and his wife were enjoying ocean views at $250 per week rent. He said the property was valued in the mid $500,000’s.

This week we came across the following article in RP Data Property Pulse e-newsletter which confirms my personal views on buying property on the coast.

Australia’s lifestyle driven coastal markets have fared worse than other markets over the last year. Conditions are slowing improving, and now may be the best time to position in the market while prices remain low.

For those prospective buyers who have aspired to buy into one of Australia’s coastal lifestyle markets but couldn’t quite afford to do so, now may be a good time to consider your options. Housing values across some of Australia’s most popular coastal regions have shown significant falls and competition in the ‘lifestyle’ market remains relatively subdued.

It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that many of these lifestyle markets have seen the worst and are now showing some signs of improvement:

  • The number of home sales across the major coastal markets has increased by 37 percent since bottoming twelve months ago.
  • The time it takes to sell a home is becoming shorter across most markets and vendors are discounting their properties less.
  • The total amount of stock available for sale is gradually reducing indicating that supply is being absorbed by the heightened level of buyer activity.

The turnaround in market conditions is coming from a low base, however, and most coastal lifestyle markets still provide a wide range of opportunities. Generally prices are still lower than what they were last year and the level of negotiation to be had by the buyer is still typically higher than what they would experience in the metro areas.

Despite the strong jump in market activity, monthly sales volumes remain well below the ten year average, suggesting competition in the market is far from fierce.

Arguably Australia’s most iconic lifestyle market, the Gold Coast, provides a good case study. The median house prices is still 7.7 percent lower than last year and the median unit price is 8.4 percent lower than last year.

In summary, these popular coastal markets are still much more affordable than they once were and market conditions are still in favour of the buyer. For these reasons now is likely to be a good time to be buying into in the market for future growth.