Property experts are suggesting that the Central Coast housing market may benefit from some trends that are likely to emerge post COVID-19.
With workers realising the viability of working from home and retirees keen to escape populated areas, the coastal region north of Sydney might be the perfect escape for potential buyers.
“The Central Coast market was trending upwards late in 2019 and early in 2020, before the onset of the virus shutdown period, and is set to be a strong market longer-term,” HotSpotting’s Terry Ryder said.
“This trend will be further exacerbated by the current situation, which is forcing people to work from home. Some will make it a permanent arrangement.”
With property significantly cheaper and a location just an hour and a half north of Sydney, Central Coast Buyers Agent Matt Sharp said that it would be a no-brainer for Sydney buyers to make the move north.
“This was already happening, but I can see it gaining momentum,” he said.
“With the enhancement of technology, companies will start to see that it’s a legitimate option.
Even commuting part-time to Sydney would work for a lot of people.
“I struggle to comprehend how young families can buy in Sydney…you’re talking $2 million plus just to live near the beach.”
Realestate.com’s Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee recently told the Daily Telegraph that regional search activity has continued to grow since COVID-19 restrictions, as Australian’s began to reassess their housing situations.
And it is not only Sydney workers that might start looking further afield.
National online retirement property site Downsizing has revealed that of the top ten most searched suburbs for retirement villages since COVID-19, the Central Coast is incredibly popular, with Chain Valley Bay and Kincumber two of the most searched suburbs in NSW.
Both suburbs offer over 50s retirement communities, with mobile homes on the market for as little as $249,000.
Sydney did not even make the list, even though in the month March 20 to April 20 last year the most searched suburb in NSW for retirement accommodation was Bayview in Sydney’s
According to Downsizing the suburbs that retirees are currently looking at are:
1. Port Macquarie
2. Chain Valley Bay
In more good news, the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) said in a recent press release that financial support programs would help to prevent any significant property price falls over the medium-term.
“Whenever there is a global financial shock, some commentators predict huge property price falls, which ultimately don’t happen,” PIPA Chairman Peter Koulizos said.
“During the GFC, prices were ‘forecast’ to fall by 30 per cent, but in many locations they held their ground and even strengthened over the months and years afterwards.
“While the coronavirus situation is somewhat different, given it’s a temporary public health emergency, I believe property prices may temporary soften by five to 10 per cent at most but rebound relatively quickly.”
Mr Koulizos said that most property markets were experiencing strong conditions prior to the pandemic, which would help to insulate them over coming months.
Compared to other economic downturns, existing low interest rates and inflation will also protect property markets, he said.
Jess Verrender, news.com.au, 29 April 2020