East coast sales running hot
From Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, agents are expecting surging interest in holiday houses ahead of the traditionally strong summer selling season.
Demand for coastal lifestyle markets, such as Sydney’s wealthy Palm Beach, the coastal hamlet of Noosa, or even Tasmania’s remote Bruny Island, is driven by holiday-makers and retirees.
Agents expect a strong selling season even though real estate prices and sales in cities such as Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney are cooling.
In Noosa, agent Tom Offermann said there’s uncommon interest in Noosa from the southern states and the past year was the best on record since the heavy trading in the lead up to the 2008 global financial crisis.
“There’s an unprecedented number of Sydney-based buyers who are securing properties in Noosa, along with a very strong presence of Melbourne-based buyers,” says Offermann, head of Tom Offermann Real Estate.
“We are still getting about 20 per cent of sales straight out of Brisbane because it’s an easy drive holiday destination. A lot of them have a second home up here and let it out for occasional rentals.”
Offermann has negotiated several high-end sales of late, with a house on Noosa Sound under contract for more than $10 million. He sold 3/56 David Low Way, Sunrise Beach, for close to its asking price of $6.25m and secured about $8.2m for 1/56 David Low Way. In the prime beachfront precinct, Offermann recently sold an apartment at 2/23 Hastings Street for nearly $7m.
He expects to auction 15 properties at the height of the summer season from January 19. “We will have a wide audience of holiday-makers, the properties will range up to $7m in price.”
While some buyers like Noosa, others favour the more bohemian Byron Bay on the NSW far north coast, and LJ Hooker Byron Bay director Glen Irwin is expecting the region’s traditional heavy in- flux of tourists this summer to show interest in the usual plethora of luxury houses and apartments on offer.
Closer to Sydney, LJ Hooker Palm beach licensee David Edwards says there is a lot of nice stock available but the elite suburb can’t be broadbrushed and houses are selling property by property. Some properties have been on the market for months, but others in locales, such as Illuka Road, sell quickly.
A house at 114 Iluka Road went for $8.5m and Edwards says if he had two or three more Iluka Road listings he would sell them just as fast because of the scarcity of stock.
Properties on the market include 345 Whale Beach Road, which has a $16m price tag, 5 Northview Road with an asking price of $9.5m to $10.5m and 975 Barrenjoey Road with a $12m asking price.
“We are getting good levels of inquiry, and it will be a good season. I do think some of those holiday-makers will be interested in buying,” he says.
Demand for property on Tasmania’s Bruny Island is ramping up with plenty of mainland and local interest pre-booking inspections during the holiday period.
Nest Property agent Gary Reeves says the market was “very active” with a good mix of properties from blocks of land to original holiday shacks and waterfront homes with moorings or a jetty.
“It is very busy at the moment and typically from my experience of most holiday areas, where a lot of locals put their signboards out to try and attract mainland interest and a big price,” he says of several new listings he’s preparing for market.
Unlike Hobart, where prices have increased more than 12 per cent this year, Bruny Island still offers “exceptional value” with land prices starting from about $70,000 and a shack costing between $300,000 and $350,000.
A two-bedroom waterfront house at 48 Lighthouse Road, Lunawanna, 45 minutes south of the Bruny Island ferry terminal, on 12,000sq m with a jetty, sold to a Tasmanian buyer for close to $530,000 in early November.
“It’s considerably cheaper than most suburbs in Hobart,” Reeves says.
For visitors not into the traditional camping or caravan experience, Bruny Island holiday homes is at capacity over the holiday period, with interest up significantly on previous years.
Bruny Island Coastal Retreats manager Ben Kienhuis says business is busier than ever with next to no availability in luxury accommodation for January given the increase in the number of international visitors.
From Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, Kay & Burton agent Liz Jensen reports heightened sales activity, particularly in the elite Sorrento and Portsea.
Jensen says there was no real break in sales over winter.
Forty-five days out from officially launching her summer sales campaign, traditionally the agency’s busiest selling season, there is strong interest particularly in Portsea, Sorrento and the seaside village of Blairgowrie near the tip of the Mornington Peninsula.
“The buyers are people who have worked hard for their money and want to enjoy a lifestyle with their families,” Jensen says. “They want to do the beach, sailing, golf, or go into cosmopolitan Sorrento — the Mornington Peninsula offers all of that.’’
Jensen says 13 Paringa Road, Portsea, is a good example of the type of property expected to sell over summer. The six-bedroom estate is expected to fetch between $4.5m and $4.95m.
This David Low Way mansion, left, sold for $8.2m; the Whale Beach Road house, above, has a $16m price tag; and the Bruny Island home, below, sold for $530,000