First home buyers compete with small time investors for lower value properties in Illawarra: HTW residential

Staff reporterMay 29, 20200 min read

Home owners in the Illawarra "tend to come in all shapes and sizes," according to a recent Herron Todd White (HTW) residential report. 

The report notes first home buyers compete with small time investors for lower value properties.  

It nominated a $600,000 house in Corrimal, a $400,000 unit in Wollongong, a $425,000 house in Dapto, a $400,000 house in Warilla or a $325,000 house in Nowra.

"Most of the region’s more desirable locations such as the northern suburbs, Shell Cove and Kiama are priced out of reach for most typical first home buyers. Local real estate agents are currently reporting that demand from first home buyers for lower end stock is strong," the valuation firm said. 

A renovated two bedroom house with a big back yard in Warilla has recently been sold for $405,000.

Located at 61 Lake Entrance Road (pictured below), the house features separate lock up garage, outdoor entertaining area and off-street parking for 2 cars. 

It is situated close to restaurants, pubs, shops and transport. 

Second home buyers are usually families looking to upgrade out of their first home for some more space or more modern comforts.

Higher incomes allow the budget to stretch further than a first home buyer and the type of property can vary depending on the buyer’s appetite for doing the renovation themselves or the desire to move straight in and not have to do any work.

Due to the higher budget, second home buyers are found throughout most parts of the Illawarra. They could be looking at a $1 million house in Thirroul, an $850,000 house in Fairy Meadow or Figtree, a $750,000 house in Horsley or Albion Park or a $600,000 house in South Nowra.

A four bedroom house on a 929sqm of land in Thirroul has been listed for sale with $1.25 million to $1.3 million hopes. 

Situated at 51 George Street (pictured below), the house comprises separate dining, kitchen overlooking the back deck, undercover deck and veranda. 

Other features include double garage, high ceilings, ornate cornices and under house storage. 

Upgraders are transforming some locations such as Fairy Meadow, Towradgi and East Corrimal where the proximity to the beach and Wollongong CBD are attracting families to knock down and rebuild or significantly renovate and extend older style dwellings, the report noted. 

The last main category of home owner is the downsizer or retiree. Baby boomers are currently making up the vast majority of this category.

"The needs and wants of the downsizer or retiree will vary depending on a number of influences. Do their children and grandchildren live in the area or are they willing to move to a more comfortable location? Do they want to downsize in size but not in budget? Are they looking to change their family home to something in a lower value bracket that will allow them to use their equity during their retirement?" the valuation firm said. 

Semi-modern villas often appeal to this demographic or for those with a bit of cash, a nice modern Wollongong unit with ocean views can be on the agenda.

Harbour Square at 21 Harbour Street is a 2019 built, 33 unit development constructed by a well regarded local builder with two-bedroom units having sold between $900,000 and $1.15 million and three- bedroom units from $1.6 million into early $2 million.

The majority of the units were purchased by local downsizers.

"The residential property market is traditionally made up of various demographics and buyer profiles across the Goulburn region," the valuation firm said. 

The median house price of $430,000 (, typically appeals to first home buyers looking to get their foot in the door with older style historic homes centrally located on tree lined streets and within close proximity to schools, parks and the CBD.

However, the ornamental features do come at a cost for these older style properties, as they do require more upkeep and ongoing renovation works.

The report notes first home buyers are also attracted to the copious amounts of low maintenance house and land packages on offer in the numerous developments located further from the CBD such as the Teneriffe Estate and the Josephs Gate Land Development.

Many young families who are also priced out of Canberra and the Southern Highlands see Goulburn as an affordable lifestyle alternative. These buyers are particularly more dominant in the executive style residential developments such as the Snow Gums Estate, Platypus Banks Estate and Run-O-Waters.

"These developments are seen as good value for money and provide families with more elbow room for a larger home, shed and backyard," the valuation firm said. 

Staff reporter

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