Port Stephens property prices soar during COVID-19 pandemic

BOOM: According to InvestorKit, Port Stephens has experienced an average 10.7 per cent rise in median prices in the region.
BOOM: According to InvestorKit, Port Stephens has experienced an average 10.7 per cent rise in median prices in the region.

The property boom has increased house prices in Port Stephens by up to 20 per cent in the past 12 months, according to some real estate agents, while a shortage of rentals available has pushed rates through the roof.

And the news does not get any better for first home buyers with property experts predicting market pressure in the northern region over the next 12 months to remain intense and outperform the capital cities.

According to a new market pressure review report bydata-driven buyer's agency InvestorKit, Port Stephens has experienced an average 10.7 per cent rise in median prices in the region and that the average number of rental listings had declined 40.6 per cent over the past year.

Craig Higgins, from Dowlings Raymond Terrace, said that property sales, in some cases, had increased in some cases by up to 20 per cent.

"We did an appraisal on a Raymond Terrace property in October last year worth between $560,000-$580,000, when we went back this month the figure had blown to between $725,000-$750,000. Similarly, we had a unit appraised 12 months ago at $285,000, now it's worth $398,000."

Mr Higgins said that there was a massive shortage of properties for sale, which was also pushing up prices.

"When COVID first hit we were told the property market was doomed but that didn't happen, in fact it has gone the other way," he said. "What we have learned since COVID is that working from home has allowed city people to move into the regional areas and that young first home buyers priced out of Newcastle or the Bay are looking to moving further west. They realise the Terrace is not a million miles away."

HOUSING BOOM: The property market in Port Stephens has seen an increase in the price of houses of up to 20 per cent in some areas.

HOUSING BOOM: The property market in Port Stephens has seen an increase in the price of houses of up to 20 per cent in some areas.

He said that unfortunately there were very few rentals on the market, which was impacting rates.

Jane Blair, from Medowie's Curtis & Blair, said the housing boom had been nothing short of "phenomenal".

"I have been in real estate for 20 years and even I am surprised at how quickly they [prices] are moving ... it's a matter of supply and demand and right now there is a shortage of houses to sell. Before Christmas you could purchase a three-bedder in Medowie for between $450,000-$470,000, now that figure is $550,000-plus and some are hitting $600k."

Ms Blair said that the vast majority of inquiries were coming from Sydney, Central Coast and Canberra, and they were cashed up. "They're coming once the restrictions lift."

She said that the market didn't discriminate, "whether they are first homes or acreages, they are all selling fast", and that new land releases in Medowie were also getting snapped up.

"The news is not good for renters, with some trying to get into the rental market for the first time experiencing increases of up to $150 a week. Sadly, they are being driven out of the market and out of the area."

HOT PROPERTY: House prices are on the rise across Port Stephens, including in Raymond Terrace.

HOT PROPERTY: House prices are on the rise across Port Stephens, including in Raymond Terrace.

PRD Port Stephens principal Dane Queenan said that the Bay had been experiencing average increases in the housing market of up to 20 per cent.

"The reason is two-fold: there has been an influx of people moving from Sydney who can work from home [due to COVID] and investors are back in the market due to the low interest rates being offered by the banks."

Asked how long could the boom continue, Mr Queenan was a little more cautious: "In my opinion it is too good to continue. I believe we will see a strong end to the year, but it will be interesting to see what next year brings."

Queenan said that rental prices had also been on the upward surge due to "a shortage in the Bay".

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