What’s Affecting The Northern Beaches Property Market In 2019?

By Jonathan Fletcher

Considering buying or selling on Sydney’s Northern Beaches in 2019?

From interest rates to lending, to key trends in the area, here’s what you need to know.

Whether you’re retiring or looking for the right area in which to raise a family, it’s no surprise that Sydney’s Northern Beaches is high on the desirable list.

Aside from our five years in London, my wife and I have spent our entire lives on the Northern Beaches. I was fortunate enough to live my childhood growing up in Avalon Beach, and now we enjoy raising our three sons in this beautiful and buzzing beach village.

There is so much to love: beautiful beaches, peaceful waterways, great schools and the friendly and active community is a given whether you settle in Palm Beach, Whale Beach, Avalon (or south of the bends).

But how is the property market performing in these areas, particularly on the far Northern Beaches? And what do you need to know if you’re buying or selling? We look at what’s affecting the market now and look at how it might perform over the rest of 2019.

What’s happening post-election?

The Coalition’s election victory has meant that Labor’s proposed reforms to negative gearing and capital gains tax are no longer on the table, which could mean property prices will bottom out earlier than the 20 percent drop widely predicted by economists.

Sydney’s housing market has dropped 14.5 percent since its 2017 peak, and some experts are saying recovery could start to happen as soon as the end of the year.

Interest rates are at an all-time low and it’s predicted by some that rates could hit 0.5% by midway through 2020. Plus APRA is also proposing a plan to ease lending requirements, making it easier for prospective buyers to enter the market.

On the Northern Beaches, we’re expecting more post-election sellers to emerge as spring selling season hits, so if you’re looking to buy keep your eye out for some desirable properties to hit the market soon.

Better infrastructure bringing buyers

On the Northern Beaches, infrastructure spend has resulted in positive flow-ons to the area and particularly stable property prices in many suburbs. This includes the long-awaited Northern Beaches Hospital (NBH) in Frenchs Forest, easily accessible using the Wakehurst Parkway in Narrabeen. This means that the old Mona Vale Hospital is now an Urgent Care Centre with a focus on geriatric and palliative care.

There’s also the B-Line Bus, which arrives regularly and makes it easy to commute from Mona Vale to Sydney’s CBD. The B-Line is complemented by the Keoride service in the area, which connects customers from Palm Beach to North Narrabeen B-Line stops along the route (it also accepts Opal cards).

The Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link, which proposes to build a tunnel under the Spit Bridge to reduce gridlock on the morning commute, is also in the planning stages.

What’s happening to house prices?

While house prices have dropped and continue to do so in various areas around Sydney, Northern Beaches suburbs are largely holding their own, and peninsula properties are experiencing record views on RealEstate.com.au. According to data supplied to the website by Hometrack Australia, the average price for a 4-bedder in Avalon is $1.73 million, based on 109 house sales from 1 April 2018 to 30 April 2019.

Data from CoreLogic Market Trends report found that the median house price in Whale Beach grew by 53 percent to $4.7 million (based on 13 sales in the last 12 months of 2018). Palm Beach is also performing well: the suburb grew by 6.2 percent in 12 months to a median house price of $3 million (based on 62 sales). Overall, that represents five-year price growth of 39 percent.

To put it in context, this kind of growth is not the case across the entire Northern Beaches. Further south in Dee Why, for instance, prices have dropped 14 percent in the past 12 months, perhaps in part to the high level of new apartment developments, but the 5-year price growth still sits at a healthy 70 percent.

Who’s buying on the Northern Beaches?

It’ll come as no surprise that the Northern Beaches lures a wide range of people – including young families and those who work remotely. Avalon, in particular, remains a high demand market; we’re seeing a lot of older families or downsizers selling to young families with kids.

In terms of demographics, older couples and families aged 55-64 make up the highest population of people in the suburb (22.1 percent), followed by established couples and families aged 45-54 (19.9 percent). We’re also seeing a wave of new buyers on the beaches in recent months, with many urban dwellers reportedly decamping from Cremorne, Neutral Bay, Mosman and the Eastern Suburbs.

Of course, we see the appeal: a relaxed lifestyle, beautiful surroundings and down-to-earth community living really do offer you the chance to live the ‘holiday’ dream all year round.

Can we help you find your dream home on the beaches? Get in touch to see what we have available.