Domain house price report sees Canberrans flock to two seaside regions

Expert calls their allure a 'no-brainer'

Domain house price report sees Canberrans flock to two seaside regions

The latest Domain house price report has confirmed a truth all Aussies know well: Canberrans love to get as close to the sea as possible once summer hits. In fact, many continue to decide to make their summer homes a permanent residence despite the otherwise bleak market conditions.

The latest Domain house price report recorded median house prices and house price growth in the 12 months to September 2022 and found the Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven regions seeing median house price growth shoot up by the double digits.

The Eurobodalla region’s median house price increased by more than a quarter (25.8%) to $890,000 from the $707,500 recorded in September last year, while the Shoalhaven region’s median house price increased by 12.9% year-on-year to an equally impressive $850,000.

Houses Sep-22 Sep-21 Sep-17 YoY 5-Yr
Albury $512,500 $438,500 $310,000
Armidale Regional $490,000 $386,000 $344,000
Ballina $1,120,000 $900,000 $590,000
Bathurst Regional $657,650 $551,000 $423,000
Bega Valley $857,500 $737,500 $475,000
Broken Hill $175,000 $145,000 $125,000
Byron $1,670,000 $1,535,000 $837,500
Cessnock $625,000 $510,000 $354,000
Clarence Valley $606,750 $520,000 $365,000
Cobar $170,000 $170,000 -
Source: Domain

Both regions outpaced the median house price growth in Canberra, which inched up by only 3.8% in the 12 months leading to September 2022 to $1,096,114. Meanwhile, Domain’s house price report saw Sydney’s median house price growth decline by 2.8% to $1,464,371 in the same period.

The charm of seaside regions like Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven is easy to imagine. The Eurobodalla region boasts the suburbs of Batemans Bay, Moruya, and Narooma within it. The Shoalhaven region matches these scenic views with its own Nowra, Jervis Bay, Ulladulla, and Sussex Inlet. White sand beaches clearly continue to pull investors and homeowners in, hook, line, and sinker.

Property experts add that there is more to Eurobodalla and Shoalhaven than their beaches – especially now that the construction of Batemans Bay bridge and Nelligen bridge is underway, with the former set for completion by early 2023.

“There’s a hospital that’s in the talks to be built and a bypass in Moruya …,” said Steve Mason of Ray White Batemans Bay. “[There is] a lot of growth happening [here] that’s making it an attractive place to live and invest in. It’s a no-brainer.”

Accessible, quality education also factors into these seaside regions’ popularity. Mason said that in addition to housing some of the country’s most popular beaches, both regions featured some ‘excellent schools’.  “[It’s] no wonder many Canberrans and Sydneysiders move here,” he said.

While these regions enjoyed massive home price growth, however, the pace of growth itself has begun to slow down in the last few months, especially compared to the previous two years, when city-dwellers flocked en masse into the surrounding tree and seaside regions for a change of pace. Blackshaw Coastal’s Pat Jameson said the regions were ‘at the top of the market’ from all of December 2021 to January this year.

Read more: Interstate migration appears to be slowing

“Prices were very strong and demand was at a peak,” Jameson said. “But since the consecutive interest rate rises from May, we’ve seen a lot less buyer activity. Buyers are adjusting their budgets, as are our sellers, in order to get a sale.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia hiked the cash rate in 50-basis point blocks over June to September before dialling it back to 25-basis point rises in October, November, and December.

Read more: Reserve Bank announces December rate hike

Still, Jameson observed that for ‘the right house, buyers were still willing to pay a hefty price tag.

“[If] it’s the right house in the right location, buyers will dig deep, and particularly in these regions where there’s a good view and beach access … people will pay a high price,” she said.

Another effect of the housing market’s growth and continuous interest-rate hikes has been rent shooting up from the pressure. Jameson said that a landlord rang one of Blackshaw Coastal’s property managers ‘almost every day’ to ask for a $100-dollar increase in their tenants’ weekly rent.

The median asking price to rent a house in the Eurobodalla region sat at $560 a week according to Domain’s latest rent report – up 12% on a yearly basis – while the asking price in Shoalhaven was $500 a week, up 4.2% from last year.

´╗┐Houses Sep-22 Sep-21 Sep-17 YoY 5-Yr
Albury $420 $380 $300
Armidale Regional $420 $380 $330
Ballina $700 $650 $490
Bathurst Regional $450 $410 $330
Bega Valley $540 $480 $360
Bellingen $500 $510 $370
Broken Hill $325 $270 $240
Byron $920 $850 $650
Cessnock $500 $430 $340
Clarence Valley $490 $450 $380
Source: Domain

Despite this, Mason felt sure that Australia’s property would start to stabilize in the coming year. “The market has taken a little bit of a hit this year, but [there will] come a time [when] interest rates will steady, and this will give people more confidence to buy or sell,” he said.