Retirees to joust with investors for affordable South Coast property

Media release - 16th May, 2014

  • At $500,000, Sussex Inlet in NSW’s Shoalhaven region offers holidaymakers and investors some of the cheapest waterfront properties on Australia’s eastern seaboard
  • With entry-level homes from $270,000, Sussex Inlet is popular with young families seeking refuge from Sydney’s record property prices
  • In Culburra Beach and Callalla Bay, the prestige property market above $1 million is being fuelled by Sydneysiders

Retirees with a passion for fishing, water skiing and surfing are gravitating to Sussex Inlet, on the NSW South Coast, thanks to the holiday hamlet’s excellent public amenities and access to some of the state’s best waterways.

However, with some of cheapest waterfront properties on Australia’s eastern seaboard, one local real estate expert is tipping that retirees will soon have to compete with cashed-up investors looking for affordable holiday rentals.

“For many years Sussex Inlet has flown under the radar compared with more popular South Coast towns such as Jervis Bay and Huskisson, as there is just one road in and out of town,” says Todd Barkley, Licensee of Raine & Horne Sussex Inlet.

“This is set to change as more investors hunting for holiday homes wake up to the fact that in Sussex Inlet, there are waterfront properties available from $500,000,” says Mr Barkley.

“As investors start to make their presence felt in increasing numbers, this activity will start to push up prices.”

Mr Barkley advises that waterfront homes around the $500,000 mark will require some work, however retirees looking to move into a dream waterfront home immediately should expect to pay closer to $650,000.

41 Jacobs Drive, Sussex InletRaine & Horne Sussex Inlet, for example, has listed a stunning four bedroom, three bathroom property at 41 Jacobs Drive, Sussex Inlet for $649,000.

“The home has three bedrooms on the upper floor, while the fourth bedroom located on the ground floor could easily be transformed into separate accommodation complete with second kitchen and bathroom, which will appeal to retirees with children and grandchildren,” says Mr Barkley.

For younger families, Mr Barkley says three bedroom, one bathroom homes in Sussex Inlet start from a very affordable $270,000.

“We’ve had a few families relocating to the town from Sydney in recent times,” he says.

Apart from Sussex Inlet’s affordability, the town is close to a wide variety of waterways from the Inlet to the St Georges Basin, the canals and the nearby ocean beaches.

“The variety of waterways means that there’s something for all water sports enthusiasts, from fishermen, to water-skiers and surfers,” says Mr Barkley.

“Sussex Inlet is also well-served with medical facilities including the nearby Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital.”

In nearby Callalla Bay, affordability is another factor attracting buyers, with basic three bedroom, two bathroom homes available for between $250,000 and $300,000.

According to Craig Hadfield, Principal of Raine & Horne Callalla Bay and Raine & Horne Culburra Beach, entry level homes are being snapped up by locals and tradespeople moving to the region from Sydney.

“There is a significant amount of investment in the Shoalhaven’s infrastructure, including the Berry Bypass, the extension of the M1 to provide a bypass of Albion Park Rail, and the $329 million upgrade of the Princes Highway between Mount Pleasant and Toolijooa Road.

“This work is funded by the NSW Government and includes two new interchanges with access to Gerringong and Gerroa,” says Mr Hadfield.

“These projects are creating jobs in our region, and are in turn driving up demand for property such as 74 Addison Road, Culburra Beach, which is listed for sale at offers above $250,000.

“Six months ago, a property such as this, which needs some tender loving care, would probably have attracted around 10 serious buyers, whereas we now have up to 30 groups taking an interest.”

The surge in worker numbers is also affecting the rental market, with Mr Hadfield reporting zero vacancy rates.

However, the real action in the Callalla Bay/ Culburra Beach markets has been at the top end, where demand for holiday homes is pushing up prices for properties valued above $1.1 million.

Take 51 Quay Road, Callalla Beach, which recently sold for $1.28 million, and attracted 20 interested buyers.

“Six months ago, a property of this nature would have attracted near to no interest,” says Mr Hadfield.

“Most of the enquiries were from Sydneysiders looking for a holiday investment and we attribute the pick-up in enquiries to lower interest rates and increased consumer confidence.”

Ironically, while there is strong buyer demand for property in Callalla Bay, Culburra Beach and surrounding towns, Mr Hadfield says listings are down.

“Long-term owners are still looking for more growth, however if you’re considering a sale, now is the time to do it,” says Mr Hadfield.


For further media information contact:

Angus Raine, Executive Chairman and CEO Raine & Horne on 0409 920 697

Andrew Harrington, National Marketing & Communications Coordinator on 02 9258 5400