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The Central Coast, just an hour’s drive north of Sydney, is one of the hottest property housing markets in New South Wales. It caters to everyone, from buyers looking for affordable homes to more upmarket buyers looking for beachfront property. What are the current Central Coast real estate trends?
Current state of the Central Coast real estate market
15 regional growth suburbs in New South Wales for smart property investment in 2017 and 2018 lists Wyong and Gosford as two Central Coast hot spots. Both of these suburbs were less attractive in years past, but both have benefitted from low prices and improved infrastructure.
Gosford is the first major city you come to when travelling by freeway to the Central Coast. In the past, it was a city you passed through on the way to one of the beach suburbs like Terrigal or Avoca Beach. Today, people are stopping to take a look at real estate prices in and around Gosford.
Wyong is another inland Central Coast city. It is tucked away behind Tuggerah Lake, but is only about 20 minutes by car to Shelly Beach and other beaches that dot the Central Coast. Wyong is a hot Central Coast real estate market because of the low prices of homes in the area. Many are older homes in sound condition that are perfect for renovating.
Wyong and Gosford are not the only Central Coast property markets to look at. Umina was once a working class suburb, but recently investors have been snapping up beachfront property in Umina. Large parcels of beachfront land with old fibro houses on them have been purchased for well over a million dollars and the fibro houses have been replaced with beachfront mansions.
According to an article in the Daily Telegraph, Umina may be one of New South Wales’ top five suburbs for capital growth.
The best Central Coast suburbs to invest in in 2018
What are the best Central Coast suburbs to invest in in 2018? Both ends of the spectrum are selling, from inexpensive houses in inland suburbs to more expensive suburbs like Pearl Beach, Avoca Beach and Terrigal.
If you’re looking for a return on investment, suburbs like Koolewong, Berkley Vale and St. Huberts Island may not be the best choices. Each of those suburbs saw amazing jumps in prices in 2016, with Koolewong leading the way with a 38.7 percent price rise. Berkley Vale saw a price jump of 32.8 percent and St. Huberts Island rose by 31.1 percent. They are expected to settle, but other suburbs can be good investments.
Bensville is a suburb close to Avoca Beach. It is not a coastal suburb, but is only a 10 minute drive from Avoca Beach and a little further to Copacabana and Terrigal. Improved infrastructure in and around Bensville are making it an attractive place to buy.
Gosford is another city that should make an attractive investment opportunity. Gosford has a railway station and a large shopping area, making it attractive to commuters. It is also only a few minutes drive from the freeway for commuters who travel by car. It boasts tree-lined streets and is on the edge of Brisbane Water. With median house prices at $412,500, it is an attractive place for investment for Sydneysiders looking for affordable housing.
Although Gosford is 75 kilometres from Sydney’s centre, trains are frequent and reliable and drivers can reach Sydney in about one and a half hours. Housing is unaffordable to many in Sydney and buying in Gosford is affordable and commuting to Sydney is not difficult by train or by freeway.
Should you invest in Central Coast houses or apartments?
In some Central Coast suburbs, rental yields are high and well above other suburbs in New South Wales. Rental yields are high in smaller suburbs like Mannering Park, which recorded rental returns of 5.2 percent per annum. Mannering Park was followed by San Remo and Blue Haven, both of which had rental returns of 5.1 percent. In Sydney, rental returns are only 3.1 percent, so some Central Coast suburbs are far more attractive than Sydney.
Lisarow is another good place to invest in apartments on the Central Coast. The town has a population of just over 5000 and 15.72 percent of the population live in apartments. The rental return in Lisarow is 3.69 percent and the average weekly rental is $495 per week. The vacancy rate is just .28 percent and prices for apartments are rising by 12.16 percent per year.
Housing rentals are in demand on the Central Coast, too. In Lisarow, houses increased in value by 14.09 percent in two years while townhouses increased by only 7.41 percent over the same two year period.
More upmarket suburbs are not experiencing such high rental returns. Terrigal is a popular tourist destination, but rental returns are 3.52 percent and house prices are high, having risen by over 31 percent in just three years. The median house price in Terrigal is now over $939,000 and the median unit price is over $779,000. Units attract higher rents than houses, going for $588 per week while houses rent for $550 per week.
Avoca Beach is another popular tourist destination near Terrigal. The median price of homes in Avoca Beach is now $900,000 and the median price of units is $830,000. In spite of these numbers, Avoca Beach home prices have risen by 14.65 percent in the past year and units have risen by 19.42 percent. Whether Avoca Beach will level out remains to be seen, but when compared with Sydney beach suburbs, it is still quite affordable.
Unit prices are lower than house prices and the rental return is slightly higher than houses, which have a return of 4.47 percent. However, a house can be a good investment because investors have seen capital gains of 13.16 percent which is higher than the NSW average of 11.06 percent.
From the statistics, it appears the best rental returns are in less expensive suburbs. This can be good news for first time investors, since the median house price in San Remo is $430,000. Mannering Park is more expensive, but the median price includes houses near the water that sell for $900,000 to $1 million. Further inland, Mannering Park homes sell for $600,000 or less.