Big Jump In Property Prices For Wollongong

wollongong lighthouse
A MASS influx of Sydney home buyers into the Illawarra region has ignited a property boom in Wollongong and turned it into the strongest housing market in the country.

New research showed the Harbour City’s southern neighbour had the largest jump in home prices of any Aussie city over the past year and it is now the third most expensive urban area behind Sydney and Melbourne.

Typical house prices soared 16 per cent over the past year and unit prices went up 14 per cent, eclipsing the 13 per cent jump in average Sydney values, the CoreLogic data showed.

The median price of a Wollongong house is now about $720,000, while the median unit price is about $520,000.

By comparison, median house prices in considerably larger cities such as Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide remain under $550,000 while in Melbourne the median house price is $810,000.

Wollongong’s runaway property prices also meant Sydney, where the median house price is $1.08 million, was not the city with the nation’s fastest growing prices despite holding that title for nearly four years.

CoreLogic senior analyst Cameron Kusher said Wollongong’s recent surge was the result of Sydneysiders streaming into the area in search of homes offering better value for money.

Many had sold up homes in high-growth areas like the north shore and inner west, using the windfalls from their sales to bid up Wollongong prices and blow local buyers out of contention for homes.

“There’s a lot of wealthy people in Sydney who have owned their homes for a number of years and acquired a lot of equity for spending on property,” Mr Kusher said. “Many are selling up as they retire and moving to the Illawarra.”

The pace of recent price growth down south would likely continue as more buyers were priced out of Sydney and turned to more affordable regional markets, pushing up demand, he added.

Frasers Property Australia director Glenn Colquhoun said the Illawarra region had become particularly appealing for families from southern Sydney.

“They’re looking for a better lifestyle with more open space and affordable prices,” Mr Colquhoun said.

“Changes in the workplace have also had an influence on that. It’s easier for more people to work from home, so they don’t need to be in Sydney and can live out here.”

Sutherland Shire residents Adam and Sophie O’Grady will be moving to West Wollongong in a few weeks and said high Sydney prices had made their move “inevitable”.

“We had entertained the thought of buying in the Shire but prices have become way too high so we went to Wollongong instead,” Mr O’Grady said.

Daniel Hastings of MMJ Real Estate, who sold them their new house, said close to 25 per cent of the people he had recently showed through open homes in Wollongong were from Sydney.

Credit: realestate.com.au