Home » News » Kiama house prices surge as Sydney buyers look down the coast
23 Jun, 2021
Kiama house prices surge as Sydney buyers look down the coast
The modest coastal town of Kiama, 120 kilometres south of Sydney, which is typically best known for its blowhole and beaches, is now making a much greater spray in the property market.
With prices up by 23.6 per cent to a record median of $1.1 million this year, it’s now firmly within the radius of many Sydney purchasers, as well as those in the Illawarra.
‘Sydney Shire couple David and Yvonne Marston, for instance, originally planned to downsize from their five-bedroom house in Kirrawee to something with water views in Cronulla. “But then we discovered it would cost around $4.5 million,” said Mr Marston, 63, an accident investigator.’
“So we ended up looking further down the coast and really liked Kiama. It’s got lovely beaches, hospitals, an airport, the train, and still has a country atmosphere. We really liked it, and decided to buy there instead; the best apartment in a new development for just $1.35 million.”
An increasing number of Sydneysiders are now working from home or just visiting their city offices for one or two days a week, pouncing on the property almost as soon as it hits the market.
It’s a story that’s being told all across town, when buyers from Sydney’s upper north shore do not hesitate to pay extra to secure a property they want.
According to local agent Craig Higbid of South Coast Prestige Properties, very high prices have been achieved recently. “One house I listed two years ago that we couldn’t sell for $1.05 million ended up selling recently for $1.585 million. That’s a 50 per cent increase! It’s unbelievable.” Mr Higbid said.
The recent Domain figure shows that Kiama house’s year-on-year price increases were second only to celeb hotspot Byron Bay’s (31.2%) and significantly above the regional median house price increase of 8.8% last year.
COVID-19, according to Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell, has increased the national trend of people relocating away from big cities.
“People are shifting away from high-density living and preferring to go to the coast or the country to smaller towns,” Dr Powell said. “And Kiama is a real lifestyle destination.”
12 years ago, developer Nicholas El-Khoury foresaw this trend and started planning apartment projects across Kiama. Now, more than 1000 apartments in seven developments have been built by Mr El Khoury’s company St Trinity Property Group.
David and Yvonne Marston bought their department off the plan at St Trinity Property Group’s eighth project – Ridgewaters Kiama, which is currently under construction and due to be completed mid-2022. Already demand has proved vital from downsizers, sea-changers and industry professionals wanting to work remotely.
“We’ve found the area is very appealing, both socially and with all its natural attractions,” said Mr El-Khoury, who’s now planning more projects in Kiama. “It’s got a good small-city feel with all its cafes and restaurants and facilities, but it’s also very family-oriented and is still only an hour and 20 minutes away from Sydney by train.
“We’ve seen a big shift for Australians in wanting to have a bit more lifestyle, and they’re looking for bigger apartments. What’s been amazing to us is that we’re seeing Sydney people coming to us from North Sydney, the eastern suburbs, the northwest, everywhere. If they can sell their house there for $4 million, and buy it here for $1 million, then they have $3 million left over.”
The Ridgewaters Kiama apartments, in four two-storey, 15-apartment buildings, all have three bedrooms, some with studies, and start at $945,000.
“We were looking for a slightly slower lifestyle,” said David Marston of himself and wife Yvonne. “Kiama is also very well-connected. There’s an efficient train line that is quite important because that gives us good access to seeing our friends and family in Sydney and the convenience of getting to work in the CBD.”
Interested in living or holidaying in Kiama?
Ridgewaters Kiama is perfect for many purchasers, from retirees and young families to investors and holidaymakers searching for a laid-back coastal lifestyle.
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